Dating on a Budget

Have you ever gone over your monthly budget and realize you are going to have to cut your expenses somewhere and usually that “somewhere” ends up being those categories that fall under “date nights”?  For my husband and I, this seems to happen a lot, especially as our children get older and their involvement in extracurricular activities seems to drain the household budget.

Something my spouse and I enjoy doing is brainstorming about date ideas that are fun and budget-friendly.  A few of our dates have involved star gazing using an app on our phones, writing down topics on slips of paper and taking turns pulling them from a hat and writing poems about them.  After writing the poems we take turns reading them to each other.  Another inexpensive date we enjoy is going to the store and picking out a treat for under $5 and eating it while we snuggle on the couch, watching a movie we rented from the Redbox, after the kids go to bed.

Whitney Hopler, a contributing writer to goes over “8 types of dates you and your spouse can enjoy together for only about $10”:


Adventure Dates: 

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  • Pretend you and your spouse are tourists visiting your hometown and visit tourist attractions you haven’t been to before
  • Go on a shopping adventure and surprise each other with a gift costing no more than $5
  • Attend a free community seminar or workshop together
  • Go exploring on some back roads in your area, going only as far out and back as $10 of gas will take you
  • Visit a home improvement store and plan future home projects together

Out-on-the-town dates: 

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  • Have dinner at home and then go to a fancy restaurant and just order desserts
  • Go to a store that sells greeting cards and choose one to give each other and then put them back
  • Tour homes that are on sale during open house events
  • Go to the public library together
  • Go to places that are significant to your relationship, where good memories were created, and take photos of each other at those places now
  • Eat breakfast in bed
  • Run errands together
  • Visit a museum in your area

At-home dates: 

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  • Watch a movie that you had seen during your first year of dating
  • Play a favorite board game
  • Cook together
  • Watch your wedding video and reminisce about that special day

Outdoor dates: 

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  • Go on a hike
  • Enjoy a campfire or fireplace
  • Stream a movie through a mobile device at an outdoor location
  • Go to a local youth sporting event together
  • Exercise together
  • Go to a local playground and play together like children there
  • Take a walk

Marriage pick-me-up dates: 

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  • Do family history together
  • Go to a place where you can talk privately about the current health of your relationship
  • Volunteer your time to work on a project or help someone in need together
  • Create a “bucket list” of places you would both like to travel
  • Identify people who have helped you as a couple and take time to express your gratitude to them

Romantic dates: 

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  • Have a picnic dinner under the stars
  • Enjoy a spa experience at home, with a romantic bath and massages
  • Take dancing lessons through free online videos
  • Meet your spouse at the door when they return home and offer to grant them three of their romantic wishes
  • People watch others in a hotel lobby
  • Surprise each other with inexpensive objects in a place that will help you communicate a significant message of love

Seasonal special dates: 

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  • Celebrate the arrival of spring by attending a local festival
  • Plant a garden together
  • Go swimming, boating, or fishing
  • Visit a farmers market
  • Pick your own fruit at a local orchard
  • Drive around the neighborhood to see Christmas lights

Unique and unusual dates: 

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  • Have a gold scavenger hunt in your house and sell any gold you no longer need
  • Prepare dinner together using the food you have in your pantry and freezer
  • Test drive a vehicle at a local dealership
  • Visit a local pet store and play with the animals there
  • Plan landscaping for your yard
  • Go to estates sales in your area and look for bargains under $10

Don’t let money get in the way of going on dates with your spouse.  With a little imagination and brainstorming, dating on a budget can be an adventure you can enjoy together.  Take some time to sit down with your spouse and make a list of inexpensive dating ideas together so when money gets tight you can continue to date, worry free!



An Old-Fashioned Marriage


“Don’t forget that very true remark that while face powder may catch a man, baking powder is the stuff to hold him.” (1930s)

There is no shortage of marriage advice in the world. A Google search brings up over 83 million results. An Amazon search pulls up over 36K marriage advice books. Marriage has been around for a very long time so it’s no surprise that couples would go looking for marriage tips and advice. It is great fun to look back in time and read the tips that were considered ideal for making marriage work…. like the tip above!

These books from the 1930s are comical, but honestly have some good advice for today’s marriage. I especially love the last advice on how to be a good husband!


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How to be a Good Wife:

  • Don’t overlook the fact that the average husband likes being made a fuss of. If you do it honestly and don’t gush about it, there is nothing he won’t do for you. Of course, it has got to be genuine.
  • Don’t be one of those wives who demand that their husbands do this or that for them. No man worthy of the name will be “bossed.” On the other hand, don’t be a tame kitten or a doormat, for husbands look down on spineless women. Steer a middle course and your husband will appreciate your wisdom. (Source)

How to be a Good Husband:

  • Don’t be so absorbed in making a living that you have no time to make a life.
  • Do take care not to be led into expenses that you cannot afford in order to keep up appearance. The attempt to do this is only too often accompanied by vulgarity and disastrous consequences.
  • Do take the utmost care always to honour your wife in the presence of children. If they hear you constantly snapping her up or contradicting her, the inevitable result will be that before long they will lose their respect for her and you. (Source)

Lastly, I wanted to share these Marital Rating Scales for the wife and husband. Some of these are so funny and telling of the times!


For a fun little date, sit down with your spouse and fill these out!


Communication in Marriage Part 5

Since communication can often times make it or break it in a marriage, I decided to put together a list of simple tips and ideas that can help improve your communication skills with your spouse.

  • Say what you mean and mean what you say
  • Exchange competition for communication
  • If a disagreement arises,explain what’s bothering you in a non-accusatory manner
  • Express your wants and needs clearly
  • Never respond when you are angry
  • Use more “I” statements and less “You” statements
  • Listen and don’t interrupt when your spouse is talking
  • Don’t bring up the past
  • Empathize with your spouse
  • Watch your tone
  • Avoid mind-reading
  • Express positive feelings


Take time to work on these tips and maybe even add things to your own list. No one is perfect, but we can show our spouse that we care by trying our best to communicate effectively.