Ok, I have to be honest. My husband is the best gift giver ever. Even when we were dating, he gave the best gifts. His gifts have always spoken to my heart, and have always been something that I desired. Among some of the best gifts he has given me are a pair of diamond earrings, books by authors that I love, exquisite tea (I love drinking hot tea and flavored ice teas) and gift cards to my favorite stores. This Valentine’s Day was no exception. He scheduled for us to have a couple’s massage at the best massage center in town, dinner at a very fun little restaurant downtown, and I received a beautiful vase of flowers at work. He even had a vase of roses in the car when he picked our daughter up from school on Tuesday. Yeah, he’s really that awesome.
As I was thinking about what I was going to write in my blog and reliving the memories of Valentine’s Day, it occurred to me that what I want to share with you is my advice on one of the best investments you will ever make — in your spouse and your kids. My blog is not about marriage or parenting, but I can give you some ideas of how to make this a line item in your budget, and how that line item may be the best thing you do.
Kevin and I include a “dates” line item in our budget every month. It’s not at the very top because that area is reserved for tithing, maintaining our home and our cars, and food. However, it comes next because it is really that important to us. Every Monday night, we have a date night together. Every Tuesday night, he has a date night with our daughter, and every Friday night, I have a date night with our daughter. Our dates budget is not large, but it is very important. Our philosophy is that investing in each other is the best investment we can make.
Date nights don’t have to be extravagant or expensive. Here are some tips on how to have a fantastic and low-cost date:
* Instead of paying a high ticket price for a movie, wait until the movie is at the dollar theater.
* Go for long walks in a park or arboretum and take a picnic dinner with you.
* Exchange babysitting services with friends.
* Go to a nice restaurant and spend hours taking your time eating and talking. Ask thought-provoking questions, such as, “What did you want to be when you grew up?” or “If you had a million dollars, what would you do?”
* Our favorite date night during the summer is going to the drive-in movies. It’s only $5 per car and it’s a doubleheader. We love taking the truck and putting tons of pillows and blankets in the back.
* Rent a classic movie, pick up dessert, and cuddle together on the couch for the night.
* Date nights with your children can be as simple as watching their favorite movie together, building something together, or playing a board game.
The possibilities of a low-budget date are endless! And sometimes you will want to make a monetary investment in the date because, quite frankly, your family is worth it.
What are some things you do to invest in your spouse and children? I would love to have more ideas!
This post was written by Alesha Graves. Contact Alesha at firstname.lastname@example.org
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