Who has the money to date when we’re in a recession?

by singlemomseeking on April 25, 2008

trail_starts_here.jpgI’m not the only one who has noticed prices going up: gas, milk — even postage.

I love eating out — with a glass of wine, too — just as much as you do. But my most memorable dates haven’t been expensive. As you know, I love to hike in the woods, on the trail. Picnics make me happy, too.

If you need some dating-on-a-budget ideas, here’s an article I wrote for MSN.com all about it.

For some single moms right now, dating is the last thing on their minds. Recently, a woman named Monique contacted me about a financial support network she created, “Making Ends Meet,” to assist “single moms who find themselves suddenly single or have been for sometime.”

Monique says, “My mother always told me to have a separate bank account and always stash a little away.”

She, too, had believed in the fairytale that “til’ death do we part.” In hindsight, however, she suggests that all single moms show our daughters the importance of having a safety fund. I’ve been telling M for a while now that that she needs her very own savings account, in her name. It’s time. (If any of you have taken your kids to the bank to set up their own savings accounts, I want to hear from you!)

Making Ends Meet has some great financially savvy articles for single moms on everything from raising a “money smart” child to buying your first home. Check out the resources here.

In the meantime, if you’re feeling stressed to the max right now, read this little piece from one of my new favorite blogs, Work It Mom. Co-founder Nataly has something to say about her “secret envy of working single moms.” Love it!

Tell me, single parents: Are you pinching pennies right now, like me?

Are you taking public transportation — or walking and biking — instead of driving?

Are you cutting back on take-out coffee, or forgoing it altogether?

If you have any dating-on-budget ideas, do share!

Photo from kristajo

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Dating: Who pays on a first date? | Single Mom Seeking...
December 8, 2008 at 11:08 pm

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Tracy April 25, 2008 at 7:58 am

Are you kidding! As many as I can!!! Summer is coming and I need to save for summer day camp for my little man. As a single mom who is working full time and who has a little guy who lives with me full time (dad is rarely in the picture), pinching pennies will allow me to make sure he’ll be suitably cared for during the months out of school.
Kudos to you…in fact, kudos to us all!

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Elissa April 25, 2008 at 8:52 am

My favorite date is a hike to this waterfall about 20 minutes from my house. Obviously there’s the cost of gas to get there, plus the $5 for a one day Forest Adventure Pass but we have taken turns on that stuff and it is pretty inexpensive. You can’t beat a waterfall for romance and the hike is a great energy boost!

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Heidi April 25, 2008 at 9:01 am

I wish that my own mother had taught me these lessons. I am teaching my daughters to be strong and independent women. I know that they will only benefit from it in the long run!

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Ms. Single Mama April 25, 2008 at 9:19 am

Not even to mention the sitter!!! That’s what kills me. The night out, plus the babysitter. I’m pinching – have been for years. You get used to it … : )

My best penny pinching date tip … camp fire in the back yard and no sitter.

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deesha April 25, 2008 at 11:06 am

A few months ago, my girls (ages 4 and 9) opened up savings accounts they manage. They are planning on a summer dog washing business, so they’ll get a lesson on income, expenses, profit, and savings.

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Dr. Leah April 25, 2008 at 12:15 pm

My best—well, may-be not my best—but, definitely saves money. I save the colored section of the comics and use them to wrap gifts for kids. Any color ribbon works—especially the colors you can pick up cheaply after Christmas. I did this long before anyone “re purposed” and found it also saved another (expensive) trip to the drug store or wherever to pick up wrapping paper. I also used to let them (they loved it!) color on newspaper and used their art to wrap gifts for family. Sometimes the wrapping was the best gift of all or so their grandmother always said!

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Crazy Computer Dad April 26, 2008 at 3:16 am

There are some high end restaurants in my area that are closing. Everyone is cutting back. I cook at home every night for my son with an occasional break at a local fast food place or a pizza. I don’t eat as much as I used to (usually) and often I’ll take half my dinner home or share an entree with my date (but I probably won’t have one of those for a while now). I’m not a big drinker so I either don’t order a drink or have something light. Except for this week where I’ve gone through a few bottles of wine…and my neighbor/friend says its not a good sign when my recycle bin only has wine bottles in it. I take my lunch to work every day too. I TRY to do Body For Life, so I have my portions and specific foods with me. It can be hard to find the portions and nutritional content at local lunch places when your nose and your stomach take over. I buy stuff that is on sale at the grocer. I’ve been buying expensive wine though. I have to stop that. :-)

I’ve been trying to teach my son the value of waiting and looking for good deals. I keep two separate savings accounts for him. He knows they are there but I will only let him access one. He gets an allowance and he has chores to do every day to earn it. I’ve set up a point system that includes the things he needs to do throughout the day as well as the chores. The chores are easy, usually three a day, and I created them so that they only take five minutes each. He usually comes home and knocks them out right away.

