People in relationships commonly spend more money than those who are single. It’s true. With all the dinner dates, weekly movie releases and anniversaries, it’s bound to set you back quite a bit. While there’s definitely nothing wrong with spoiling your loved ones with dinner and gifts, couples who don’t understand the value of saving will feel immense pressure later down the road.
Financial Problems is Among One of the Top Reasons Married Couples Get Divorced
In the Millionaire Next Door by William Danko and Thomas Stanley (read it online free here!), the authors uncover something fundamental: while men were the main breadwinners in a majority of millionaire households, their wives were just as frugal as they were. This was one of the major factors that millionaire remain wealthy.
So not only is it important for an individual to study and practice financial literacy, it’s equally important if not more so to share this knowledge with your partner. And for both couples to continue to develop healthy financial habits.
An occasional movie may not seem like a lot (I personally think a $12 movie ticket is overpriced – $6 is the ticket price sweet spot). But when the average person sees a movie every few weeks, that amount of “extra” cash can be astounding.
I recently performed a deep purge of my room and discovered piles of 15-20 ticket stubs (I was sort of a hoarder) stashed away in different nooks of my room. If we do some quick calculations, that’s around $150 worth of tickets I was holding between my fingers – and there were two stacks!
That was money that could’ve been invested in a Roth IRA, left to the ways of compound interest. Left to make me money.
But now all I had were… ticket stubs.
Don’t Be Cheap, But Do Be Proactive About Your Financial Situation
I don’t want you to walk away from reading this and convince yourself to never spend a single dime on anything again, but I do want you to walk away with the ability to spend more mindfully.
Trust me, no one likes a cheap date and I can assure you you won’t get away with saying,
“I’m saving for our future,”
on the first date.
It’s All About Minimalism and Mindful Consumption
Money will never buy true happiness. Instead, focus on spending time with your loved ones, to strengthen your bond and create amazing memories through mutual activities, discussions, and even trivial competitions. Those sorts of memories will last considerably longer than a gift or another night at the movies.
So for your next date, check out these 21 fun free date ideas that’ll strengthen your relationship.
Have a Disney movie marathon
Round up your favorite Disney movies for a marathon perfect for cuddle season. Prepare snacks to munch on and don’t forget the tissues!
Not into Disney movies? Try a scary movie marathon instead.
Take a walk along the beach
Get some extra steps in and enjoy the fresh scent of the ocean.
Go for a swim at the beach or the pool
Swimming is a full body workout and can be extremely stress-relieving. Both of you will benefit from a swim after a long week.
Play video games together
Video games don’t have to be an anti-social activity unless you make it out to be. Choose games that you can play together for team strengthening or opt for something more competitive. Both will allow you and your partner to learn how to communicate better and work alongside one another.
Read a book
This is something not a lot of couples do, but I think it’s super fun and growth promoting. It’s like a book club just for you two! Get access to the same book – the library is a good option or an online PDF/eBook – and read together. Have discussions afterward and learn to love reading all over again.
You don’t have to be a professional dancer to enjoy dancing. There are tons of free dance spots open any day of the week – you’ve just got to look! You know what they say, couples who dance together, stay together. 😊
Take a road trip
If you have the day off, try exploring your local city. Contrary to popular belief, the best places to visit are actually not far off in another country, but right in your own backyard. Again, you’ve just got to do some research.
Take a walk in the park
If you live far from the coast, the local park is another great way to get some exercise and you may come across the free activities they offer. For instance, the regional park near my house has a free archery range, granted you have to have your own gear, but it’s totally free to use. If you have bikes, skateboards, or rollerblades, take them for a spin!
Play basketball, soccer, tennis, etc.
Sports is one of the best ways to stay fit with your partner. Try to find a sport both of you enjoy or take turns playing your sport of choice. The latter will allow both of you to step out of your comfort zone and improve your abilities in a sport you may not have previously enjoyed.
Go on a hike and have a picnic
Pack a cute lunch, perhaps some wine, and head outside for a romantic picnic. The park and the beach are both great spots.
There are a ton of free karaoke songs on YouTube. Just make your selection and sing your hearts out!
Play card/board games
A lot of board games can be played with two people. You can also choose to invite friends over and have an adult game night. They’re amazingly fun and gives you a chance to catch up with friends you don’t get to see very often.
Watch the sunset… and the stars
Catch the sunset and if the weather permits, take your comfiest blanket and pillow and head outside to watch the stars.
Cook dinner together
There’s nothing more special than spending time in the kitchen with your loved one. Plan a meal and go grocery shopping to embark on your culinary date night adventure. Baking together is another yummy option.
Write each other letters
These can be letters of gratitude and the things you admire about your partner. Add humor and have fun with it.
Arts and crafts
I’m artsy fartsy, or at least I try to be. I remember I would haul mini canvases and a bunch of paint to my boyfriend’s house and just have us paint. We’d end up laughing (we’re not exactly the best of artists) over our “works of art” and it definitely made the night worth remembering.
Visit a dog shelter
Whether you two have pets or not, visiting your local shelter can be an extremely rewarding experience. And you might end up falling in love with an animal and saving a life. You can volunteer to walk a few dogs and just hang out with them. Most of them spend an extended amount of time at the shelter with barely any prospects or visitors. I highly recommend you visit a shelter the next time you’re out.
Watch funny videos on Youtube
Take a deep dive on YouTube for funny videos. First one to laugh cooks dinner… and dessert.
Visit a free art gallery or museum
Art galleries and museums can be a fun and different activity for you two to do together. If you aren’t sure where to find one, remember, Google is your friend!
Give each other massages
This date night idea will give you major brownie points. If you’ve never performed a massage, check out videos on YouTube to familiarize yourself with some basic techniques. Ask your partner how he or she likes their massages. Use massage oil or lotion so you don’t tug on their skin.
Treat each other to a DIY manicure
At-home manicures are fairly easy to do and both men and women can benefit from one. For women, a hand soak and massage followed by a coat or two of nail polish and a finish of top coat will complete a simple manicure. For men, a massage, nail trim, and filing will be all that’s needed.
Whether you’re in a relationship or just hanging out with friends, take time to share your financial wisdom. Because it’s hard to be frugal when those around you aren’t on the same page. I mean wouldn’t it be pretty awesome to be millionaires by the time you’re all retired? #prettycool
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