Gather ’round fellas. It’s time for some quality education. Unlike that algebra class you’ve never put to use (presuming you’re not a mathematician or scientist), this education will be beneficial to you immediately.
You best believe it, guys — you can take a lady friend on great date, and you can do it without breaking the bank.
1. Create a date fund
This sounds really nerdy, but it’s simple wisdom. When you’re dating, or when you’re in a serious, committed relationship and going on occasional dates, you need to add a line item to your personal budget. You can call it “entertainment” or “dates,” but you need to set cash aside.
If you’re trying to impress a lady (or ladies) by sliding the plastic for this, that and an expensive dinner, you’re gonna cripple your financial life. A stressful financial life equates to a relationship red flag. It’ll be much more impressive to a sweet girl that you handle your finances, ya dig? So. Grow up. Man up. Stop spending on something you don’t need, and allocate those funds to your dating budget. Do it every pay period.
2. Use vouchers
Do you live in or near a city? Do you and/or your girl enjoy nice dinners at new places and outside-the-box entertainment options? The Internet is saturated with coupons and vouchers for dinner and date nights on a budget. You should have no problem finding “dinner for two” coupon options.
This also extends beyond the dinner table for the urban dweller. You’ll find discounted shows, exhibits, concerts and special events. These dating opportunities are off the beaten path, and they’re soaked in the budget-friendly barrel.
3. Try daylight dates
Consider a simple example: a mid-morning stroll through the park, followed by a relatively inexpensive brunch. This is a great option for couples who’ve been together for awhile and are burned out on the night life. It should cost no more than $25 – $30.
It’s also a great option if you took advantage of a coupon or voucher on Friday night and want to be respectful enough to state, “I had a great time. Would you want to join me for a hike, followed by brunch tomorrow morning?” You see what happened there? No presumptuous behavior, and you’re still rolling on a budget.
4. Enjoy a little culture
A museum is a great date option. The best thing about museums (aside from world-class art, impressive displays of history and a few WTF exhibits) are the relatively low entry fees.
You’ll have as little or as much time as you desire to enjoy conversation about anything and everything. Museum dates are wonderful at any point in a relationship, but especially in the beginning. You’ll be able to quickly identify whether there’s a nice vibe, or if you feel like you’re fishing for conversation.
5. Go for free
When you develop a skill for putting together great dates that are free, you’re going to score mega points with the ladies. No, this isn’t a suggestion to never spend a dime on your better half. It’s merely suggesting that creativity and ingenuity are assets in any relationship.
Love beer or wine? Consider a brewery or vineyard tour. Love books? Attend a free reading at a bookstore. It’s also fun to reminisce by finding a few of your favorite books from childhood and sharing those. Check out a vintage record store, pore through the albums and share your favorite artists and bands. All of these options should lead to some great conversation.
Different seasons present various options as well. Sledding is always a blast during winter months if you have snow nearby. If you’re near a coast, there’s nothing quite like a great beach date. Toss the Frisbee, soak up some sun and maybe even catch a few waves.
Enjoy free dates from time to time and you’ll be able to allocate more funds to other dating activities.