Most couples admit to arguing about money. In fact, financial stress unnecessarily dissolves too many relationships. Creating and sticking to a budget can help prevent financial strife from occurring in your own relationship. Budgets are a wonderful tool, but if you aren’t careful, other aspects of your relationship may crumble. When setting up your monthly expenditures, make sure to allocate a portion of the budget to cover at least one date night.
You may feel like date night is completely out of the question since you are trying so hard be smart about your finances. You feel as though you can’t justify the expense of a night on the town or a trip to the movies when you are desperately trying to pay off debts. The thing to remember is that your credit card debt will always be there. Even if you neglect it entirely, it will be waiting for you. Your partner, if neglected, may not be.
Don’t neglect your credit card debts in favor a cash-spending free for all, but don’t neglect your partner either. Find inexpensive ways to spend time together so that you can maintain the health of both your finances and your relationship. To get you started, here are ten dates you can go on for $20 or less.
Picnic lunch at the park
For the cost of fresh fruit and few sandwiches, you can have a romantic afternoon. Grab an old blanket, your iTunes, and a basket of goodies to enjoy in the sunshine together.
Most national parks just make you pay per vehicle at the park entrance. For the price of parking, you can experience together the beautiful views that nature has to offer.
See a matinée
You can still enjoy movies in the theater together. Just go at less popular times for discount tickets.
Whether it’s just the two of you playing scrabble or you decide to invite another couple over for a round of Cards Against Humanity, games are a great way to have fun and reconnect. Throw in a glass of wine, and you have yourself a date.
Look for a local winery that gives tours of their vineyards and cellars. Many of them have a complimentary wine tasting afterwards.
Visit a museum
Museums are a great way to get out and explore shared interests. Whether it’s a spy museum or an art gallery, hold hands while learning about something new.
Find out when the next meteor shower hits. Dust off that picnic blanket, fill a thermos with coffee or hot cocoa, and view the beauty of the galaxy together.
Not only is camping great for working on communication (you’ve got to get that tent up somehow) nothing can beat holding hands and talking while watching a bon fire. Camping is my favorite way to reconnect.
Candle light dinner and a Redbox movie
Find a new recipe to try to cook together. Enjoy your meal by candlelight, then snuggle up to watch a new Redbox movie.
Most areas of the country have annual festivals to celebrate local flavors, colors, and cultures. Whether you live by the coast and have annual she-crab soup or shrimp festivals, or live in-land and enjoy cultural festivals, find out when the next one is in your area. Make sure to mark it on your calendar as a special date day. Many festivals have free admittance, so your date could be just the cost of lunch off a food truck.
Invest in your relationship
Just because you are on a budget does not mean that you have to neglect your partner. You can still enjoy each other’s company while staying mindful of your finances. Dates are about time (not money) spent together. Whether you have $20 for once a week dates, or set aside a larger amount like $100 for a monthly date, only the two of you can decide what your budget can handle. Ask your significant other to sit down and discuss how much money they feel comfortable setting aside to invest in your relationship.
Do you budget for one on one time with your partner? How often do you have date night, and what kinds of activities do you do?