The wife and I don’t normally eat out. She’s an incredible cook and loves to prepare food, so it’s really a win-win situation: making dinner yourself is a lot cheaper than buying it at a restaurant. Sometimes, though, it’s nice to be able to get out of the house and treat yourself to a meal prepared by somebody else.
With our new budget in place, one would think that eating out at restaurants would be completely off the table. However, as a married couple we also know the importance of going out on a date. Thus, we have a small amount inserted into the budget to allow for a monthly “date night”. It could be a movie, a concert, or a dinner out. It’s not much and, if we want, we can let it carry-over from one month to the next. But it’s there and it’s important.
So having said all that, we’re still working within a budget. That means we’re not going out to 5-star restaurants. Instead, we plan on simply making the most of whatever we decide to do regardless of where we do it.
We’ve never been much for couponing. We get them in the mail and go through them, but up until recently we never really looked at them very closely. Now? Well now we’re analyzing them to ensure we’re buying what we want at the best possible price. And yes, that includes “date night”.
Recently we got a coupon flyer for Wendy’s. Kelly is not a fast-food fan by any stretch, but she doesn’t mind the occasional meal at Wendy’s. This flyer had a free chili or baked potato with the purchase of a regularly priced meal. She enjoys both chili and baked potatoes, so I jokingly suggested that I take her out to Wendy’s for a dinner date. Without missing a beat, she said “yes”.
Again, it doesn’t really matter where we go for our dinner date. It’s all about us and just getting out of the house. So we went to Wendy’s and used the coupon. The meal itself was under $10 and “filled the hole”. Was it a romantic dinner? No, but it served the purpose and we enjoyed having some time together out of the house, eating a meal that we didn’t have to prepare.
One of the things that people always say but usually forget is that money does not buy happiness. Financial issues make up one of the biggest reasons for divorce. If you can ensure the relationship is strong when money is tight, then you’ll be able to grow the relationship along with your savings account.
Date night at Wendy’s may not sound ideal to some, but when you’re on a budget it’s all about making the most of your time together, regardless of where you are. We only spent $10 and enjoyed a meal out together, recognizing that it was more about the “who” than the “what” and the “where”. There’s nothing wrong with that.