Dating Boldly and Budgeting Wisely
A guest post by Judd Palmer, author of Ask Her Out
Budgeting can save your life when you’re dating. It helps remove fear and bolsters your confidence when you ask someone out.
But it took me a while to discover those things were true.
“Okay, let’s see…there’s the gas money. There’s the amount for food, tithe, and restaurants. I’m glad I budgeted for this amount because I made a bit more on my last paycheck.”
Yes, I talk to myself while I am budgeting. This has become a learned practice.
I used to absolutely despise budgeting. I would look at my income and feel the “ceiling of limitation” closing in on me, suffocating my freedom and taking away the fantasy I was clinging to.
Do you know the fantasy I mean? The one that said, “Hey, just go ahead and spend your money—because you’ve got it, bro.”
I didn’t want to know how much money I really had in the bank. I wanted to be able to eat out because I was hungry and didn’t want to do the more responsible thing and wait until I got home to cook something.
But this didn’t always work out for me. “What? An overdraft fee? This is crazy!”
Budgeting and Dating
Looking at my checking account used to be painful. I subtly avoided finding out exactly how much money I had left because I also had bills due and a pretty girl I wanted to take to dinner. Keeping track of my spending as the weeks went by wasn’t high on my to-do list.
But I learned it was better to face the numbers in my account than to live in denial. The last thing any of us want is to take a date out to a nice restaurant and have the server return with an embarrassed smile, saying, “I’m sorry, sir, but your card was declined.”
That makes a great impression on a woman, doesn’t it?
The pain of being broke and having my card declined because I was overdrawn was incredibly frustrating. It was more painful than facing reality, so I began to adjust the way I handled my money.
And you know what? Once I started budgeting and keeping track of every single purchase—when I really knew how much money I had and which expenses were coming up—I discovered I had a strong, steady peace in my heart that didn’t go away.
The next time I had a surprise expense, I chose to face reality and push pause on more pleasurable things because I wanted to be sure I didn’t spend money at restaurants or on other fun activities until I could actually afford it.
I learned the value of living within my means and—this is super important when you want to be in a relationship—living in financial reality.
Budgeting and Dating Wisely
Living in financial reality allowed me to make progress on paying off my debts and to have peace about spending money. I knew that I had the money to spend instead of fearing I was going to overdraw my account.
Today, I update my budget several times a week. I even created an Excel spreadsheet with formulas for each month of the year, and I can see how each month affects the next month for the rest of the year.
I highly recommend living in financial reality because of two things:
1. It will affect your level of peace.
2. It will affect how much you can do in life, which in turn affects what you can do with your relationships.
Judd Palmer is the author of Ask Her Out: Pursuing Freedom, Manhood, and Women. Visit his website at askheroutthebook.com for more information.