When my husband and I were dating, we couldn’t wait to spend more time together. We’d find any excuse possible to go on a date almost every night of the week — even if it was just going for a long walk by the railroad tracks (one of our favorite date night activities). We just loved getting to know each other better.
After we got married, we no longer had to find an excuse to see each other; we saw each other every day. But we still had fun going out and trying new things as a couple. For a while, we did weekly bowling nights, which was a lot of fun.
But then we entered parenthood. With two young, active girls, I actually can’t tell you the last time my husband and I went on a date. We still love spending time together and wish we could go on more dates, but with our busy schedules, it just doesn’t work as often as we’d like.
While scheduling date nights have become harder during this stage in our life, we still definitely believe in the importance of date nights in a marriage. We even set a date night budget every month in the hopes that we’ll find time to use it.
Why you need a date night budget
According to a 2016 study by the Marriage Foundation, couples who do date night at least monthly are 14% less likely to break up than those who go rarely. So, regardless of what you have going on, date night deserves a spot in your busy schedules.
Date night doesn’t have to be anything fancy. They can be as simple as going out for dessert, going for a walk in the park as you hold hands, or watching a movie together. The important part is that you’re together and enjoying one-on-one time to connect emotionally and forget about the stress of life.
What is a good date night budget amount?
There’s no right answer here. Set your date night budget within your budget. We set our budget at $100 per month. Some months we spend close to that amount and some months we barely spend one-third of it. This number might seem high or low to you, so go ahead and decide what amount feels best for you. The important thing is to create a date night category in your budget.
And if you don’t have the money in the budget, find it. There are definitely free date ideas you can use, but it can be nice to spend a little, too. Set aside some money each month to invest in your relationship.
Some fun date night ideas that won’t break the bank
It’s not always easy to come up with ideas for cheap date nights. A few activities we love include:
- Hiking in the mountains
- Trying new restaurants
- Making dessert at home
- Reading a book out loud with each other
Here are some other ideas:
- Make homemade pizza together
- Have a one-on-one game night
- Hit up a thrift store with a $10 budget
- Check out a local museum
- Take a drive
- Do a movie or TV-show marathon
- Play 20 questions
- Excercise together
- Write down a joint bucket list
- Go to a nickel arcade
- Try a new recipe
If you’re worried about paying for a babysitter each time, ask another couple in your ward if you can do a babysitting swap. You can watch their kids one night when they go on a date and then they can do the same for you. It’s a great, free option.
An alternative is to find a young woman or man in the ward who you trust and can watch your children at a reasonable rate.
Date nights are important for your marriage. They help rekindle that spark that attracted you to your spouse in the first place. So, make your relationship a priority and create a date night budget today.
Do you have a date night budget? What are some fun inexpensive date night ideas you’ve enjoyed?