The Dating Fund

There are many benefits to moving in together but it also comes with a clear threat: Living together creates the illusion that as you meet your partner every day, you’re “automatically” taking care of your relationship as you spend more time together. BUT:

A. If you are both active people, you might not even see each other that much unless you reserve time from each other’s calendars.

B. Even if you technically see each other a lot, the romance might suffer a little if you’re mostly just watching Netflix in your sweatpants together day after day.


When we moved in together, we decided to mitigate this risk by creating the Dating Fund. So as part of our budget negotiations we decided to add 150-200 euros to our joint monthly budget (depending on our income situation) that is reserved purely for dating – obviously each other. This investment seemed like a worthy one to make because we believed that regular dating would most probably improve the quality of our relationship and thus positively impact our total happiness 😉

We have now been using the Dating Fund for several years and it has proven to be a very useful invention. When we both know that we have money allocated specifically for dating, we’re more likely to go to the movies or to have a sushi dinner or to have a brunch with friends. Due to our academic background (economist and decision-making theory expert) we both know that psychologically the sushi dinner doesn’t feel as expensive when we have already pre-committed to using the money for joint pleasures. We aim at figuring out something fun to do each week or at least every second week.

The previously agreed lump sum per month makes it also easier to follow up on the consumption: exceeding the budget is a sign that we might want to opt for cheaper activities. Because even though it might be great for the relationship, a fine dining dinner every week is not an economically solid option 🙂

And of course we also watch Netflix (or some months HBO, when Game of Thrones is on again) in our not-so-attractive home clothes but the Dating Fund has made sure that we also regularly go out too 🙂