If we’re trying to be responsible, we budget everything in our lives. That means that whether we’re buying food, gas, clothes or entertainment, every dollar should be accounted for. That said, it seems that no matter how responsible we think we’re being with our money, we tend to leave one thing out of the budgeting equation: dating. Romantic dates aren't just for Valentines Day. It's an important part of life that should be exercised all year! Yet, it’s one of those things that seems to always slip through the cracks in our financial plans. Don’t let your dating life interfere with your financial future. Take steps to save on dating now so you’ll never have to rely on a cash advance to bounce back. Here are 5 smart ways to save money while dating:
Probably one of the most obvious ways to save money on dinner is to dine at home. Ordering drinks, appetizers, entrées and dessert for two can easily turn a night on the town into a budget-busting disaster. Not to mention the tip to top it all off. Instead of spending a small fortune at a restaurant, try making something in your own kitchen. It may sound boring, but dinner for two at home is actually more romantic than sitting in a chain restaurant surrounded by complete strangers. Find a recipe on allrecipes.com and whip something at home – you two can spend some quality time together without spending over your budget.
When it comes to dates, going to the movies is practically an American tradition. In moderation, the movies can be an affordable pastime. But if you’re taking a date, be prepared to drop at least $50 before the night is over. On average, movie tickets run about $10 each and even more if you opt for 3D. And as far as concessions go, it’s expensive; only at the movies will people pay a whopping $35 for some popcorn, candy and a drink. A cheaper alternative? You guessed it: watch a movie at home! Queue up a movie on Netflix or Hulu, grab some snacks from the kitchen, then curl up on the couch together and press play. It’s easy, cozy and yea, it’s free!
Not all shows cost an arm and a leg unless of course, you’re going to an opera hall or some big stadium rock concert. But smaller-scale live performances in your hometown can prove to be just as captivating at a much lower price point. Check your local venues and stage theaters for shows that are happening near you. Living near a college is especially convenient. In many college towns, you’re likely to find Broadway-influenced performances that are both fun and affordable.
Of course, there are many daytime activities you and your date could get into without breaking your budget. Going out for ice cream, bowling or even doing a little light shopping won’t necessarily ruin your financial plans. Remember to keep things light and you’ll be alright.
The best and probably easiest way to save money while enjoying time together is to simply step outside! Go to your local park, beach, reserve or hiking trail for some alone time outdoors. The beauty that nature provides alone is enough to make for a romantic date and it won’t cost you a cent. It’s an obvious choice for anyone dating on a budget. So go ahead and take any of the above ideas into consideration and see how easily you could save your dating life and your financial future too.