Time and money are the most valuable resources on the planet. I can't stop the clock, but I can share a few ways for you to keep some of your hard earned cash and make your time a little more enjoyable. After all, it's much easier to enjoy a date night with your significant other when you don't have to worry about breaking your budget!
Here are a few tips that can help you save a little money and have a great date night:
1. Plan a power outage. Two years ago we lost power for 24 hours. What many people would consider a major inconvenience turned into a fun night. My wife and I ate a candlelight dinner then spent the rest of the evening together talking and reading by candlelight. It was a great way to reconnect and truly enjoy each others' company without modern day distractions like computers, phones, or TV to take away from our evening. And it's free and easy to recreate!
2. Evening Stroll Downtown. Visit your local downtown area for a leisurely stroll and stimulating conversation. You can get some exercise and check out the scenery and storefront displays without spending a dime. Or, if you feel like it, stop in the local coffee shop and for just a few dollars, enjoy dessert and a beverage.
3. Museums and Planetariums. If you live within travel distance to a museum and/or planetarium, you might be surprised at the hidden gem of entertainment they contain! Most of the time, admission to museums is inexpensive (or even free) and you can spend an entire day wandering around observing the different exhibits. You can often find buy one get one free coupons in an Entertainment book or other coupon book for your area. Keep an eye out for other discounts as well, including military discounts, coupons in the local newspaper, or visit the website of your local museum for discount days and printable coupons.
4. Date Night at Home. Having a “date” doesn't necessarily mean you have to go anywhere! If you have children, send them to the grandparents or a friends' house for the night, and then enjoy quality one-on-one time with your partner. Maybe you'll prepare and enjoy a meal together, rent a movie and make microwave popcorn, or play a board game. The important thing is that you do not do any household chores during this time, and you make the focus on each other!
5. Go For a Drive. You don't need a destination to enjoy the scenic route. For the cost of filling up your gas tank, you can enjoy a few hours of time with your partner, just riding around and enjoying the scenery. If you see a park or point of interest along the way, feel free to pull over and enjoy a walk through the park or maybe pack a picnic to enjoy a meal on the lawn.
[Visit the U.S. News My Money blog for the best money advice from around the web.]
6. Affordable Babysitting. If your budget can handle the night out on the town, but not the additional expense of paying a babysitter, this tip might help! Ask friends or relatives to take your children for the night, and offer them a night off in return. This works best if you know families with children who are similar in age to your own. Since you're trading babysitting hours, there should be no need for a cash payment.
These are just a few ideas for creative and inexpensive date nights that should fit into even the tightest budgets. The key is to realize that it is the company that makes the evening enjoyable, not the expense.