It’s simple: be honest. If your budget can’t handle going out two or three nights a week, tell her. If you can’t afford a weekend getaway, tell her. Nine times out of ten, she’s going to respect your willpower and how responsible you are with money. If she balks, she’s not the girl for you.
You also have to be honest with yourself. Do you know what you can afford? Do you have a budget and a strong understanding of how much money you have coming in every month? If not, subtract 10-20% of your take-home pay for savings. Now, factor in your bills and regular expenses (rent, cable, car insurance, etc) along with any debt repayment you’re currently tackling. Whatever is left over is how much you can actually afford to spend every month on night’s out and frivolous purchases.
1. Save on Presents
You could negotiate some kind of present limit with her. Or, you could swallow the $480 a year and be a much happier man. Again, sorry.
2. Limit the Night’s Out
Try to limit your nights out to one night a week or even less. If you like the socializing, then something has to give. Either you go out and don’t drink or you start inviting your friends over for drinks and dinner.
3. Save For Your Getaways
You want to get away? Have a little vacation? Fine. Here’s the catch though, you have to save the money first. In fact, you have to save 130% of what you think it’s actually going to cost.
It’s the only way you won’t drive yourself into debt on mini-breaks and quick little trips, plus it’ll make the experience so much more enjoyable knowing you’re only paying for it once (as opposed to the two or three times you could end up paying for something on your credit card).