My husband and I have a baby and are trying to live on a budget and pay off about $14,000 in debt. He wants to spend $100 a month for a date night, but I think this is too much under the circumstances. I’m a stay-at-home mom right now, and after taxes he makes about $3,200 a month. What do you think?
You win on this one. If you’d told me you guys make $150,000 a year, then I’d say he was being completely reasonable. But with your income and a lot of debt to boot, it sounds like he’s just looking for an outlet to spend some money. The good thing is you’re working together and beginning to take this personal finance thing seriously. You’re just a little bit apart on the particulars in this area.
I think you back this amount down to $40 or $50 for now. That’s plenty for a reasonable dinner and perhaps a baby sitter for a couple of hours. If you have family or friends nearby, you might not have to figure baby-sitting expenses into the equation at all. Keep in mind, too, that going out on a date doesn’t have to mean spending money. Years ago, when my wife and I were broke, we did tons of stuff that didn’t cost a dime. Picnics in the park or a pretty hike through the woods are great ways to spend time together while keeping the pocketbook in your pocket.
Be creative and make sure you find ways to have “us” time on a regular basis. But you’re right on this one, Ashley. You can go out and have plenty of fun together without spending a lot of money!
* Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He’s authored four New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover and EntreLeadership. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 6 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.