If you are a military or first responder family your life can often be a little hectic. Let's be honest, it can be VERY hectic at times.
Schedules change often, shift work is long, and you are frequently drawn away from those you love in order to serve your community. Chances are, you need a date to get away from daily life and to take time to connect with your spouse or loved one. But here’s the kicker! Dates can be expensive, especially if they require childcare! How are you supposed to get away from it all and not worry about breaking the bank?
My husband and I plan for 1- 2 dates per month.We add this into our monthly budget and know how much we will plan to spend. Currently we have $80 planned for our dates. You can set your own amount that you want to spend on dates. We have family nearby who can watch our kids so that cuts costs for us, but I will include some ideas at the end for those who don’t have family available to watch your children.
Here are 3 dates that won’t leave you broke at the end of the night.
Coffee date - This sounds so simple because it really is! And it is inexpensive. Even if you get the fancy coffee and a little treat you can walk out of the coffee shop for under $20. Try new coffee shops to change it up and make your date more special and use this time to talk, undistracted, phones away, and just enjoy spending time together.
Grab fast food and have a picnic together. You don’t have to cook or pay a tip so this is a win win! Find somewhere affordable that you both love and grab it to go and find a quiet spot where you can enjoy some good food and a beautiful view.
Movie and dessert - Does your spouse work weird days and hours? This might just work in your favor this time! Movie theaters often have discount days where tickets are heavily discounted. In my area this day happens to be Tuesdays and my officer is off those days. We can get tickets for half price, split a popcorn and come in for under $20. After some relaxation watching a new movie, we can grab some ice cream or spit a dessert somewhere and still not have to stress about how much we spent.
Now that we’ve found some budget friendly date ideas, let’s talk about childcare. I’m honestly shocked by how much teenagers earn babysitting per hour. I’ve had multiple people tell me the average is between $15- $25 per hour! That’s more than a huge majority of people earn at their day jobs. If you have found someone that charges an affordable amount, then value them. But if you need a few other ideas, I will list out a few. Some people have family nearby and you simply need to ask them to watch your kids for a few hours. If you don’t have family able to help, try finding a friend that you can take turns watching one another’s kids so you both get free childcare. I’ve been told your local YMCA has some good deals on childcare too if you are comfortable using their services maybe you could go on a date during the middle of the day.
I hope these ideas help you brainstorm some affordable ideas so you and your loved one can get some quality time together.
If you have any other ideas, please share them in the comments below.