Dating On A Budget: Keeping Your Mate Interested Year Round – PART 1


Here’s a shocker; the number one reason for divorce in America is money. Other reasons sited have been infidelity, poor communication, change in priorities, sexual issues, failed expectations of their spouse, and many others. However, quite frankly, it’s saddening that men and women can’t seem to coexist under the same household without monetary conflicts. The solution to this problem is to date on a budget. Talking about your finances early in the relationship widely opens the communication door, because most are uncomfortable talking about money with someone they intimately like. Furthermore, if you practice frugal dating techniques, you will build habits that become second nature as the relationship matures. So, as your bank account grows, you’ll both be less likely to spend excessively. To get you started, here are a few tips for interesting dates on a tight budget.

Take It Easy

This is by far one of the most important rules for all ballers on a budget, regardless of the social surroundings. However, it’s even more important when dating. Be yourself and don’t go into every date hoping or expecting to find your soul mate. It’s much easier to relax and have fun.

Set A Regular Laundry Night

Let me first mention that unless you truly trust the person, I don’t suggest washing your loads together. There are many germs that can be passed from person to person in laundry water. This may not be the most cost effective way at first, but you will quickly learn whether or not your mate has an STD after a couple laundry nights. Interestingly, a recent study has shown that when men meet a woman that they want to date intimately, they purchase new underwear. If this is the case, then there should be no need for shame in doing laundry together. Firstly, you can save on laundry soap and water. Secondly, I can imagine a dozen different topics that may come up over the course of a laundry session just based on the clothing being washed. Favorite sports teams, most exotic vacation taken, and best shops for vintage clothing are a few topics that can naturally come up, keeping the date moving forward without thinking or trying too hard.

Garage Sale Scavenger Hunt

Goodwill and garage sale shopping are techniques that ballers on a budget have employed for years, in order to find necessary household gems. However, getting creative and making a scavenger hunt date out of the experience can take your baller status to the next level. Start by creating a list of hunt items. They don’t necessarily have to be items that you need or want. They can (and a few should) be off-the-wall items you would never expect to find. Make sure your date gets a copy of the list and off you go. I suggest planning a route, possibly even checking the paper for garage sales, so that you don’t drive around wasting gas and losing interest. Take some lunch snacks in a cooler so that you don’t spend too much money and don’t purchase anything at the garage sale unless you absolutely need it and know that you can’t find it elsewhere for less. A side note here: this can become the beginning of a business that you and your mate build together.

City Walks

I know there are many that haven’t left the town they grew up in, however, I can’t imagine a place where anyone would know every square inch of a city, much less a more rural location. City attractions change everyday with new roads, museums, novelty shops, etc. And even if you happen to know every square inch of a countryside, your mate most likely does not. Pack a picnic, make sure it’s carried in something the male can put on his back. Drive to your starting location and walk. It’s as simple as that. No need to spend money, no pressure to talk about anything but the scenery. It’s expected that most people think while walking anyway, so conversation shouldn’t be forced at all. You can have a very intimate and informative date while on a city walk. Just remember to wear walking shoes.

There are so many dating on a budget ideas that they can’t fit into the space provided. The main objective to remember is establishing open communication with your mate from the start, regarding your financial situation, and then plan engaging activities based on any limitations. If your date can’t understand your situation, he/she isn’t the one for you.

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Penny Ray

Penny Ray is President and COO of He also writes freelance for multiple online and print publications on the topic of personal finance. In 2010 he was selected as a DealPro.

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  • 4 comments for “Dating On A Budget: Keeping Your Mate Interested Year Round – PART 1

    1. Woody
      November 26, 2009 at 4:47 pm

      this one is my favorite thus far.

    2. Erin Gallagher
      December 3, 2009 at 9:31 am

      Great ideas! There are so many free activities to do in this area that most people never know about; you could easily devote an entire website to Free Things to do in Tally. some info but it’s sadly limited.

    3. SOUR
      December 3, 2009 at 8:53 pm

      Thanks for all the comments/tips Erin… In regards to Tallahassee specific information, we’re trying to keep the advice/tips applicable to anyone regardless of their location so we can’t devote the time to that.

    4. June 23, 2010 at 3:13 pm

      that garage sale scavanger hunt is a sweet idea! id even do that if i was ballin! also i live by NYC and i really should take advantage of city walks! thanks for the great find!

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