Romance Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive
When you and your partner are focusing on paying down debt, it's easy to put relationship fun on hold. After all, dining out is a surefire way to blow the budget, right? Expensive vacations? Probably out of the question. But you can still keep the spark alive with regular date nights, even on a budget.
First, schedule the time in the calendar. Often, busy couples find that if it doesn't get scheduled, it doesn't happen. If you have young children, consider coordinating with another family to swap babysitting duties. This way, each set of parents gets an evening out without paying for a babysitter.
Now that you've got the date set and the sitter lined up, here are some frugal date night ideas so you and your partner can make great memories without spending too much money.
Go On A Scenic Hike
A hike (or a leisurely walk) in a beautiful location is a great way to spend some distraction-free time with your spouse. Enjoy the scenery, get some fresh air, and get your blood pumping. Websites like AllTrails and Outdoor Project are good free resources for local hikes.
If a friend or family member was coming to visit your city, where would you take them? Often, the most impressive or entertaining spots get overlooked by locals. Pretend you're just visiting the area and hit up some of the top tourist destinations and local landmarks. The local Chamber of Commerce is an excellent resource for inspiration.
Grab Blankets, Hot Cocoa, And Go Stargazing
You don't need a telescope to take your honey stargazing. It's best to choose a night when you'll have clear skies and a new moon. Pack warm blankets, hot cocoa, and snacks, and head to a place with dark skies and little pollution. Cuddle up in your blankets, look up at the stars, and bask in the awe of our universe. There are plenty of free star-gazing apps that are fun to use as well if you want to identify what you’re looking at. Others also show in the sky what the naked eye can’t see.
If you miss going out to restaurants while you're tightening your budget, you can get that restaurant enjoyment without having a full sit-down meal. Coffee and dessert at your favorite restaurant still feel like a splurge. Who said you couldn't have your cake and eat it, too? On your next date night, try planning an affordable, home-cooked, candle-lit meal and save your sweet tooth for dessert at your favorite restaurant.
Have A Picnic At Home
A picnic doesn't have to be a fancy or expensive affair. A lunch sack or cooler will do just fine if you don't have a dedicated picnic basket. Cheese, crackers, fruit, and your favorite drinks require almost no prep and taste even better with loved ones. You can even set it up in your living room right at home. If you have a fireplace, make a fire for ambiance. If not, you can try showing a fireplace scene on your TV.
Visit A Local Orchard
Nearby orchards or pumpkin farms can make for great frugal dates. The "u-pick" farms are typically less expensive and tastier than the comparable fruit at the grocery store, and you get to spend some quality time outside with your partner. Make sure to research the right time to go for ripe apples and bring some containers from home.
Take A Class Together
There is always time to learn something new, and no better way to make learning enjoyable than sharing the experience with your love. You can check out local libraries and community colleges for free and fun classes to explore. Learning to cook or create fine art with your honey can be a great date night.
Wrapping It Up
Date nights are so important in relationships. Time to talk without day-to-day stressors and sharing new experiences help keep the romance alive. These things don't have to be expensive. Keep your budget on track with frugal date nights, and you’ll likely watch your relationship and savings account grow.
You can find more ways to trim your budget here. If you’d like more guidance from one of our friendly Financial Service Representatives, you can schedule an appointment or call 315-735-8571.
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This article has been adapted from Balance Pro in partnership with First Source FCU.