Every day, it seems, my life revolves around money.
At work, I tell money where to go, determine what the money did, and decide where the money is going.
Then I get home and look at what money came in, where we need to spend money, and find ways to save more of it.
Focusing on money isn’t a bad thing, especially when you have lofty goals like I do, but I sometimes wonder if too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.
Case in point – Connecting with your spouse
Obviously, marriage gets harder after you have kids. Sure, you could let your lives be consumed by the kids and their needs, merely coexisting rather than connecting like you used to.
But when you decide to put some effort into your marriage, you discover that getting away from the kids is expensive, and my money-oriented brain has trouble processing that. Babysitters are expensive, and while grandparents are great, they’re busy and we’re busy and our schedules don’t always line up. Not to mention dinner, a cooking class, or a night out with friends. All of those things can add up to a lot of money!
So I asked you, my readers: How do you spend quality time with your spouse (after kids) without it costing an arm and a leg?
Emily, from Simple Cheap Mom suggested incorporating Christmas into connecting with your spouse. She said that for Christmas, she and her husband gave each other a mini-date a week. “Just having a little time to connect together in our house without spending money and having a paper airplane contest, fancy lattes or a dance party with a shot or two has been great. It removed money from the connected equation for us.” And I love this idea! Chances are, you’re prepared to spend money on Christmas, be it on the kids or on each other. Why not spend that money on mini-dates instead of other frivolous things and have dates already paid for and planned out for an entire year! By the way, Emily has a great website, and you should check it out if you have the time!
Reader Ken also had a great suggestion: “Just schedule a date at a local coffeehouse for a low cost date. You two must agree to NOT talk about money. Discuss non financial stuff. This may be hard but it can be done. Great website for dating and marriage is http://www.engagedmarriage.com” At Ken’s suggestions, I talked to The Big Guy about monthly coffee shop dates – and he loved the idea! The date will cost us less than $10, they have wifi at every single coffee shop we’ve been too, and you’re encouraged to hang out and talk at a coffee shop – it couldn’t be more perfect!
So here’s our plan for 2015:
- Once a month, we’re going on coffee shop dates. My mother in-law, usually comes over to see our daughter on Wednesday nights, so we’ll plan on doing them on a Wednesday night.
- Twice a month, we’re going to cook a meal, drink wine, and just hang out on a friday or Saturday night after the kiddo goes to bed. Thankfully, she goes to bed at 7pm!
What action plans have you created for connecting with your spouse in 2015? With or without kids?
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