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20 Fun Date Ideas For Couples Without Spending Much

20 Fun Date Ideas For Couples Without Spending Much

In the beginning finding cool things to do on a date and making time was easy. You may have even spent way more than you were comfortable with, because you were smitten and it was worth every penny. But things have changed. It’s not that you and your significant other care less, but life happens. Grown up things like children, jobs, mortgages. You spend a lot of time, money and energy creating a good life for your family. But don’t forget about your life as a couple. It’s important to stay connected and dates are a wonderful way to do just that. The great thing is that awesome dates don’t have to cost a lot in order to be a lot of fun. For great cheap date ideas consider the following list of twenty below.

1. Sometimes You Just Need to Wine.

Wine Tasting - One of Many Cheap Date Ideas

    The ultimate in adult activities, “wining” can be an awesomely fun and inexpensive date. If you like wine (or like the idea of trying new wine) wine tasting is the perfect date. Many places offer free tastings, or charge a nominal fee like $5-$7 per person. For that price you’ll typically receive five or six one ounce tastes. That’s like a glass of wine. They’ll also sell wine by the glass and/or the bottle for you to enjoy on site. One bonus is that wineries that are located within a vineyard may offer astounding views which you’ll want to savor, so pack a lunch of fruit, cheese and crackers and enjoy.

    2. Attend a Music Festival.

    Music Festival as a cheap date

      If you love live music, music festivals can be a wonderful way to spend some time together. They happen all over the country and while some may cost a significant amount of money, many are free or charge a nominal fee. Some of the many pleasures of attending a music festival include multiple stages, multiple artists and the ability to attend early in the day through late at night. Another plus is that many festivals are annual events so you can plan in advance to attend as they last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Don’t have any music fests near you? Do a search for local community music concerts and you may be rewarded with awesome music for free. Either way grab a chair at the venue, bring a blanket, pack a meal if allowed, and enjoy the performances.

      3. Take a Cooking Class Together.

      Cooking Class
        Photo Credit: jwalsh via Compfight cc

        Wait. What? You cook every night. Why would you ever want to take a class?  Because it can be lots of fun. Really. From cakes to pies, pizza to sushi, you’ll be with a small group of people who are out to learn new techniques, laugh and make mistakes in a relaxed environment, end up with something yummy (hopefully) that you’ll be able to taste on the spot, and generally have a great time. Classes in every price range are available like Williams-Sonoma’s free technique classes. Prefer to stay in? That’s cool too. Take a free online cooking class together. Many websites offer them.

        4. Enjoy a Movie that’s not on Netflix.

        Movie Date NIght

          Don’t sit at home watching Netflix. Definitely don’t pay $50 for a movie for two with popcorn and drinks. Try these cheap date movie ideas instead.

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          • Drive-In: If you’re lucky enough to live near a Drive-in theatre you’re in for a treat. For about $20 the two of you can enjoy a movie (many offer double features for that price), a large freshly popped popcorn – with real butter, beverage and a great night under the stars. Some allow you to bring your own food, so pack a dinner and enjoy this version of dinner and a movie.
          • Second Run Movie Theatre:  Remember when movies used to cost $3.50-$5.00? Well you can still pay that price if you can wait a little. There are theatres all over the country, many in wonderfully old, historic buildings that offer discount prices for movies after they’ve left the major theatre chains. They often serve fresh popcorn and you can actually afford to buy candy. Let’s face it, there’s something about buying it there (rather than sneaking it in) that makes it more fun.
          • Movies in the Park: Many communities offer free movies, you just have to search your community activities online. It’s typically going to be a family fare, and the picture and sound quality may not be the greatest, but it’s hard to beat free. Bring a blanket or chairs, pack a picnic and just relax. Speaking of picnics…

          5. Have a Picnic with a Twist.

          Picnic Date

            Yeah. Yeah. A picnic at the park. It’s nice. It’s sweet. Zzzzzz. Hold on. It’s a classic for a reason, but that doesn’t mean you can’t punch it up a bit. How about:

            • A picnic and flying a kite. Kites can be had very inexpensively.
            • Hike (or drive) to a scenic overlook and have a picnic with an amazing view. Search for scenic spots in your neck of the woods and go.
            • Picnic at the beach.
            • Picnic near the railroad tracks and watch the trains go by.
            • Picnic near a private airfield. Often, there’s a grassy area outside of the private airports. Watch the planes take off and land and dream about your next adventure.
            • Picnic while watching a fireworks display.
            • Of course, have a picnic during your winery or drive in movie date.

            6. Take a Ride on a Ferris Wheel.

            Carnival

              Sometimes the best dates are those that remind you of when you were a kid. Carnivals can do just that. The lights, the sounds, the rides and the food. Many carnivals offer free entry or charge only a small fee or a fee for parking. Stroll hand in hand, eat a candy apple and enjoy.

