Don't Date Your Way Into Debt
From Deborah Fowles
Ideas For Fun, Creative Dates That Don't Cost a Lot of Dough
Dating is expensive. If you're single and seeking the company
of the opposite sex, you can kiss a lot of money goodbye before
you find Mr. or Ms. Right. Even after you've tied the knot,
"dating" can help you keep some fun in your relationship, and
you don't have to blow your budget to do it.
Is dinner and a movie your standard date? At $8 a pop for admission,
$4 for a bag of popcorn to share and $6 for two drinks, you're
looking at a minimum of $26 for the movie and $30 and up for
the simplest of dinners. Can you afford to do that week after
week? And do you really want to?
Try being creative. It's true that the best things are free
(or very inexpensive). What's more romantic (and cheaper) than
star gazing? Spread a blanket on the beach, or in a park, or
even in the back yard and watch the night sky.
If the weather's too cool to lie around outdoors, try star-gazing
at the local college observatory. If you're lucky enough to
live in or near a college town, there are plenty of other free
and interesting events like concerts and plays put on by students,
or music laser light shows at the school's planetarium. Check
the college's Web site for a list of events or ask to be put
on a mailing list.
Enjoying the great outdoors together is one of the best ways
to get to know somebody or enjoy the company of someone you
already know. Picnic at a local park. Go hiking, biking, tubing,
canoeing, or kayaking.
Check out your local library for a schedule of special author
book readings or talks. Attend plays performed by a local theater
group. Browse antique shops. Go to local craft fairs or arts
Attend a wine tasting at a local wine store. Browse the exhibits
at the local museum. Tour a local brewery. Take a cooking class
together. Have a karaoke party. Bake together. Plan a scavenger
hunt and invite your friends (or not). Plan a road rally (a
type of scavenger hunt by car). Do volunteer work together.
The list of possibilities is endless. Come up with ways to spend
quality time together without busting your budget, and score
more points with your date than you possibly could with the
standard movie and dinner date or dancing at the local bar.