Date night (or day) is important to keep the spark alive in your marriage, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. You and your spouse can - and should - go on fun dates while sticking to a budget and living within your means.
Now that you are married, date nights are more important than when you were dating. Just because you live together and see each other every day, doesn’t mean you are connecting romantically and emotionally. It’s important to laugh and connect - talk about more than household chores, money and kids.
Here are 20 Date Ideas for Couples on a Budget:
1. Take a hike. Brian and I love hiking! It’s a great way to explore nature, talk about life and work on our fitness.
2. Ride bicycles. If you don’t own bikes, you can rent them and explore a part of your city you haven’t visited yet.
3. Play sports. Whether you throw a frisbee in the park, hit the tennis court or compete in a game of HORSE (basketball), you’re guaranteed some bonding time with bit of friendly competition.
4. Hit golf balls. Go out for a game of mini golf or visit the driving ranging. Brian and I love to play Top Golf. It’s cheaper if you go during the day.
5. Get on the water. Rent a kayak or stand up paddle board and spend a few hours on the water. You can find good deals for rentals in your city on Groupon.
Explore Your City
6. Learn something new. Visit a local museum to learn about art, history, nature or science. You will leave feeling smarter and inspired.
7. Visit an aquarium or zoo. Get away from the daily hustle and bustle, and be one with nature.
8. Stroll through a farmers market. Talk to the farmers and artisans. Buy an ingredient you’ve never cooked with before and cook dinner together (See # 11).
9. Jam out at a free concert. Many cities offer free concerts at local parks and venues. Arrive early to get a good seat.
10. Give your time. Volunteer at an animal shelter, serve food at a shelter or build a home with Habitat for Humanity.
Have Fun at Home
11. Cook a meal. Brian and I love cooking together. It’s a great way to unwind and create a delicious meal. Pour a glass of wine, turn on some music and get cooking. Our favorite kitchen gadget right now is our vegetable spiralizer.
12. Watch a movie. With Netflix, Amazon and other streaming sites, there are plenty of options for movie night. It’s also a good opportunity to snuggle and get close to your spouse.
14. Binge watch a TV show. A good show can turn a date night into a date weekend, because you can’t stop watching. We can’t get enough “Parks and Recreation” and “The Office.”
15. Snuggle by the fire. Whether you have a firepit in your backyard or a fireplace in your living room, there’s nothing more romantic than cozying up by the fire.
Don’t Forget to Eat
16. Have a picnic in the park. Make sandwiches at home, grab a pizza to go or stop by the grocery store on you way and pick up a spread of delicious eats. Lay out a blanket and enjoy the scenery and each other.
17. Scream for ice cream. Not only is ice cream delicious and cheap, it literally makes you happier.
18. Say cheers to happy hour. Meet your spouse after work for drinks and apps at a discounted price. It’s a great way to unwind after a stressful day at work and spend quality time with your partner.
19. Take advantage of restaurant week. Many restaurants participate in restaurant week once or twice a year by offering reduced prices for a prix fixe menu. You and your spouse can eat out at more expensive restaurants you may not typically frequent.
20. Pick apples. Depending on the season, you and your spouse could pick apples or berries. It’s a fun, outdoor activity to get you and your spouse out of the house to try something new.
No matter which activity you choose, it’s important that you put your phones away and focus on each other. A distraction-free date can do wonders for your marriage. Try to have dates with your spouse every week if possible, but at least twice a month.
What’s your favorite budget-friendly date activity?
About the Author:
Holly Carey is a newlywed on a mission to inspire and educate engaged and married couples about marriage and money through her blog Wedded Bliss Financial. She found that many couples want to have healthy communication about their finances, but struggle with how to get started. She provides tips and tools to strengthen marriages and create financial harmony. Follow her on Instagram @WeddedBlissFinancial.