              7. Test Drive Your Dream Car.

              Dream Car

                It’s one of the stranger cheap date ideas, but it can get your engines revved up. Have a dream car in mind? Go to a lot and look at your car, pick up a promotional package and test drive it. It’s a nice break from reality that can leave both of you smiling for the rest of the day.

                8. Enjoy a Happy Hour Dinner at a Fancy Restaurant.

                Happy Hour

                  You don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy a high end restaurant. Many offer happy hour specials at reasonable prices, so linger over a couple of drinks and nosh on a few fancy bar food items in style.

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                  9. Take a Stroll on the Beach at Night.

                  Stroll on the Beach

                    The beach takes on a whole different vibe at night. Stroll hand in hand at the water’s edge. Bring a blanket, star gaze and enjoy the sound of the surf. If it has a lively boardwalk find a seat and people watch. Bonus? Beach fees, if there are any, are typically waived after a certain time.

                    10. Visit Open Houses in Your Dream Neighborhood.

                    Open House

                      Open houses can be inspiring and motivational. You can get design ideas for your current residence and it’s fun to dream about your future together.

                      11. Cheer on a Local Sports Team.

                      Cheer on a Team

                        Check to see if you have a minor league sports team in your area. Fans are fiercely loyal and you can get caught up in the energy and excitement. Minor league baseball tickets for instance, are inexpensive so you can splurge on a beer. Another option is cheering on your local college sports teams. Unless they are in Division I, you’ll probably get to watch for free. Since the games are student centric, concession prices will probably be more reasonable too.

                        12. Visit an Arcade.

                        Video Arcade is a Great Cheap Date Idea

                          Remember the video arcade games you loved as a kid? What about air hockey, skeeball, and miniature bowling? Find a local arcade house, buy a round of tokens for $10-$20 and make a date of playing your old favorites and new classics. Many have discount days so you save even more. Some even have on site restaurants where you can enjoy a beer or a glass of wine while you play. Larger chain arcades like Dave and Busters tend to be a little more expensive, but they offer discounts too which makes it a great option for cheap date ideas.

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                          13. Pick Your Own.

                          Apple Picking

                            Have a date at a pick your own fruit and vegetable farm and you’ll enjoy fresh air, beautiful scenery, and prices that are better than at your local supermarket. Best of all, because you pick it, you know it’s fresh. Bring it home and whip up something delicious using a technique you learned during your free cooking class date and enjoy with a glass of wine you purchased on your date at the winery.

                            14. Take a Leisurely Ride in a Pedal Boat.

                            Pedal Boat

                              Find a local park with a lake and take a pedal boat ride if it is available. It’s a tiny slice of romantic when done on a beautiful day.

                              15. Dance Like No One is Watching.

                              Dance Class

                                You might not go to the club, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for dancing. Classes like tango, ballroom, even hip hop, can be intimate experiences where knowing your partner will enable you to truly enjoy it. You may find free or low cost dance lessons in your local community events section. Sites like Groupon and Living Social are also a great way to obtain low cost dance lessons. So set a date and take a spin on the dance floor.

                                16. Bring Out Your Inner Artist.

                                Bring Out Your Inner Artist

                                  Bring out your inner artist and have a few laughs. All this cheap date requires is a visit to the dollar store to purchase two drawing pads and some colored pencils. Go to your favorite hang out, find a spot to set up and get to sketching. Maybe you’ll draw each other. Stick figures are acceptable. In the mood to be a little messy? Get some fingerpaints. Enjoy great conversation and have a few laughs. Even if your sketches aren’t great, put them away to find another day. You’ll have fun reliving it when you do,

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                                  17. Linger Over a Cup of Coffee.

                                  Coffee Date

                                    While on the run you may grab a cup of joe from your favorite coffee shop, but how often do you do it with your partner? How often do you sit, relax, talk and linger over that cup? Maybe it’s time you did. Add a pastry, find a comfy chair and just soak it in. Find one that offers live music or poetry slams for an additional perk. Get it? “Coffee?” “Perk?” Anyway…

                                    18. Go Tubing.

                                    River Tubing

                                      Tubing is great because it’s a multi-seasonal cheap date idea, especially if you have your own tubes. In the warmer months find a river, pack a floating cooler and have a lazy day on the water. In the winter find your favorite hilly park and race down the hills for hours, followed by a hot cocoa.

                                      19. Visit a Museum.

                                      Visit a Museum

                                        Many people forget about this tried and true classic. There’s something peaceful and meditative about sitting in front of a piece of art and contemplating its beauty and uniqueness. It’s also a fun and economical date because depending on your location there are so many types to choose from. How about a museum devoted to cars, stamps, hair, dolls, canal boats, different cultures and countless other topics? Exploring them means a lof of potentially affordable dates.