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judy April 26, 2008 at 9:23 am

Bank account opened when she was still in single digits. I put in 25.00 a month.( thinking about that 16 year old car) When she turned 12 I started her on a clothing allowance and put that into this account as well. That way she cannot purchase spontaneously and boy did her shopping ways change when it was her money to spend…..she reads her statement monthly with vengeance

Cheap dates are easy where I live (a big city)…I should write a book on how to do it free and cheap for dates and kids. I began internet searching when she was young and found a myriad of things to do. Free summer concerts, free Shakespeare in the park, and of course the walks in the park (YUCK..not my favorite) then 1st thursday is free downtown gallery, 1st friday is beatwalk in the south, 2nd friday is gallery in the north and on it goes.

I have found that even some of that walking, beach, window shopping is mundane but can be perked up if you create an adventure/treasure hunt kind of…it helps to keep conversation going for those first few dates and opens up lots of time for sense of humors (or not) to come forth.

An I admit that in the trunk of my car I always have a blanket and a bottle of champagne. It is ok room temp, no cork screw necessary, the bubbling is always fun, and it can be silly, serious, or celebratory

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Deena April 26, 2008 at 3:18 pm

I have taken my son to set up his own savings accounts. He already had one that my ex husband and I set up for him, but I wanted him to have a place to stash his allowance and learn to manage his own money. When he was five, he started getting a $5 allowance. $1 to college, $2 to medium term savings, and $2 to quick change. The medium term savings is for something he wants that’s a little bigger than what he can save for in a couple of weeks. That keeps building because he hasn’t found anything yet. He’s 6 now. The quick change, he can spend anyway he wants whenever he has his wallet with him.

When we got to the bank, I let him do whatever he could. I only did the writing and reading for him. Having his own money and his own accounts has made him much more money conscious. These days, when he asks me to buy strawberries or some other expensive thing at the store, I can explain that it’s not a good price, and he understands.

I plan on starting my daughter in a year or so. She will be four in a couple of weeks.

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Kat Wilder April 27, 2008 at 6:16 pm

I have never met a man who didn’t love when I cooked for him; better yet, we cook together.

And, since I tend to fall for men as “poor” as — or poorer than! — I am, I am used to dates that (like you) involve hiking, biking, picnicking, listening to music at a local hangout, small dinner parties with friends and “hanging.”

I haven’t necessarily raised a financially savvy kid, though; all around him, he sees entitled kids who get everything.

But, I hope that if he chooses that’s the path he wants, he’ll need to do it himself. I do tell him to follow his passion and not worry about the money — who wants to show up to a job every day that you hate or doesn’t inspire you? Ugh!

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Kelly April 28, 2008 at 12:02 pm

I actually just started a second job. I will now be working 7 days a week, but I’m drowning in bills so I don’t see any other way. At least the weekend job will be fairly early hours, and since I have a 12 year old who can sleep like a teenager (she has even slept until 3 once or twice!) she might not even notice I’m gone, and we’ll have those afternoons to spend together. With it being just the two of us, quality time is easier to come by, I think.

As for kids’ bank accounts, I opened one for my daughter about a year ago. Unfortunately my bank is at work in an area she can’t go to so I had to open it without her there, but I’m trying to get her to understand the importance of saving your money for a rainy day.

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Nicole-Mommy2Jl April 28, 2008 at 6:00 pm

Everbody around me seems really supportive and encouraging but on the other side of things they drop a few too many hints about how I really need to start dating, and about how in the future I’ll have a man to take care of me *eye roll*
I do alot of things to take care of my son. And I do it all by myself.
He has a savings account that gets regular, albeit small, deposits. I have my own savings account that I deposit the majority of my paycheck into.
I’m definetely one of the lucky ones though. I HAD to move back in with my parents because I had no other choice, but at least I had that opportunity available to me.
I got rid of my car and invested in a really good stroller instead. I could afford to keep it — just barely, but I considered it an unnecessary expense for the time being.
I have three goals in mind when it comes to saving — #1 a house, #2 a car and #3 my son’s future.
I try to keep those in mind everytime I think about making an extravagent expense.

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Jasmin Aline Persch September 12, 2008 at 8:18 am

This may seem like a funny posting on a blog, but I’m a writer for msnbc.com and I’m working on a story about how the economy is impacting dating.

If any of you are cutting back in this area because you feel pinched, I would love to hear your stories! If you have found fun, yet cheap ways to go out, even better.

Please contact me at my work e-mail, jasmin.persch@msnbc.com.

Thanks!
Jasmin Aline Persch

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