Can You Budget Love?
Each month we reach out to various financial bloggers to get their take on relevant financial questions. This month we asked,
“Since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, what are your thoughts about budgeting for date nights? Should you allocate money for dates/going out? If so, what’s a good way to come up with a reasonable amount?”
I personally think you should allocate a small amount of your net income to date nights or to just having fun in general. A mistake people often make when constructing their budget is eliminating all things fun. I can tell you from experience that if you don’t have fun, your budget won’t last. With that said, don’t go overboard! Keep in mind fun only comes after you handle your other responsibilities like savings and investing. A good amount is what you feel comfortable with blowing. Everyone is different, and all budgets aren’t made the same.
Crystal @ Budgeting in the Fun Stuff
I think one-on-one time with your significant other is amazingly important. We budget for “date nights” by working a little extra cash in every month to do something fun together. Sometimes it’s the classic dinner-and-a-movie, but sometimes it’s buying a board game to play together or using the cash for gas to visit friends out of town. We base the monthly expense on what we can afford (like less than 5% of our monthly income). Usually it’s $50-$100 a month, but we also do free stuff like reading a book out loud to each other or catching up on DVR’d shows together (we like mocking dramas…like mystery-science theatre, lol).
Marie @ Family Money Values
Whether you include money in the budget for ‘date night’ depends. It depends on how you and your partner like to enhance your relationship and the shape of your finances. I would suggest that couples should ignore the pressure of holidays made up by candy and card marketers and enjoy each other when and how it makes sense to them.
Miss T @ Prairie Eco Thrifter
We set aside money every month for dining, entertainment and fun, which falls into our date nights. It works out really well because we have planned for our fun. We typically put aside 200-300 a month.
SB @ One Cent at a Time
Being married, Valentine’s Day has been reduced to dining out and purchasing small gifts for my wife. We do not really allocate budget for this as we don’t budget at all. Every month the aim is to save at least 50% of salary, during special occasions like these we save a little less, but we never spend more than 50%, no matter what (except in an emergency). So spending few extra bucks on 14th Feb would mean a cut elsewhere from the entertainment budget.
Andrea @ Take a Smart Step
I believe that time alone with your partner, especially if you have kids, is critical to making a marriage last. It is too easy to get out of touch with each other in the craziness of our lives. Because of this you should definitely allocate money in the budget for date night. A reasonable amount is determined by how much you make and what your other circumstances are, if you are living paycheck to paycheck, it might be $10 for a trip to Starbucks. Dates don’t have to be crazy expensive nights. In fact, they can be during the day! Head to the park for a picnic, grab a cup of coffee or catch a movie when it is cheaper. As your financial security grows your budget can grow for date nights too. I always focus on the fact that the outing is supposed to be a time to connect and relax with your spouse, not necessarily be a big production.
Jason @ Work Save Live
At the WSL house, budgeting for nearly everything is a must. We utilize the cash envelope system for the majority of our discretionary purchases; therefore, date nights and eating out get included with that. Every situation will vary and what amount can be allocated towards eating out/dates ultimately depends on how much disposable income you have. While I wish it could be more, we only budget $60/month for eating out. Thankfully for me, I have a Rock Star of a wife, and we’ll be dining in on Valentine’s Day.
Greg @ Club Thrifty
You should absolutely set a budget for date night. Not only should you have a budget in mind, but you should include that spending in your monthly written budget as well. We decide on the amount based on the occasion. If it is a special event, like Valentine’s Day or our anniversary, we may spend a little more. For a regular Friday night date, we will probably spend less. Regardless, we are going to try and use a coupon if we can!
What do you think? Do you budget for your date nights?