Date Night Fund
This is the story of how I went from an anxious mess to having a healthy relationship by using a date night fund.
Flashback: I’m 16 years old and I am preparing to go out on a date. My stomach is turning and I can’t believe how nervous I am. Not because of the date itself but because I..AM..BROKE!! Furthermore, I’m far too stubborn to admit that I can’t afford to do something. I mean, I’m under the impression that a “gentleman always pays” right? So, what did I do? Naturally, I sidestepped ANY recommendations that involved spending money. ^_^;
I wish I could tell you that was the last time I found myself in that situation but it became a trend throughout my youth. Over the years, however, I grew tired of the cycle and knew I had to find a solution to making date nights less about the anxiety and more about the date. I had become increasingly aware of the impact financial problems had on relationships and the strong link between that and divorce. Having had come from a divorced family as well, I took the issue to heart. (Here is an interesting study around divorce provided by the University of Missouri-Colombia)
Addressing the Issue
At the beginning of my current relationship I tried to relieve as much of that financial stress as possible from US. Knowing neither of us want to be “another statistic”, we came together and agreed on a system that would help us along the way. Here is what we did:
We agreed to open a prepaid checking account. Prepaid allow us to limit the risk since it’s not tied to our social security (in case a breakup were to ever happen). However, we both have full access to the account AND each get our individual cards.
We each setup a portion of our paycheck to direct deposit into the account. (We based it on income, so the one that makes more contributes more)
My girlfriend and I have been together for going on 4 years now. Putting this date night fund into action has made our date nights financially stress free, allowing us up to enjoy each other. In fact, as our relationship has grown, our account has evolved as well. Since then, we have added a second account in which we use to save up for our vacations. We actually just went to Hawaii recently and are now saving up for cruise.
Don’t get me wrong, the financial benefits have been great, but the ability to truly enjoy her has been the true accomplishment. Our date night fund has enabled us to build a sense of trust and teamwork, plus is working as a terrific “trainer” account until marriage.
If you like the idea, please like and share with anyone who might find this useful.