Today – How To Plan A Budget Friendly Date Night
Author Bio: Ryan Howard runs SmartParentAdvice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Ryan writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase for babies and toddlers.
Life changes completely when you have a baby. All of a sudden, you have someone that needs your love and nurturing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The first few months can be a wonderful, joy filled, overwhelming blur. There are tons of new experience and things to learn. Plus, you probably aren’t getting much sleep.
After a little while though, you start to find your rhythm. As you and your spouse go from survival mode back to some semblance of a normal routine, you might want to make sure that you are finding some time for romance. Of course, this is easier said than done.
How To Plan A Budget Friendly Date Night
Life Gets Expensive When You Have Kids
Often times, money is a bit tight for at least a few years after children arrive on the scene. Babies are EXPENSIVE. There is no way around it. Between strollers, car seats, cribs, baby monitors, and a million other things, there is just a lot to buy. Then, there are nannies, daycare, doctor visits, etc. The list goes on and on.
There are two big issues when it comes to planning a date. The first one is that it can be really hard to find the time. The second one is that dates themselves get a bit more expensive. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a family member living nearby to watch the kids, you now need to pay a babysitter an hourly rate whenever you go out. So, in addition to paying for dinner, drinks, or a show, you now have to pay someone just for the pleasure of leaving the house. Often times, the babysitter costs almost as much as the date activity itself. Eliminating this expense is one great way to save money on date night.
A Date Night At Home
If you don’t want to pay a babysitter, you can have a date night at home. I know what you’re thinking. Staying at home doesn’t sound like much of a date. But, hear me out.
While one parent does the bath and bedtime routine, the other can set the stage for fine dining. If one of you is a culinary expert, this may mean preparing a gourmet meal from scratch (which is a lot less expensive than eating out). Or, it could mean picking up something tasty from your favorite restaurant.
So what the key to A Budget Friendly Date Night
There are a few keys to pulling this off and making it feel like a date:
- Great food. There is a good chance that you and your better half eat together on a regular basis. So, if you want this to feel like a date, you need to do something special. Be a little ambitious when you’re planning the menu. Maybe that means steak instead of a burger, or chicken marsala instead of pizza. The point here is to have something delicious and memorable rather than something quick and convenient. You get the idea. By the way, a fine bottle of wine wouldn’t hurt either.
- Dress your best. While it can be tempting to slip into your pajamas after you put your little one down, that’s not exactly proper dating attire. Dress for the type of night you want to have. It might feel silly to get dressed up for an evening at home, but believe me, it’s worth it. You’ll look better and feel better. A little perfume for women and cologne for men can be a nice touch as well.
- Set the scene. Stimulating your senses has a tremendous impact on how you feel. Candles and music can go a long way toward transforming your kitchen or dining room into a romantic setting.
- The element of surprise. Part of the fun of going out is that there is an sense of anticipation and surprise. You never know quite how the evening will turn out. What will the specials be at the restaurant? WIll you get dessert? Coffee? Stop off for a drink someplace? When you stay home, there is not as much opportunity for serendipity. So, you might want to surprise your spouse with something unexpected. Maybe this means picking up dessert from your favorite bakery, or perhaps some flowers. Small touches like this can make the evening magical.
What If Your Date Night Isn’t At Night?
Getting brunch or lunch together can be just as much fun as going out at night. So, think creatively when you’re trying to plan a date.
If you and your spouse work in close proximity, why not plan a lunch date sometime? Lunch is generally quite a bit less expensive than dinner. So, going to a high end restaurant becomes much more affordable. Plus, if you’re little one is at daycare or school, you won’t have to spring for a sitter.
Better yet, you might both take the day off and spend it together. You could visit a museum, go to lunch, get coffee and whatever else you want to do. You might even head to the theatre to take in a matinee, which is generally a fraction of the price of an evening show. In the end, the activity is not always the more important thing. Sometimes, it’s more about having some alone time together than anything else.
You can also pull this off on the weekend if you have friends with kids that are the same age as yours. Plan a weekend playdate, so you can steal away a few hours for a date without having to take off time for work. This is a win for kids and parents alike. Just be sure to repay your friend with a favor some other time!
Final Thoughts on How To Plan A Budget Friendly Date Night
It can be really easy for romance to get lost in the shuffle of parenthood. But, life will be a lot more fun if you can find a way. After all, your romantic relationship is the reason that you got together and started a family in the first place. It does take a little more creativity and effort after you have kids. But, the reward is well worth it.
Hope you have enjoyed these ideas for How To Plan A Budget Friendly Date Night you might also like my post on 5 ways to keep your spouse happy
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