Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Date Binder





If you are married with kids, you know how challenging it is to go out on dates with your spouse.
Here are some of the difficulties my husband and I have faced:
  • We're busy. School, work, kids, church, etc. etc. etc.
  • We're cheap. And often dates require money for the fun and babysitters.
  • We're lazy. We just haven't taken the time to plan anything.

To fight these lame excuses for marital courting, I created a Date Binder for my husband and I to use throughout the year. Our simple goal is to have 3 dates/month broken down as follows:
  1. A date to the temple (swapping babysitting with some friends).
  2. A date at home (NOT just watching TV).
  3. A date out (hiring a babysitter or swapping with some friends).




Here is the breakdown of what is in the Date Binder:


  • In the inside pocket, I placed a few coupon books and takeout menus for easy access to cheaper and yummy dating. :)
  • Next is a pencil pouch with 12 envelopes in it for each month of the year.



  • I decorated the envelopes with stickers and by drawing little hearts with a red marker.



  • Inside each envelope we are going to place a certain amount of cash that we can use for our dates for that month. We're not yet sure how much we are going to put in each envelope.....but it will include  the money for all 3 dates (and $ for babysitters if needed). (And our aforementioned cheapness will hopefully help us to be extremely creative on little money---a fine skill indeed).



  • In the binder after the envelopes comes 2 lists. I spent an afternoon on the world wide web searching out some fun and creative (and cheap) ideas for dates. I compiled a list of around 100 ideas for Date Nights OUT, and a list of about 140 for Date Nights at HOME. (Just go to google and/or pinterest and type "date nights at home," "date night ideas," "creative dates," etc. etc. etc.
    • On the sides of the lists, I also copied and pasted some pictures of my husband and I together throughout the years. Some are from other dates we've been on, which is fun to look at to motivate us. :)



Here's how we'll use the whole binder:
  • At the beginning of each month, we will sit down and plan when we will do each of our 3 dates (coordinating with babysitters too).
  • We'll sit down together and look at the lists in the binder. We'll see how much money we have for the month and then choose which idea we'll do for our date night at home, and which one we'll try for our date night out. 
    • Completing these 2 steps are the MOST IMPORTANT!!! If we can plan WHEN and WHAT we are going to do, it's much more likely that our dates will actually happen! :)



My hope in creating this binder is that my husband and I can more easily strengthen our marriage by spending fun and meaningful time together. And by strengthening our marriage, we can strengthen our family as well. :)


6 comments :

Julie Rogers said...

Super cute idea---my husband and I were just talking about trying to do more "date" nights! It's so hard to find the time, energy, and money when you have littles, but yet so important!

Julie
www.thechirpingmoms.com

Heather Birdwell said...

Absolutely love this idea!

Anonymous said...

I love this idea! Would you mind sharing your list of at home dates? Thanks!

Rob and Marseille said...

this is one of our goals for this year too, though we are hoping for just one date besides the temple...looks like this month will be at home...

Naomi said...

Love this! Going to start working on mine this weekend, thanks for sharing.

Whitley McDaris said...

This is a wonderful idea! I am definitely going to try it myself. Thank you so much for sharing!