Relationships can be expensive! So expensive, in fact, that I think some people contemplate if they’re even worth it. For me, I must say they are worth it. I think relationships are so much more important than money. But even with that being true in my mind, that doesn’t mean you must spend blindlessly in a relationship. There are still plenty of ways to cut down on the cost of roses.
Dates don’t have to be expensive. Sometimes they can and should be, but many times a little thought can substitute for a lot of money. For instance, go to a reasonably priced restaurant – that still has a good atmosphere.
Many people think they must take their date to a fantastically expensive restaurant. But what often happens is the date is uncomfortable. Because you both are uncomfortable. Think about it. You’re sitting in a place that is expensive to you. That means you don’t go there often enough to get comfortable. Things on the menu are hard to pronounce. The serving sizes are usually small. Your date and yourself are probably leery of ordering certain items. They look expensive. A waiter is constantly coming around and trying to upsell you on champagne, desserts, etc. The worst part is that you both may go home hungry because the place is so expensive. That’s no fun.
So is the expense necessary? Rarely. Consider going to a cheaper place. Or better yet, cook together at home. While home cooking may not be a good first date idea, doing so later may really cement your relationship. Give it a try.
You can also do dates for places you both would go to anyway. For instance, a football match. If you both love football, you may as well go together. You’d both be there anyway. This way of thinking isn’t the most romantic. But it makes sense. And if you two get married, think of all the money you’ll have saved. You can instead put that money towards a down payment on a home, a family-sized car, a hospital visit for when you have your first child, etc. etc.
I once got a girl an expensive necklace. That was great except she didn’t even like to wear necklaces I later found out. I also remember getting her donut holes once. She was happier to receive a fried box of grease than she was anything from Tiffany’s. Strange.
Besides not overspending on gifts, decide if gifts are even necessary. Sometimes, it’s best to spend time together rather than buy material possessions. Buying gifts is okay, but make sure they are really worth it.
Taking romantic trips usually works out really well! You get to enjoy each other’s company – and it’s cheaper than taking separate trips. You can share a rental car, share a hotel room, etc. etc. So instead of spending on gifts, consider spending on trips. Plus, trips are a great way to get to know someone. They say you never really know someone until you’ve seen them get lost. I can vouch for that.
Do Projects Together
Probably my favorite way to get to know a person is to do a fun project together. Nothing major, mostly fun. It shows how well you work together. It challenges your communication skills. It reveals quite quickly if you two are meant for each other.
Doing projects also saves you money. Here are some fun projects to take on with your man/woman:
- Paint a room together
- Change the oil in one of your cars
- Go clothes shopping together
- Plan out a week’s meal together
- Spec out a car online together – this kind of weird activity will show what you each prioritize. For instance, you may want a ski rack while he wants cooled seats and a sunroof. Do opposites attract?
The best way to save while dating is to get married. Getting married is like having a roommate for life. And we all know life is cheaper with a roommate.
I definitely don’t recommend getting married simply for money. But there are many monetary perks to getting married.
Being married will save you on taxes. Being married means two people can pay a mortgage instead of just one. You can compliment each other’s money weaknesses. Perhaps one loves to comparison shop while the other loves working 12 hour days. One saves, the other earns. That’s a pretty good couple if you ask me.
Some people also get married for things like health care purposes. Or they’re in the military and get paid more if they have a spouse. Those are all pretty sketchy reasons to get married in my book. But financially speaking, marriage is a wise decision. Mainly because governments like their citizens to be in stable relationships. Stable relationships mean a stable economy.
Relationships Don’t Have to Be Expensive
The most important thing is that you enjoy each other’s company. Money is ancillary to that. So do you enjoy their company? If you find yourself focusing on money more than the relationship, you probably don’t. If that’s the case, you may want to find someone else to spend your money on.
Will Lipovsky is a personal finance freelance writer and internet marketer. His most embarrassing moment has been saying to a Microsoft executive, “I’ll just Google it.” You can get in touch with Will at FirstQuarterFinance.com.