Whether it's a new relationship or a long-term relationship, you probably know that dating can break the bank. It doesn't matter if you're a guy or a girl, going into your pocket and treating your significant other may put a smile on his or her face. But unfortunately, wining and dining may not agree with your bank account. Fortunately, there are ways to date without wasting money or going broke.
1. Skip Dinner and a Movie
It's the traditional date itinerary, but depending on where you live, a single movie ticket can cost $10 or more and you can easily spend $30 or more on dinner. There are better ways to spend your money and have just as much fun. Put your heads together and think of inexpensive activities, such as putt putt golf, hiking, free exhibits, biking and other outdoor activities. If you prefer staying indoors, a bowling alley or skating rink may have a discount night.
2. Talk about Budgets
Don't be afraid to discuss money with your significant other. The worst thing you can do is spend money you don't have. Sure, your date might have a good time, but if you're struggling to pay bills after an expensive date, you're adding needless stress to your life. Be open and upfront and choose activities that fit within your spending plan.
3. Go Dutch
Don't feel bad if you can't always cover the night's activities. Some couples take turns with the guy paying one night and the girl paying another night. Or if you prefer, suggest each person paying for themselves. This can relieve some of the pressure, and you won't feel obligated to spend money if your date happens to order an expensive entrée. Just make sure you discuss this arrangement before going out, or else your date may expect you to pick up the tab.
4. Eat Cheap
If you want dinner but don't have a lot of money, look into cheaper alternatives. For example, during the summer you can walk the boardwalk at the beach and grab cheap food at a cart or food vendor stand. There's also the option of ordering pizza and watching a couple of movies. And although some people don't recommend this, I personally feel there's nothing wrong with using a coupon on a date. It's not necessarily a sign of cheapness, but a sign of frugality– which isn't a bad thing.
5. Go out for Tea or Coffee
If you want to keep the date casual and short, you can skip food altogether and sit at a small café enjoying a cup of tea or coffee. This is the perfect choice if there's free entertainment, such as poetry readings or music.
6. Stay Home
If you both have a tight budget, going out even one day a week can be too much, especially if you're a teenager or a college student. Stay in and have fun. There's plenty you can do inside the home, plus this gives you the opportunity to talk with few interruptions. Order pizza, rent a movie or play games.
7. Lunch Date
Many restaurants offer lunch portions at a significant discount. And if you plan a date during happy hour, you might score half-priced appetizers and drinks.
You don't have to spend a lot of money to have a great time on a date. With so many creative ways to have fun, there's no reason to go broke just to show someone else a good time. What are other ways to date without spending too much money?