When you fancy someone, money might be the last thing on your mind, but losing both your mind and your money over your crush is a terrifying scenario. Well, if you have already lost your mind, this article won’t help, but if you still have your money, keep reading!
Dating on a budget isn’t a “mission impossible”. All you have to do is plan in advance and stick to your plan. The choice of activities for a date on a budget depends on whether it is your first date or not, your location (if you live in the mountains then a walk on the beach is hardly a cheap date idea, because the nearest beach might be hundreds or thousands of miles away), and the likes and dislikes of you and your date.
There are really a lot of ways to date on a budget and impress your date, but there are also tricky areas where you can end up looking cheap rather than savvy. For instance, to ask for a refund because you didn’t like the meal (though you actually ate it) is certainly a no-no. Using a coupon could also be regarded as cheap by some people. To most it is perfectly acceptable, but if you are not sure how your date will react, you might want to avoid coupons on a first date.
Now let’s look at some of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to date on a budget.
1. Go the Exotic, but Cheaper, Way
Trendy restaurants are very expensive and the food they serve isn’t always top-notch. However, if both of you like Chinese, Thai, Indian, Mexican, or other ethnic food, an ethnic restaurant is the way to go. Local ethnic restaurants are typically less expensive but more exotic, so the experience will be really memorable.
2. Dine at Home
Dining at home definitely beats any restaurant. However, you need to spend time preparing the food. Of course, you can order food online, but this might be as expensive as dining out.
Additionally, if you are in the beginning of your relationship and you are still not 100% comfortable with each other, inviting your date home for dinner could be considered as a prelude to a “sleepover”, and many people of either gender will back off at such an idea this early in a relationship.
3. Go on a Picnic
If both of you love open-air activities and the weather permits, you can consider going on a picnic. You can take light food and some drinks, and that (plus your date) is all it takes to make a great picnic!
4. Parks and Beaches Are Excellent Date Locations
If a picnic sounds too time-consuming, you can always go for a walk in the park or on the beach. This is definitely a very romantic idea and chances are you will be able to remain just the two of you for a while.
5. Look for Free Events
Free events, such as art shows, wine tasting, sporting events, book promotions, etc. are a few more opportunities to explore. Usually metropolitan areas are rich in such events but even small towns do offer such attractions. The trick here is to find an event both of you like – otherwise one or both of you will be bored, and this might spoil the date.
6. Do Community Work Together
Community work helps to build not only communities, but couples as well. It’s also good for your happiness and confidence levels – giving to others really does make you feel good.
7. Honour the Happy Hour
While most of the ideas on this list are completely free, a happy hour isn’t. But it is traditionally one of the easiest choices. One of the disadvantages of happy hours is that it might be crowded and if you want a quiet evening with your date, this will hardly happen.
Dating on a budget can be fun. They say that money can’t buy you happiness, and it’s true – you might spend tons of money on a date just to see it go in a disastrous direction. If you and your date are soulmates, then these cheap date ideas will be very suitable for you. If your date laughs at your suggestions because he or she dreams of something fancier, then this could be a signal that you aren’t soulmates after all…
This article is by Ada, a personal finance blogger who remembers only too well how frugal living doesn’t always go down great with a date! Right nor she’s obsessed with home insurance comparison and trying to make sure everyone knows how to find a policy that works for them.