Dating can be expensive – if you let it! But with the right approach to dating, you can have fun, share meaningful experiences, and still keep most of your money in your wallet. You just have to know the right tricks.
How to Date on a Budget
The occasional $100 date is fine, but if you’re spending a crisp Benjamin (or two) every time you go out, you’re quickly going to find your finances are hurting.
Thankfully, you don’t have to shell out wads of cash just to have a good time. It’s possible to enjoy fun and memorable dates without overspending. Here are a few ideas:
1. Hiking and Camping
There’s nothing better than free! If you and your significant other like the great outdoors, hiking or camping can be an excellent option. Aside from a few bucks for park admission (if going to a popular state or national park), this is a totally free option. It also provides an excellent opportunity for talking and creating memories together. (How can you forget standing at the top of a summit and overlooking a glassy lake thousands of feet below?)
If you like learning and exposing yourself to new things, museums are always fun. Unfortunately, admission can be expensive. But with the right approach, you could gain admission for a free or steeply discounted price! Options include:
- Some banks and credit unions offer free or discounted entry to members on certain days.
- Many museums allow visitors to enter for free on certain days (like the first Sunday of the month).
- If you have a bunch of museums in your area, they may offer a ticket bundle that lets you go to all of the museums for what basically amounts to the price of one or two tickets.
Museums might not be your thing, but consider this option if you’re looking for something to do on a rainy day.
3. Gun Range
If you can find a date that’s both inexpensive and memorable, you’ve hit the double whammy. Going to the gun range certainly fits both of these criteria. And if you already own a firearm, it’s even cheaper.
The awesome thing about a date at the gun range is that you get to see how each other perform under pressure. Does your partner get easily flustered? Can they slow down their breathing and focus? Are they willing to try something they’ve never attempted before?
4. Learn to Cook Together
Eating out at a restaurant is certainly fun, but you can have an even more engaging and memorable experience by staying home and learning to cook together. Simply find a YouTube instructor, buy the ingredients, open a bottle of wine, and have a few laughs!
5. Movie Night In
Have you been on a date to the movies lately? You can easily spend $35 or $40 for a couple of tickets, some popcorn, and drinks. For that same price, you could subscribe to Netflix for several months and enjoy all of the movies you want.
Try having a movie night in. You can each pick a movie you want the other one to see. Buy some popcorn and candy from the store. Bam! You have a movie night in for a fraction of the price.
6. Semi-Pro Sporting Events
Tickets to see a professional sports team will cost you a pretty penny. Whether it’s a NHL, NBA, MLB, or NFL game, you can easily spend over $100 just on tickets alone. Add in parking and food and you’re looking at an expensive night out.
But here’s an alternative: Attend a semi-pro sporting event in your city. Minor league baseball games are especially fun. You can usually get tickets for less than $5. And if you hit it right, you might be able to score tickets on a $1 beer or hotdog night. How’s that for a cheap date?
Don’t Let Money Hold You Back
A tight budget shouldn’t hold you back from dating. You should still be able to go out, have fun, and create meaningful and memorable experiences with your significant other. Let these examples and ideas serve as a starting point. Depending on where you live and what a realistic budget is, you might be able to splurge a bit more. Or, if times are especially bleak, you might need to brainstorm even more creative options. Either way, dating can always be practical!
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