Finding that special someone in your life is an amazing thing. The shared moments together, the getting to know each other and perhaps eventually falling in love. Dating can be downright awesome and as typically happens when you find someone new, you’ll likely start spending a lot of time together. The time together isn’t the issue in a new relationship (as we all find the time to spend with our loved ones). The uncomfortable part usually arises when you realize that during a large portion of that time together – you’ll be doing what most new couples do … spending money (What did you think I was getting at?).
Whether you’ve been together for years or if you’re just starting out, getting creative with your date nights can both ensure you refrain from spending down your savings and keep things exciting in your relationships. From picnics, to game nights, or just plain getting lost together –you’ll save money, create memories, and build yourself a financial cushion to support your next chapter in life. Below are 7 dates that call for romance, creativity, and a minimal amount of funds.
Check out historic sites, buildings, museums, farmers markets and street fairs in your community. Spend the day wandering around, people watching and experiencing new things together. We recently celebrated my husband’s birthday and I planned a day of excursions to free San Diego spots, including La Jolla Cove to check out the seals and Old Town, where we wandered around and checked out San Diego’s first ever school among other things.
Dinner & a Movie
An oldie, but a goodie. Put a spin on this one and do everything together from start to finish. Decide together what you’d like to make using Pinterest (you can check out my Veggie Friendly recipes here) or a family cookbook. Go to the grocery store together for the ingredients, do the cooking together, the dishes together and pick a movie that you both want to see.
I came from a family that loves playing cards. Game nights allow you to get pretty creative. Bust out some old board games for a round of Monopoly or Battleship, or a deck of cards and prepare for a night where you can raise the stakes as high as you’d like!
The Great Outdoors
Grab a tent, a sleeping bag, s’mores ingredients and some other essentials and head to a local campsite for the night. Camping can be a pretty low-cost adventure and gives you the opportunity to disconnect from social media, email and all of the other things grabbing for our attention. If camping isn’t your favorite way to enjoy the outdoors, check out a local beach, lake, river or state park for the day. Make an effort to keep the cell phones tucked away and enjoy each other’s company.
Check out your local wine stores and wineries for tastings. They’re relatively cheap and you can try a variety for one low price. Purchasing the bottles is where the dollars add up, so if you keep it to an afternoon of tasting, your wallet won’t suffer too much. You can also bring your own lunch along by packing a picnic to have at the winery or bring it to a local park to enjoy.
Grab your bikes and go for a ride around town, go a little old school and strap on some rollerblades, take a hike, head to a local miniature golf course or hit up your local dive bar for a competitive round of pool or darts.
Give Back Together
Pick a cause that you’re both passionate about, do some research online by checking out a website such as Volunteer Match and find out how you can donate your time. I personally spend a lot of time working with local Wounded Warriors and have recently synced up with the Wounded Warrior Project to provide monthly financial literacy presentations.
Mary Beth Storjohann, CFP® is the Founder of Workable Wealth and is a Financial Planner for Gen Y. She works as a writer, speaker and financial coach and is passionate about working with individuals and couples in their 20s and 30s to help them plan for and navigate through the financial questions and issues that arise during their post-quarter-life transitions. You can also follow Mary Beth on Twitter and Facebook.