Maintaining an active social life can be tough when you’re trying to stick to a budget. However, it is possible to date without undermining your budget. Doing so doesn’t make you cheap – it can provide an opportunity to demonstrate your financial responsibility and point out what is truly important to you. Indeed, much of it is how you carry yourself, and there are plenty of good date ideas where you can save money.
The Elaborate Bouquet vs. The Single Rose
Romance is fair game on any date, and if you’re trying to impress someone – male or female – bringing flowers is a great place to start. A bouquet of flowers or a relatively expensive gift isn’t required. Expressing your feelings for someone you’re dating can be accomplished in an understated surprise on a first date – so why not opt for the single rose?
Clip and Save
With many singles managing tight budgets, using coupons or gift certificates isn’t as off-limits as one might imagine. Restaurant.com offers local dining vouchers with deals like $25 gift certificates for $10 – or less! The only catch is that there is usually a minimum ticket amount – say… a $35 minimum. Your $35 dinner ends up costing $10, plus gratuities based on the full ticket amount. Print the gift certificate from your computer and present it prior to ordering… it’s as simple as that!
There isn’t anything wrong with saving money on a date. Maybe the date could revolve around frugal lifestyles, and could be a conversation piece in itself. For instance, if you are in college or paying off student loan debt, you could talk about the hard work involved and find a common ground.
Cheap and Easy
That’s right – you don’t have to spend money on a date at all: you can often save money on a date just by virtue of what’s in your area. Nearly every city has a unique local attraction that makes for a fun – and cheap afternoon date. From art galleries and local museum tours, to hiking, or mountain biking along a scenic trail, there’s a lot of inexpensive things to do – which allows you to get to know one another.
Many cities offer free concert series at certain parts of the year. From free zoos to inexpensive minor league sporting events, there are plenty of great opportunities that provide great date environments.
Cocktails – or Lattes for Two
Whether you’re just meeting up for drinks or ending the evening with coffee, a cozy conversation doesn’t have to equate to blowing your budget. You might want to ask your date what they would like to do; ask him or her what their ideal 2nd, 3rd, 4th (etc.) date might be. Those who are serious about creating strong relationships care about getting to know the other, which lends well to a picnic/park date, or plenty of options that aren’t that expensive. Your date might like a decent dinner or a show – you’ll just have to be careful where you go. The choice that is made could offer insight into their personality, for better or for worse. Saving money and staying entertained is easy if you know where to look.
Whatever it is, look for ways to save – lunch instead of dinner, and time together instead of high-priced activities. By the way: save the first date receipt, just in case he or she is “the one”!