                                        20. Check Your Local Calendar of Events.

                                        Calendar of Events

                                          The local community events calendar is probably one of the most underutilized resources available for free and low cost things to do. Everything from free swim, to tasting events, concerts in the park, historic home tours, parades and more can be found. The variety will keep you in unique dates all year long.

                                          These are some of my favorite cheap date ideas. What about you? Let me know below..

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                                          Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                                          The Definitive Guide to Get out of Debt Fast (and Forever)

                                          The Definitive Guide to Get out of Debt Fast (and Forever)

                                          Debt can feel crushing, like a weight that is always weighing you down. Looking at those numbers, it can feel as if you’ll never get out from under it. However, if you really want to learn how to get out of debt, it is possible with a great deal of focus and self-control.

                                          Getting out of debt isn’t impossible. Like any big goal, all that it takes is an action plan to identify where you are and creating a plan to zero out your debt.

                                          Identifying All of Your Debts

                                          The first part of paying off your debt is getting a complete picture of what you owe. When you have everything written out in front of you, it makes it much easier to create an action plan. Depending on how much you owe, it might also help you realize it’s not as bad you might have originally thought.

                                          Here’s how you can get started identifying your debts:

                                          1. Own Your Debt

                                          Before you start identifying all of your debts, take a moment to process that you have debt but want to get out of it.

                                          Forgive yourself for any past mistakes, missed payments, or overspending. It might be painful to accept how much debt you have at first, but you must own it.

                                          2. Make a Debt Tracker

                                          It’s astonishing how few people ever created a tracker to understand their total debts. Most likely, it comes from not wanting to accept the guilt of having debt, but, if avoided, it can make it nearly impossible to get out of debt.

                                          Open up a new Google or Microsoft Excel sheet and list out all of your debts. Start with the name of the creditor, interest rates, total balance, loan term length (if any), and the minimum amount due each payment. This will include student loans, credit cards, and any other type of debt owed.

                                          3. Get Your Debt Number

                                          Once you’ve made your debt tracker and taken the other steps, identify your total payoff number. This is crucial, as you will have a starting point and a clear goal that you are trying to achieve.

                                          Prioritizing Your Debts

                                          All debt is not created equal. It’s imperative to understand that there are different types of debt.

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                                          1. Understand Bad and Good Debts

                                          Bad debts are usually paying for things you want instead of always need. While there might be some emergencies that max out your credit cards, often times it’s excessive spending[1].

                                          There are three main types of bad debt:

                                          • Credit Card Debt: The average American household owes over $16,000 in credit card debt!
                                          • Auto Loan Debt: According to CNBC , the average auto loan in the US is $30,032!
                                          • Consumer Loan Debt: Consumer loan debt isn’t as common as credit card and auto loan debt, but it’s still considered bad as interest rates are usually between 10-28%.

                                          Good debt is identified as investments in your future. Here are three common types of good debt:

                                          • Student Loan Debt
                                          • Mortgage Loan
                                          • Business Loans

                                          2. Decide Which Debt to Pay off First

                                          Once you know each type of debt and their interest rates, you can begin to pay off debt quickly.

                                          Focus on paying off bad debt first, regardless of if it is a credit card or auto loan. Start by paying off the loan with the highest interest rate first.

                                          If you have several credit cards with different interest rates, you want to focus on the one with a higher APR. You will actually save more money by eliminating the card with the highest interest rate.

                                          3. Don’t Pay the Minimum Amount

                                          Paying the minimum amount digs you into a hole as interest rates will offset your payment. Even a small amount more than the minimum can help you pay off debt much faster.

                                          Removing Obstacles to Pay off Debt Quickly

                                          Creating a debt tracker and prioritizing a plan is simple, but avoiding temptation can be difficult.

                                          1. Set a Reminder to Track Your Debt

                                          “If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.” -Peter Drucker

                                          It’s so important to track your debt to ensure that you get it paid off quickly. Similar to working out and measuring your results, you need to track your debt constantly. Start with a weekly reminder, where you sign on and log your updated number. Did you increase, decrease, or stay the same?

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                                          Regularly tracking your student loan balance can be incredibly motivating, as well. You will get a huge confidence boost each time you see your total debt amount decreases.

                                          Set weekly and monthly goals so you can have short term wins and keep the momentum going.

                                          2. Hide Your Credit Cards

                                          If your biggest debt is credit cards, you need to eliminate temptation and remove them from your wallet.

                                          Some people have gone to extreme measures by freezing their credit cards. Why? This would create an ice block around your card, which would require you to chip away at it slowly. This will give you time to think if it’s the best idea to buy that thing you’re about to buy.

