It’s super easy to go on and on about the importance of time for yourself and date nights with your spouse–but practically speaking, I know it can be costly. Have you tried to park downtown lately?! That alone requires the patience of a saint and the funds of a VIP.
I thought I would share a few ways that Rob and I save money so that we can enjoy the events that come to town, date nights and our individual hobbies (He mountain bikes. Mountain biking is the world’s most expensive adult hobby, I am sure of it.)
One thing in, one thing out.
I try to stick to a “if I really want this, I have to give something up rule” when it comes to my closet. More and more, I try to use this approach across our house, too. It helps that we live in a 1500 square foot house and space is a premium but this tactic also helps keep spending down. When I want to bring in shoes, I often can’t think of a pair I am willing to give up, so I leave them.
Sell, sell sell.
When something no longer serves its purpose or gets used in our house, it has to go. I sell things like clothes and household items on Facebook marketplace, in our local “mom group” Facebook page, at consignment sales and to friends with similar tastes. A lot of times I will pre-plan how I am going to sell one thing to get another thing. It sounds like a total drag but theres also no better feeling than getting what you want without netting a cost.
Everything is a negotiation.
I comb our monthly bills. Automatic bill pay is not your friend. I keep an eye on our expenses and when things, like the cable bill, increase–I’m on the phone. It’s generally an hour or so of your time but it can mean big savings to call and ask for the best available deal. I have done this with our cell phones, home and car insurance, and credit card interest rates.
Reverse Meal Plan.
I have talked about this a lot on my Instagram stories but I always plan in reverse. I go to the store first, see what they have on sale and what is in season. I mentally plan as I shop (i.e. I see pork roast is on sale. We will have BBQ pork sandwiches.) and then come home and write it down to hold myself accountable. A big thing that helps with this is to have a good mental note of what you already have (I have buns leftover from hamburgers that I can use for BBQ…). I have gotten pretty good at this but in the beginning, I would often take pictures of my fridge and pantry for reference!
Not Your Average Date Night.
A lot of times we fall into the rut of having to go to dinner, drinks and some sort of event for date night. I definitely love those nights but Rob and I also love doing things that are different–and cheaper! Typically, we will eat dinner at home with the girls (cheaper!) and then head out for a few drinks and some live music. There are usually lots of places with free shows. We also love to go on a hike or go fishing. Anything is a date night if you’re having uninterrupted conversation!
These are just a few ways we stretch our budget. I would love for you to share some ways your family prioritizes self-care and date nights. Leave me a comment below or on Facebook! Happy Friday, friends!