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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 June 1, 2020

                                          How to Pay off Debt Fast Using the Stack Method (A Step-By-Step Guide)

                                          How to Pay off Debt Fast Using the Stack Method (A Step-By-Step Guide)

                                          Whether it’s consumer debt on credit cards, student loans[1], or a mortgage, most people find themselves weighed down by debt at some point in their lives. This can keep us working jobs we hate just to pay the bills and keep our heads above water. By learning how to pay off debt fast, you can release this burden and remove some of the stress from your life.

                                          The Stack Method is one way to do this. Once you understand it, you too can learn how to pay off debt fast.

                                          What Is the Stack Method?

                                          The Stack Method, often referred to as “debt stacking,” requires making a list of all your sources of debt, starting with the debts that incur the highest interest. Then, you make the minimum payments for each source of debt, but when any extra money comes your way, you throw it at the debt at the top of the list. This way, you eliminate the debts with the most interest first, dropping extra costs to a manageable level in a fairly short amount of time.

                                          To get started with the Stack Method, go through these steps and overcome those mountains of debt today.

                                          1. Stop Creating New Debt

                                          Most people do not receive training in handling money and how to live within their means. If you’re in debt, then you’re probably one of these people, and it’s time to bite the reality bullet.

                                          It’s going to be impossible to get out of debt unless you retrain your financial habits right now.

                                          You must make a stand against all the marketers trying to take your hard earned money or offering easy finance. You don’t need more stuff to make you happy. What you need is financial peace of mind.

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                                          So cut up your credit cards or freeze them. I mean this literally. Put them in a container of water and stash them in your freezer. Then, when there’s an opportunity to spend, you have time to thaw out (you and the credit cards) and really decide if you need that purchase.

                                          2. Rank Your Debt by Interest Rate

                                          Make a list of all your debt with amounts and the interest rate. The highest interest rate should be at the top as this is what you’ll pay off first.

                                          Paying off your high interest debt is the key to the Stack Method.

                                          Interest is a powerful weapon, and right now the bank or other financial institutions are using it against you. Interest significantly increases the amount you need to pay back, and often we’re completely unaware of how much that is.

                                          For example, if you have a $10,000 credit card debt at 20% interest where you pay a minimum payment of $200 a month, you will end up taking 9 years and 8 months to pay off the actual amount of $21,680 including $11,680 in interest!

                                          3. Lower Your Interest Rates

                                          You can often lower your credit card interest rates by doing a balance transfer. This means moving your credit card to another bank, where they will lower the interest rate to get your business[2].

                                          Shop around and try to get the lowest interest rate for the longest duration (preferably until it’s paid off completely). Just make sure you’re reading the terms and conditions carefully so you don’t get stung by the new bank in other ways.

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                                          Once you’ve done this, you can order your list of debt again if interest rates have shifted.

                                          4. Create a Strategic Spending Plan

                                          This is where we improve your financial control from Step 1. Take a piece of paper and write down your income after tax and all the expenses that you have. This will include the minimum payments on all your debt.

                                          Look at your expenses, and then rank them in order of importance to you. Look at the items on the bottom of your list and decide whether you’d rather have them or be financially stable. The objective is to create a spending  plan where your expenses are lower than your income.

                                          You also decide how much you are willing to spend on each area of your life. You can allocate amounts for rent, groceries, eating out, buying clothes, and other activities. However, realize that once you’ve spent your allocated money, there’s no dipping into other areas[3].

                                          It also helps to have a “Fun Account” that you can spend on what you like, and an “Emergencies Account” in case your car breaks down or other unfortunate incidents come up.

                                          You also want to include the extra amount you’re going to use to pay off debt in your spending plan.

                                          Can you afford $20 a week? $50? $100? $200 or more? It’s important that you get a realistic number that you can commit to each week without fail, and this is your Stack Repayment.

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                                          5. Create a Payment Schedule

                                          The first part of the Stack Method is to cover the minimum payment on every single debt you have. Any time you miss a payment, you incur fees, and these add up quickly. This also includes making the minimum payment on the debt with the highest interest rate.

                                          Then for the debt with the highest interest rate (your Target Debt), you’re going to add the Stack Repayment from your strategic spending plan. You apply this Stack Repayment and the minimum payment until that debt is paid off in full.

                                          As your official minimum payment decreases, you add that extra amount to your Stack Repayment. So, as your minimum repayment drops, your Stack Repayment increases equally. This will compound how fast you pay off the Target Debt by adding even more to the payments you’re making.

                                          6. Reward Your Progress

                                          You want to track your Target Debt so you can see your progress along the way. You can also decide on milestones that you’re going to celebrate and reward yourself for.

                                          A reward doesn’t have to cost money, but if it does then it comes from your previously allocated spending plan.

                                          This is an important step as it will keep your motivation going when you feel your willpower fading.

                                          Just like you’ve trained yourself to brush your teeth and shower, you can train yourself to manage your money. Feel great that you’re now entering the 10-20% of people who are actually responsible with money.

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                                          7. Compound Your Results

                                          Once you pay off your Target Debt, have a huge celebration and congratulate yourself. Then, you move the Stack Repayment (which includes the previous minimum payment now) to the next debt with the highest interest rate.

                                          This becomes the new Target Debt, and you are using your Stack Repayment amount plus the minimum payment for the new debt.

                                          This is why the Stack Method is so powerful. As you decrease a debt, you actually increase your Stack Repayment amount. This means the second debt will get paid off even faster, the third even faster than that, and so on and so on until you are completely debt free.

                                          8. Be Kind to Yourself

                                          During this process, your resolve is going to be tested multiple times. Maybe you’ll have an emergency like your car breaking down or the need to travel for a sick relative. The important thing is to not throw up your hands in despair and slipping back into your old habits.

                                          Life will test your commitment to your new responsible money attitude, and it’s up to you how you respond. When things go wrong (and I guarantee they will), you need to shrug it off and get back on track.

                                          Show compassion when you accidentally go over your target spending amount and decide to do better next week.

                                          The Bottom Line

                                          The Stack Method is a powerful tool, but it’s up to you whether you use it effectively. If you really want results, then bookmark this article immediately and start working through the steps.

                                          It’s only by the decision you make right now that you will enjoy a debt-free future and live a financially responsible life.

                                          More Tips on How to Pay off Debt Fast

                                          Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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