Tips to Afford Date Night.
I am a firm believer that planning and scheduling a date night is absolutely necessary for every relationship. It’s a chance to connect, talk about life, enjoy new experiences and nurture your relationship apart from just being parents. But, Canadian parents are finding it harder and harder to cite the cost of taking a night off.
Dara and I make sure that we budget an amount either every week or every other week to go out and spend some time together. While we love our kids, we believe that in order to be good parents, we need a little alone time once in a while.
RateSupermarket surveyed 2,728 respondents about their sentiments on date night affordability. It found that Canadian moms and dads are half as likely to have a regular date night as non-parents and cite the costs associated with having a family as the main reason.
Keeping up with the bills alone is a reason why 31.7% of non-parents are going on fewer than one date per month. Let’s face it, the cost of everything is going up and our loonie is getting weaker everyday.
It’s just plain expensive to go on a date these days. You can spend hundreds of dollars in just a few hours, which often leads moms and dads strapped for cash AND romance. In fact, the cost of love in Canada amounts to $61, 821.60! To find out more about the stats, check them out here.
The Top Reasons Canadians Can’t Afford Date Night:
- Costs associated with having a family: 18.3%
- I don’t earn enough for extras like date night: 11.62%
- I don’t find it hard to afford date night.: 13.4%
- I’m saving for a big-ticket item (car, wedding, new home, etc.): 11.4%
- My other bills don’t leave me with enough disposable income: 27.6%
- My rent / mortgage payments: 17.6%
1. Build it Into the Budget.
Just like you budget for groceries, gas and bills–include a line item for date night. It doesn’t have to be a 4-diamond restaurant. It could just be for coffee or a movie. As long as you set your budget and factor in the costs of what you want to do, you’re good to go.
2. Make Rewards Work for You.
If you have a credit card that gives you rewards and even earns cash back or points for you, put it to work. You can use them for dining and entertainment. You can even offset costs by using the rewards for grocery costs and will help your overall household budget in the process!
3. Go Out for Lunch.
While dinner is romantic with the dimmed lights and ambiance, don’t think that going out for lunch can’t be romantic or as intimate. During the day, restaurants have lunch specials that can save you a lot of cash and since your kids are most likely in school, not having to pay a sitter can save you even more.
4. Keep Your Eye on Groupons.
There is no shame in saving money or using a groupon. When you’re married, have a home and cars to pay for–impressing your significant other can be done by seeing how much cash you can save. You can get great deals at restaurants, staycation travel deals, activities, tours and even concerts for $25 dollars sometimes.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Google.
When planning our date nights, I always hop on the computer and Google the restaurant or venue we are planning to go to. My goal is to find coupons or deals to use because, why not? Sometimes restaurants or bakeries offer discounts just for checking-in to their venues on social media. If you’re going to do it anyway, why not get a discount while you are at it? I see it as being smart, not cheap.
6. Catch a Matinée.
While catching dinner and a movie is optimal, catching a matinée can save you some money on tickets. If you’ve already grabbed lunch, you can skip the popcorn and snacks.
7. Take a Spendthrift Staycation.
Some days more often than not, you need to get away from it all. Why not plan for a staycation? Drop your kids off at the sitter for the weekend and paint the town. You can explore different parts of your city or a city near by and stay close to home. It will give you a chance to reconnect and rekindle the romance. Unplug, walk together, go to parks you’ve never been to, go to a coffee shop and read or just talk. Draw a bath, sleep… Do the things you don’t usually have time to do!
8. Take a Day Trip.
If going away for a weekend still isn’t in your budget, factor in sitter costs and gas costs. After that, head to a nearby city that is far enough away to be new to you and close enough to drive home the same day. That will save you the cost of booking a hotel and it’s an exciting and spontaneous road trip. Like the kind you used to take before kids!
9. Swap Child Care.
Even the cost for a sitter can add up but, if you have friends with kids, swap child care! They take the kids so you can go out for the night and you take theirs when they go out for the night. Don’t forget doting grandparents and aunts and uncles too! Just remember to be mindful always and bringing back coffee and donuts never hurts. Plus, be punctual.
There you have it folks, you can always allot your date night budget dollars and spend your date night at home. But, splurge on the premium steaks and a bottle of wine and send the kids to the sitter. No matter what you do, make sure you budget for date night–it’s important.
For more information, visit Ratesupermarket. If you want more #MoneyWiseMoms tips and information, check out my other posts like All You Need to Know About RRSP’s, The Terrible Money Twos and How Does Your Credit Card Rank?
Do you go on date nights?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.