Many couples have had a torrid financial time over the last couple of years. Job insecurities, along with rising debt, and a general economic down-turn have left many severely out of pocket.
This shortage of money does not have to mean your social life, and more importantly your leisure time together as a couple should be affected. In fact in my opinion quality time together is absolutely vital. Especially for couples working long hours, or those with child commitments.
We have had a sniff around and came up with some cheap, fun, and easy ways to spend time, and have fun together without having to pay through the nose for the privilege.
More an idea for the summer (or at least dry months). There is nothing nicer than sitting under the shade of a tree, sipping some wine, eating a sandwich, or two and just enjoying each other’s company in the sunshine.
The great thing about picnics is that you do not have to spend a fortune laying on a massive spread. Make some sandwiches at home with various fillings from your fridge, get some ice cold drinks in a cooling pack, and maybe pack some strawberries, or some other “treat” food to take with you.
All of this can be done with food that you already have in your home, or stuff that can be brought very cheaply from your local grocery store.
If you have a park or open space near to you that has a lake or duck pond even better! I don’t know too many people who don’t get a slightly warm, happy feeling whilst watching ducks playing around on the water, or coming to investigate what you are doing (and eating).
Not too dissimilar to a picnic in that you can take your own food and drink with you, and that you need the weather on your side.
However a beach gives many opportunities for cheap fun together as a couple. Having a stroll along the sand is a lovely way to spend time talking, and enjoying each other. It is always good fun to have a small paddle, or to playfully splash each other with the water.
If you don’t mind spending a very modest sum of money, then why not get a fish and chip supper to eat on the beach, or have an ice cream together. Things like that can often bring back fond memories of your childhood which can be pleasant to discuss together.
Often seaside areas have smaller fun fairs which are normally much cheaper than the larger static types These places can be an excellent entertainment option for budget-conscious couples. Just be sure to space out your dinner and your dancing plans.
Depending on where you are in the world you are there are often some great museums, or art galleries that are completely free to visit. If you enjoy cultural type activities there can be some excellent events, and exhibitions you can enjoy at no cost.
In fact some of the most spectacular art, and exhibits I have ever seen were at an event that was completely free to enter. Use the Internet to search for events happening near to you. There is often more happening than you would expect.
Local Music Events
Often local musicians and bands will host concerts to showcase their work, and to try and get more of a following. Like the museum example, if you keep your eyes open you can quite often stumble across some great events happening close to you.
Often local bars may host a concert, or comedy evening as a way of filling their venue up. It is not usual for a venue to offer customers their first drink or two free as an incentive for them to turn up. Keep your eyes peeled especially around the summer, and holiday seasons as this is when there is normally an increase in cheap entertainment.
The Perfect Home Date
Who says you have to go out to have a fantastic, yet frugal time together. With a little imagination and pre-planning you can set up an amazing “night in” which can be even more enjoyable, and memorable than the most costly date.
First of all buy in whatever food you need to prepare a meal for you both. It doesn’t have to be anything flash or expensive, just a meal that you know your partner enjoys. If you cannot cook yourself, get a friend to help or even get a local takeaway, whichever you prefer.
Now go on to prepare the room. Get some candles on the go, and play some music in the background. Maybe write a couple of little love notes and leave them around the room for your partner to find.
When your partner arrives, surprise them with your romantic effort, and after dinner why not get a movie that you will both enjoy, and relax on the couch. Maybe even run a bath for your partner. Not only will you score some major brownie points, but this whole effort will be very cheap to recreate.
Often the thought that you have put into the evening will mean much more than just splashing the cash and going out.
A Night Under The Stars
If you have never done this with your partner then you must. Not only is it free but also awe inspiring.
If you have a garden, and live in an area that does not have much light pollution, then great. If you live in the city, or an area where the night sky is very clear then drive out a little bit to an open space where the sky is very clear.
Bring a blanket and a flask and spend an hour or two just looking up at the stars. It is very romantic, and will often lead to some very deep and interesting conversations.
These are just a few ideas of fun and frugal dates for you and your loved one. With a little imagination you can come up with infinite ways to enjoy your time together. The most important thing is to enjoy and make the most of each other’s company. Wherever you are, and whatever you do, as long as you are together any date can be amazing, however much you spend on it.
This article was written by Timothy Ng who is a regular personal finance writer and part of the team at Credit Card Comparison a 100% free Australian credit card comparison and credit card application service. Visit the Credit Card Comparison website for more information.