                                          3. Automate Everything

                                          Willpower can be a huge downfall to paying off your debt. By automating your bills each month, you will ensure that willpower isn’t involved.

                                          4. Plan Ahead

                                          Getting out of debt will require some sacrifices, but with enough planning, you can make it work.

                                          For example, if you know that you have a friend’s birthday or family dinner coming up, plan ahead for the costs. Whether you need to cut back on spending the week before, pick up a side job, or meet them after dinner, do what is needed.

                                          5. Live Cheaply

                                          The only way to get out of debt is to make some sacrifices on your spending habits. Find ways to save money each month so you can apply that amount to your outstanding debts. Here are some ways to save money each month:

                                          • Live with roommates
                                          • Cook dinners and prepare lunches for work instead of eating out
                                          • Cut cable and choose Netflix or Amazon Prime
                                          • Take public transit or bike to work

                                          Finding the Lowest Interest Rates

                                          The higher your interest rates, the harder (and longer) it will take you to pay off any debt.

                                          If possible, you want to find ways to lower your interest rates to help get out of debt quickly. Here’s how you can get started:

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                                          1. Maintain a High Credit Score

                                          Your credit score will have a large impact on your ability to refinance your loans and receive a lower interest rate. If you have a low credit score, it’s unlikely you will be able to refinance your loans. Use these credit tips to increase and maintain an excellent score:

                                          • Never miss a payment
                                          • Don’t exceed 30% of your credit limit
                                          • Don’t sign up for more than one card at once
                                          • Limit hard inquires, like auto-loans and new credit cards
                                          • Monitor frequently with free credit-tracking software

                                          2. Find Balance Transfer Offers

                                          Start by opening a free account on credit.com. Credit.com offers you the chance to open a free account and see what type of balance transfer offers you can receive. Some of your existing credit cards might already have 0% or lower APR balance transfer offers available.

                                          Contact each of your credit card providers to ask about lowering your rate for a one-time balance transfer offer[2].

                                          If you do take advantage of this option, make sure that you use a balance transfer and not a cash advance. Cash advances have a ton of high interest fees (15-25%, depending on your credit card) and will only compound your debt problem.

                                          How to Get Rid of Debt Forever

                                          Setting up a plan, removing temptations, and getting the lowest interest rates is the first step to get out of debt.

                                          1. Keep Monitoring and Adjusting

                                          Once you have a plan, don’t get comfortable. Track your debt payoff plan and make the necessary adjustments when needed.

                                          Monitor your credit scores with a free site like CreditKarma. The higher your credit score climbs, the more likely you will be to secure a new, lower-interest loan.

                                          2. Earn More Money

                                          There are only so many ways to save money. Instead of clipping another coupon or making sacrifices for your morning coffee, find ways to earn more money!

                                          Think about it…it is much easier to find ways to earn an extra $1,000 per month than find $1,000 to cut from your budget.

                                          Here are some examples of ways to earn more money:

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                                          Talk to Your Boss

                                          Have a conversation with your boss about current salary and/or commission rates. If you’re not satisfied or want a change, don’t be afraid to look around at other positions. Some of them might even have a student loan debt reimbursement plan!

                                          Start a Side Hustle

                                          This could be coaching students on the weekends, driving for Uber, or taking paid online surveys. There are tons of ways to make money outside your 9-5. Now that you have a clear plan to pay off your debts, you’ll be more motivated than ever to figure out creative new ways to earn money.

                                          Build an Online Business

                                          There are so many websites and blogs that earn money from ads, affiliates, and other online products. Find your niche and get started.

                                          3. Celebrate Your Wins

                                          As you progress in your debt payoff journey, don’t forget to celebrate your wins. You need to always reward yourself for the hard work and discipline that is required to get out of debt.

                                          While you shouldn’t celebrate so big that it increases debt, make sure to factor in little rewards to keep you motivated.

                                          4. Set New Financial Goals

                                          Eventually, with a plan and these steps, you can rid yourself of your debt. Once you do, make sure to celebrate your monumental achievement, but don’t stop there.

                                          Now, you can focus on acquiring wealth and increasing your net worth. Set new financial goals so you have a new target to aim toward. Here’s how to set financial goals and actually meet them.

                                          These could be anything now that you are debt free! Think about where you want to travel, buying your first home, or saving for your future retirement. Just like before, make sure that your goals are specific, measurable, and achievable.

                                          Conclusion

                                          Congrats, you can now set a plan in motion to finally pay off your debt quickly (and hopefully forever)!

                                          Remember, if you want to get out of debt quickly, it’s not always easy. Just like any big goal, there will be sacrifices, challenges, and problems to overcome.

                                          More Tips on Getting out of Debt

                                          Featured photo credit: Pepi Stojanovski via unsplash.com

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