Celebrating Anniversaries

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Originally written May 2015

Weston and I are celebrating 4 years of marriage on the 28th. Since this has been on our mind, I thought this is the perfect time to write about anniversaries and money.
 
When we first got married we had the mindset that our first anniversary had to be a trip. Had to be. So we went to New Orleans. Our second year we did a weekend away in Dallas. Our third we sat in a 3 hour church meeting and ate grocery store sushi and celebrated with a good dinner another day. Now we’re on year four and I think we’ve found a happy medium.
 
Not every year has to be a trip or some elaborate celebration. But every year is a year worth celebrating. We went to Denver in April and counted that as an anniversary trip. We got married on Memorial Day weekend so we can always use that three day weekend to do things we want and spend time together.
 
For us celebrating anniversaries means planning ahead with our money. How much do we want to spend on gifts for each other? Let’s break that down over 12 months to save for it. Do we want to do a nice dinner or something different? Either put aside money for it, or spend less in our date night budget for it to continue to add up over time and use that.
 
What if you haven’t done any preplanning? If you really want to do a trip, would you rather do a so-so trip this year that either makes you put it on your credit cards and isn’t somewhere you really want to go or would you rather save for a couple of years and do the trip you really want to do? I think this is the route we’re going to go. We will use our vacation budget to do a trip we really want to do every few years. If you decide to wait, for this year either move money around in your budget to give yourself money to celebrate, or do something inexpensive but that is quality time for you.
  • Most cities have free or inexpensive activities going on all the time. Check out what your city has to offer.
  • We live in a college town so movies are really really cheap here. I had a boss where he and his girlfriend did an entire movie day starting at the first showing that morning until that night and just saw movies all day.
  • Go on a hike or a picnic.
  • Go explore your city’s downtown.
  • Take a drive to a nearby town and go explore it. Use that time in the car to talk and don’t be on your phones.
 
At Valentine’s Day a college kid we know spent all his money on his fiancee for that day and then didn’t have money for food. He said, “She deserved something nice”. No matter how much the person deserves something, it’s never wise to end up with no money afterward.
 
Don’t let people make you think gifts are important. They’re only important if they mean a lot to you or your significant other. Weston loves giving gifts. I love finding the perfect gift for Weston and seeing the excitement on his face, so we try to do them. But they aren’t necessary.
 
What is something you do to celebrate anniversaries? How do you prepare for them?


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