I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again right now. Work to live, don’t live to work. I am all for budgeting and paying off debt. 100% all for it! However, I also 100% believe that there has to be a balance in life. If you spend all of your time and effort working, when are you truly living?
Even worse, when it comes to money stress, who is the person who gets the brunt of the “I’m cranky I can’t spend” attitude? Usually it’s your spouse! That is why, even if you’re BROKE I insist on scheduling and budgeting date nights, even if they are cheap or free dates! Here are my 5 reasons that scheduling a date night is so important to a happy healthy relationship.
To Stay in Your Budget
To me, it’s a horrible experience to realize the movie you’ve been waiting on for MONTHS has come out and you have $0 to spend. OUCH. However, if you budget and prepare for the movie, or dinner, or whatever else it is you want to do, then you’ve budgeted for it, and some of your hard work pays off with a night out! My husband would remind me to say, I am still pretty insistent on lunch specials and matinees, just for the lower prices, but the point is, when we budget for it we have a choice. Go to the movies and JUST the movies at night, or go to lunch and a movie. Either way we choose, we’re in budget and can enjoy our time guilt free.
To Remind Yourself That You Work to Live
Sometimes you absolutely have to just GO HAVE FUN. I don’t know about you, but I usually work 40+ hours a week. Then I come home, eat dinner, write blogs, spend some time goofing off, pack lunches, and go to bed, only to do it all again the next day. It gets exhausting. Sometimes, both my husband and I just need a dang break from the stress in life.
It becomes pretty obvious in our relationship when we need some fun time because we both get cranky with each other. A simple dinner out, a hike, sometimes even just a drive through a new area is enough to reset the cranky button and get us back on track.
To Spend Quality Time Together
I’ll be honest. Most of the time marriage for us is pretty easy. I’ve mentioned how I hate the phrase “marriage is hard“, and why I think it’s a crock. However, that doesn’t mean that daises and rainbows fly out of our rears and we’re always perfect. There are times although we’re certainly married, that I am working late, or writing, and he has his head stuck in a computer game and the “yes, I heard you grunt” is the only response we give each other.
However, we often also grab a stack of movies and spend a Saturday or Sunday in bed watching old movies, and taking turns arguing over why the movie the other person picked is crap, and we should watch something different. Those are the times we talk about all kinds of things, flirt with each other, and have some two person and four furbaby family time.
To Show Appreciation For Each Other
My husband is Scottish, as in has the accent immigrated to marry me Scottish. One of the colleges in Arkansas was founded by Scottish people, and every year they have a Scottish festival. My husband can get dressed up in his kilt, and full Scottish gear and walk around without feeling out of place. It’s also the ONLY place he can buy something remotely close to food from home.
Do we have to budget gas money? Yes. Do we have to budget spending money for him? Yes. Do we spend time together, and enjoy the drive and the event? Yes. If a little time and wiggle room in a budget can give him a piece of home, why wouldn’t I do it? He does the same for me!
To Enjoy New Experiences Together
We’ve hiked in 3 State Parks and packed picnic lunches. We’ve been to the Scottish Festival, The Old Mill (featured in the opening scene of Gone With the Wind), our local Air Show, Chili cooks offs, Haunted Houses, and countless movies together. Most of those were inexpensive excursions, but they were new for us. We have a list of tons of things we will get to as our debt goes down, and some we will only do when it’s gone. But, at the end of the day, everything we experience together is new as a couple, and it keeps us talking, it makes life a little different, and overall, makes us happier.
Do you budget date night? If not, why don’t you? If you do, tell me what you do for fun, I’d love to hear about it!