This is a guest post submitted by Jason Hoerr

When couples make the conscious decision to adopt a frugal lifestyle, it can be tempting to eliminate those expensive dates due to the simple fact that a standard night on the town can be quite expensive.  Once you pay a babysitter, eat at a decent restaurant, and enjoy some form of entertainment, the total cost can be well over $100.

  • $50-$75  Babysitter
  • $60  Dinner
  • $20  Movie
  • $110 – $135 TOTAL

Two dates a month can substantially cut into your cash flow and weigh on your ability to save and eliminate debts and bad credit business loans.  However, the good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way!  A little creative thought can go a long way when it comes to romance.  In this article, we will share a few ideas to help you continue to kindle that romantic flame, while preserving your hard-earned cash.

Babysitting Co-op

Childcare is not cheap.  Consider setting up an agreement with close friends or other couples in your neighborhood where you watch each other’s children once or twice a month.  Although it does stick with you with an extra kid or two a few times a month, it frees you up to enjoy a night on the town, knowing that your kids are well taken care of, and you don’t have to pay for it!

Eat In

Instead of spending $60 on a restaurant meal, transform your dining room or backyard into a romantic destination.  You will not have to take out a fast loan to finance this adventure.  After you drop the kids off at the babysitter’s, all you need is music and a candlelit atmosphere to set the tone.  If you’re up for a bit of adventure, you could choose a meal you’ve never prepared and cook it together.  A little teamwork in the kitchen can be fun and whether the meal turns out good or not, it can be a great experience.

Head Out

Head to your favorite part of town and find a restaurant that offers half-off bottles of wine or other drink/appetizer specials.  My wife and I often get a nice $30 bottle of wine for just $15.  An appetizer and bottle of wine runs us about $25.  We grab a table on the outdoor patio, and just relax and talk for a few hours.  All it takes is a little Google searching and a few phone calls, and in no time at all, you will know the specials that all your favorite places, even if they have taken out a bad credit business loan, run on a weekly basis.

Untraditional Movie Locations

If you love movies, here are a few tips:

  1. Use an LCD projector to project a movie onto the back of your house, or tie a white sheet between a few trees.  All you need is a laptop computer, computer speakers, and an LCD projector, and you can transform your backyard into a movie theater.
  2. Find a beautiful picnic area.  Plan the picnic out so that you it gets dark about an hour after you finish eating.  Then, fire up the laptop, and watch a movie under the stars.  Watching a movie under the stars with your significant other can be a lot more enjoyable than the old, boring routine that we all call “the living room” in our homes!

All it takes is a little creative thought and you can find incredible ways to keep that romantic flame burning, while keeping most of your money in your wallet.

4 Comments

  1. retirebyforty Reply

    Great tip about baby sitting co op. We really need to figure something out. We live in a condo and I know there are 3-4 couple with similar age babies. I think once they are a bit older, we’ll definitely get something going.

  2. Financial Success for Young Adults Reply

    As a babysitter I say go out to eat! lol I often babysit a few times a month for friends and I know they enjoy the time away from the kids. But I know that they have already budgeted the time in because they always come home in 4 hrs.

    • @FSYA – That’s a different perspective but great to know! I don’t have kids so there’s no work for a babysitter there, but I’m sure that those who hire you have figured out the expenses ahead of time. Thanks for sharing that thought.

  3. The idea of a co-op sounds really good – you don’t have to pay out the high cost of a baby sitter, and adding one extra kid for the night may not be much more work than taking care of your own kids would be when it’s your turn to babysit. (Spoken by someone who has no kids nor babysitting experience – I’m sure sometimes the neighbor’s kid is more trouble than they’re worth!)

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