Budgeting life have you feeling kind of blah?

What if there were a way you could still incorporate fun date nights weekly even when you’re watching every dollar? If I could give any couple some advice when they start budgeting it would be to find a way to prioritize date nights no matter what. It’s entirely possible and, I would say, one of the most important things you can budget for whether that’s just $5 a week or $100 a week.

First, let’s talk about childcare if you have kids

This can be a big hurdle when you’re on a budget. Maybe you scraped up enough to go grab a meal together but adding on the cost of childcare is a budget buster so you opt out all together. Not so fast though. Here are a few options:

  • Swap childcare with another couple. Offer to watch a friend’s kids so they can go on a date night and you can do the same for them.
  • Go on a date to a place that has free childcare. Ikea, anyone? Drop off the kids for free for an hour and wander around kid free together and grab a bite to eat at the cafe. Or maybe you have a gym membership where childcare is included. Drop them off and go visit the pool together, play racquetball together, or just do you workouts together.
  • If your kids are in school consider doing day dates for now so you don’t have to worry about childcare.
  • If you’ve exhausted all options, know that this is a season and, for now, plan for some awesome at home date nights. When your budget allows you’ll be able to include childcare for date nights in the future.

7 cheap or free date night ideas

  1. Dream date– A dream date is where you dream and plan together. I don’t just mean talking about how it would be nice to take a vacation, I mean actually talking about where you want to vacation, when you want to go, doing some research together on what it would cost and coming up with a plan to make it happen.
    Or maybe your dream is to live in a certain neighborhood. A dream date could include driving through the neighborhood, checking out some of the local shops, and planning how you can make that move happen.
  2. Reminiscing date- Just like dreaming together can be fun, reminiscing together can be fun too. Go for a drive to a nostalgic place, visit where you had your first date, or where you got married. You don’t even have to have an agenda, just go to places that mean something to you as a couple and talk about the fun memories.
  3. Couple’s game night- This one is great if you have young kids at home but still want to socialize. After the kids are in bed, have a few other couples over for appetizers and a game night. You can even ask the other couples to bring a drink or dish to share to cut down on the cost.
  4. Cook dinner and dessert together– Just cooking dinner together can be fun but if you want to make it more interesting, decide ahead of time who is doing dinner and who is doing dessert and surprise each other with what you’re making and then make it together after the kids are in bed. Sometimes just having a quiet dinner at home is a nice change of pace when you have kids at home.
  5. Farmer’s Market or Flea Market- I can’t be the only one who used to dream about what it would be like to stroll hand-in-hand at a farmer’s market with my husband when we first started dating. Spend some time together and pick up your produce for the week at the same time! Or maybe visiting a flea market and looking at all the cool stuff together sounds fun. This would be great if you need a day date option.
  6. Target shopping date (with a spending limit)- My husband and I did this together for our anniversary last year when we had a clingy baby we could only sneak away from for a short time and we were on a tight budget. We went to Target with a $25 each spending limit and we each went our separate ways once we got in the store and we picked out something for the other person we thought they would either need or want. It was a fun way to make the other person feel important by picking something special for them and a fun challenge to stay on budget.
  7. Hobby date- Chances are you each have things you like to do individually. So for this date you come together to partake in your hobbies together. If he loves basketball (that would be my husband), you could play basketball together. If you love true crime podcasts (that would be me) listen to the same episode on your own and then come together to discuss. Go for a hike together, play video games together, wine tasting at home, whatever the other person is into, you just get to do it together for this date night.

Are you feeling inspired for your next date night? Be sure to schedule it now so you make it priority and can start planning.

What other fun date nights have you done that didn’t break the bank?

Cheers to you and your partner making each other a priority no matter what your budget looks like!

<3 Krista

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