The secret to budgeting for date nights – while still keeping the romance
Dating can be expensive – candlelit dinners, movie tickets and romantic weekends away don’t come cheap. Often, these expenses can put a strain on the relationship, particularly when the same person always pays the bill.
Here, Financial Fitness Bunny Nicolette Mashile, in partnership with Capitec, gives honest insight into how to make romance-linked money matters a joint venture:
“This is a tough topic for many couples to talk about, especially if there are a few financial skeletons in the closet. You want to have an honest conversation about where you are financially and what your current expenses entail,” says Mashile. “It’s hard to share those numbers, but once you do, it can create a level of communication that builds unity.”
It’s a group effort
“Setting a joint budget doesn’t have to be tedious or boring!” says the entrepreneur and media personality who is an advocate of having a Mjolo account – a simple savings account (like one of the 4 free savings plans that is available to you as a Capitec client) which both partners then contribute to equally.
It starts with each of you agreeing to how much you are willing and can afford to contribute to a collective ‘entertainment fund’. You can then use this money for activities you do together.
“You can also cut costs by getting creative with dates. Instead of the monotonous dinner or humdrum movie nights, why not try a second-hand shopping challenge or going on picnic,” says Mashile.
The High Savings Club
“Having a Mjolo account is a good way to fund dates, but it can also be a savings account used to save towards a bigger financial goal, like a holiday or to help you take the next step in your relationship by saving for the deposit for your first place together,” says Mashile.
Your money will also earn interest as the amount in the account accumulates. With Capitec, you start earning interest on your savings plan from day one and can earn up to 8.25% interest p.a.
Receipts Don’t Lie
Another benefit of a joint savings account is that you can track how much you spend together and what you’re spending it on. Budgeting apps like the Capitec app are a great way to track your spending – even going so far as to categorise expenditure for you! This will help you to become more financially savvy as a couple. “It starts with knowing how much you spend on entertainment”, says Mashile.
While this may sound unromantic, she believes this kind of financial transparency can bring couples closer together. “Every time you save together, you’re doing something for your combined future goals. What could be more romantic than that?”