Many people have been hard-hit by the down economy, and saving money is nothing to be ashamed of. Most folks think you have to spend a lot to impress your date, but the reality is you don’t. Of course you don’t want to appear cheap, and you want to make sure your date feels important, but spending a lot of money isn’t the only way to achieve that. Consider these ideas for dating on a budget:
- Go out for ice cream instead of meeting for dinner. When you’re just meeting someone new through an online dating site or even if you’ve been seeing this person for a while, a simple ice cream outing can be a fun way to spend a date, and it doesn’t have to empty your wallet.
- Go to the skating rink. Indoor and outdoor skating rinks offer a fun way to connect with your date regardless of the season. They also give you a special ingredient, nostalgia, which can make any date feel more special.
- Make dinner for your date. If you have cooking skills, this is a great time to show them off. You’ll also be able to set a romantic mood and limit distractions at home, in addition to saving a few bucks.
- Go for a hike. Many state, city, and national parks have ridiculously low admission fees and plenty of space for hiking. Take along a picnic lunch and spend some time in the great outdoors. You’ll probably learn a lot more about the other person than you could sitting in a movie theater, and the exercise will get your blood pumping.
- Double dating can be a lot of fun, and doesn’t have to be expensive either. Invite another couple over for a night of cards or board games. Make an inexpensive but appetizing meal and ask them to bring a bottle of wine or dessert.
- Check out a museum. There are so many different kinds of museums, and every state has its own specialties. The admission costs are generally low, and you can save even more money when you buy a year-long membership.
Getting spendy on a date has been taken as a sign in the past — it signaled financial stability and showed that you were willing to spend a little money to make sure your date had a good time. These days, however, reining in the spending isn’t likely to offend, since everyone knows that times are tough. And hey, financial responsibility is nice to have in a partner.