The above comment is from Rachel, you can find her blog here.
"I'm with Rachel... $50 is generally too much for us to spend on a "regular" date, although we did spend that on dinner for our 5 year anniversary this year. I generally budget $50 (in cash) for a month of entertainment for us. Granted, you do need to budget and make time for dates, becuase maintaining the health of your marriage is by far the best thing you will ever do for your children, but it doesn't have to be expensive. Some of our cheap favorites: out for ice cream, the bookstore (to browse, not buy), having another couple over the play games, making a nice dinner after our kids are in bed (they got to bed at 7), watching a rented movie (we have Netflix) and occasionally (less than half a dozen since our 2 year old was born) we will go see a movie in the theatre, but we most often frequent the $1 theatre in our area (regular theatre release movies get there 6 or 8 weeks later) or we get discount tickets at the local grocery store.
If you're set on dinner our, try looking for coupons to local resturaunts. My husband and I were recently able to eat at Chili's for under $15, including tip. We ate off their "right portion" menu, which is less expensive, drank water and used a $5 off coupon. Takes a little more planning, and a little more creativity, but date night on a meager budget it totally doable, without breaking the budget."
The above comment is from Rosie, you can find her blog here.
Since I am so behind in creating a post for these comments, I decided to combine the two since they deal with the same basic subject matter. I hope that you don’t mind ;o).
As a general rule, I agree with you both. Spending $50 on yourself, when you are getting nothing tangible out of it, is a waste of your hard earned dollar. However, my husband and I do not have a entertainment section in our budget….but, a slight (and I mean slight) excess each month to do what we want. Generally, we use this money to pay down our debts….but, occasionally we use this money to have a night out. When I say occasionally, I mean about once every three to four months. Personally, I don’t think spending approximately $200 a year on entertainment is too much, this equals out to be just over $16 a month.
I love the picnic idea Rachel! That is definitely something that I will consider, we have had some great weather this summer and it would be a great time to do something like this. Normally our summers are SO STINKIN’ HOT, but we have had unusually cool temperatures for the last several weeks.
Rosie, thanks for the great tips. I do generally look for coupons prior to us going out on our date night, it is such a great money saver. We also have a great little theater in our hometown that has new movies for $4 person (you do generally have to wait an extra week or two for them to get there, but none the less worth the wait if you really want to see a movie in theaters). My husband’s employers offers gift cards as an incentive to go above and beyond your typical job duties….so, whenever this is available, my husband jumps at the chance to have a free gift card. Generally, the gift cards are for a restaurant or Best Buy. (My DH is saving his Best Buy gift cards for his surround sound system….why does every guy feel the need to have a surround sound system???)
One thing that my husband and I have been talking about all summer is heading to the drive-in that is about 20 miles away. It is a great little place, and perfect for a “cheap” date. You pay, I believe, $5 per person…but, you get to see two current movies and bring your own food! This would be a great place to have the picnic Rachel mentioned, as well as get our movie in. Definitely something that I will have to look into, now if only they have a night with both a “guy” movie and a chick flick. Haha.
Anyway, we are not going on said date night this weekend….which I am really bummed about. We are taking a trip to Missouri to visit my husband’s side of the family. This trip was NOT in our budget, but his Mom insisted, so she is paying for the cost to get down there. I could write an entire post on the craziness of his family and their spending habits, but my husband has said that it is best to keep my mouth shut. Which, if you know me….is VERY difficult for me to do. I would much rather speak my mind. Oh well, keeping my mouth shut on this issue is probably best for my relationship with the in-laws.