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Cheap(ish) Birthday Day-Date


It feels like months have already passed, but hubs’ turned the big 33 the first week of August.

I don’t talk a lot about our relationship on the old bloggy, but given the celebration over his birth I just want to brag on him a minute.

First, he’s a worker. Always has been. When, in this day and age, it seems like everyone is trying to avoid work in favor of the next big “get rich quick” scheme, hubs actually enjoys working. Instead we have the OPPOSITE problem – it’s hard to get him to take a day off!

With all my Dad’s health issues, my last minute trips out-of-state for doctors’ appointments, and starting back to work full-time, hubs has stepped it up BIG TIME! He’s never once complained when I’ve asked him to grab the girls from preschool so I could stay to work late, or when I’ve left him by himself to care for the girls while I’ve flown to be with my Dad. He’s helped out with cleaning and laundry around the house. A little secret is that I’m a terrible ironer. So hubs’ faithfully irons all my work clothes for me so I’m looking pressed and sharp at the office!

I could go on, but we’ll leave it at that. The point is that I really wanted to do something to make hubs feel extra special for his birthday this year, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money to do it.

A few months back I started thinking of ideas for hubs’ birthday. What could I do that he really enjoys that doesn’t cost a ton of money? He’s not a big “dinner and movie” type of guy. There’s nothing he really needs right now – no clothing, no cologne, etc. I’ve done the homemade picture/craft gifts before. Then it hit me.

Hubs has a small collection of guns. Me, on the other hand….I’ve never shot a gun. In fact, they kind of scare me. Ours are all locked safely away but I’ve made comments before about how if we ever did have a home invasion, I’d be more likely to shoot myself than the robber! Hubs has tried to convince me to go to the gun range with him, but it’s just not something I’ve really cared about and I’ve never made it a priority. Before having kids it would have been easier, but now it requires special planning, paying a babysitter, etc. And I just didn’t think it was worth the effort.

Soooo, why not schedule a little day-date to go to the gun range so hubs could shoot his guns and he could show me a little about gun safety/handling/shooting, too?

So that’s just what I did!

I started off by lining up a babysitter (which was the most expensive part of this date, by the way).

Then a few days before the date I decided I needed to tell hubs what was going on. He loves surprises so I hated that I’d have to tell him in advance, but there are different shooting ranges for different types of guns and I wanted to let him pick which gun(s) to use and I needed enough time to be able to go buy some ammo for whichever gun(s) he selected. So to try to still make it fun and exciting I decided to make a scavenger hunt. I wish I would’ve taken pictures of the clue cards but I didn’t even think about it! Basically, I had everything set out so he saw the first clue as he walked in the front door. All the clues were about things related to going to the gun range (e.g., one clue said we’d need to wear casual clothes and directed him to go to where he keeps his casual clothing for the next clue). The final clue lead him straight to the gun safe and directed him to select which gun(s) he wanted to take to the gun range! He was surprised and very excited for the weekend!

When the weekend rolled around, I had a babysitter come first thing in the morning. We went to the gun range while it was still early so it would be a bit cooler. As it turns out, we already had enough ammo so I didn’t have to buy anything in anticipation of the date. At the gun range I paid for targets and ear plugs. It was a whopping $7 per person. We spent a couple hours there, then went to a good brunch restaurant to eat. After everything was said and done I spent:

$14 – gun range

$26 – brunch (including tip)

$40 – babysitter

Total:  $80

Granted, eighty bucks is the most I’ve spent on a gift (I believe) since we started our debt-reduction journey. But, as I mentioned, the babysitter was the most expensive part. For someone with willing family in town or if trading childcare with someone else was possible, the total gift would have only been $40!! I feel like that was a pretty good price, considering the enjoyment hubs got out of the gift and the quality time we were able to spend with each other (a true rarity now with me back at work full-time!) And, really, we didn’t have to do brunch. So really we’re talking about a birthday gift that was under twenty bucks (considering just the cost of the gun range).

I think it was a good compromise of not going too crazy with cost, selecting something hubs really enjoyed, and getting to spend some fun time alone together.

And now that I’ve practiced, I feel significantly better about the gun in the lockbox by the side of our bed. Don’t mess with me! ; )

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Texan at heart; Arizonan on paper. Lover of running, cheese, camping, and family (fur-family included!). Blogger, motivated to get out of debt YESTERDAY! Follow along with my journey!

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  • Reply Kili |

    That sounds like a real good birthday.
    With all the dedication and hard work you’re putting into this journey, it’s definitely a great idea to have some quality time with your hard working husband.

    Happy belated birthday!

  • Reply Mrs. Crackin' the Whip |

    This is an awesome post. I love how thoughtful it is!

    I’m very ashamed to say that I forgot Mr. Crackin’s birthday last year. He even came home from work early (which never happens) and instead of connecting the dots, I assumed he was having a very bad day and gave him space. The whole evening passed without me realizing it. I never want that to happen again!

So, what do you think ?