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Budget date ideas for couples

Romance isn't just about grand gestures that drop major dough. Here are creative ideas for a memorable date night on a budget.

Budget minded girl on her laptop.

Keep the romantic gesture big while keeping the dent to your pocket book small.

Valentine’s Day is creeping up. The date-night idea wheels are already turning for couples - how to show the love in your life who’s #1?

For Valentine’s Day, or any other date-night, it doesn’t have to be all about throwing down the big bucks. With a little creativity, you can keep the romantic gesture big while keeping the dent to your pocket book small – so you can put those funds toward planning for something you really want, together, in the future.

Here’s why

Everyone’s budget looks different, it’s all about your priorities. Maybe you have a little more wiggle room for a spendy night out, maybe you don’t. But choosing a date night on a budget doesn’t have to be just out of necessity. It’s about making smart spending and saving choices on the regular, to have a balance of living today and planning for tomorrow. Creatively saving now might mean you can reach your goals together a bit easier or sooner down the road. Like a down-payment on a home, an engagement ring or wedding, a dream vacation, or a new car.

Here’s your chance to get creative, and excited about your future plans together. Try some inexpensive date ideas to kick-start your Valentine’s Day (or next date-night) plans.

Try this

  1. Capitalize on your city and/or state treasures  
    Live in the city? Wander the mountains or the beach? Either way, look deeper into what’s around you. Maybe there’s a state park or hiking trail to discover. A hidden city view from a rooftop or boardwalk, or a new neighborhood you haven’t explored yet. Bring a picnic, take pics, and savor discovering something new together.

  2. Couple’s cook-off 
    Have another couple you like hanging with? Invite them over for a couple’s cook-off challenge. Mix it up with a theme (burger battle, anyone?). Give an ingredient max requirement, assigned team-names or apron/chef costumes to make it really real (and even more fun, of course).

  3. Volunteer together
    Been meaning to give back this year? Now’s your chance. Choose an organization or charity you’re both passionate about and volunteer your time together. Giving back makes the heart grow fonder.

  4. Art all around
    Find a local play, concert, open-mic or show of some kind that you wouldn’t usually attend and support the local creators. Challenge yourself to find a show that is minimally priced for a ticket. See what fun you find, people you meet, or conversations are initiated with your significant other discussing what you experienced.

  5. Have the “not-so-scary financial talk”
    We know, it may not be the most romantic, but it’s of the utmost importance to align on future goals to work toward together. There’s lots of ways to manage money as a couple and you don’t have to combine all your funds to make it work. Take a night to work out your financial philosophy over a yummy meal at home. It’s all about communication and finding the money management approach that works for you both.

What now?

Particularly when your budget is tight, and even when it’s not, intention behind your date-night plans can help you make progress toward your future goals as a couple. Just remember, the romance of a gesture isn’t about how much money you spend, it’s about the thought that goes into it.

Deciding where you really want to spend that cash and building a plan together can help you make even more progress towards your goals. Also, totally cool to wait and have the “not-so-scary financial talk” until after your date night.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

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