Wednesday, May 9, 2007

10 Ways You Can Save Money In a Relationship!

We all know how expensive it can be having a significant other. Birthdays, Valentines, anniversaries, and dates all add up, however they don't have to. I love dinner at a nice restaurant, maybe a bottle of wine, a nice steak......... and then the bill comes and I wince. But I soldier on, whip out the plastic and say "you only live once" (disclaimer: not a sound personal finance strategy).

The other day I lost a friendly bet with my girlfriend, the wager: a cooked meal. The reason I made the bet is because she is an excellent cook and I was convinced I couldn't lose. Well a few nights later after a lengthy trip to the grocery store, I whipped up a pretty decent meal (chef bias). The two things I learned: don't go to the grocery store during rush hour, and COOKING FOOD SAVES MONEY. I realize this isn't exactly a world revelation, most people know this however how much do we eat out anyway? Below are 10 cost-cutting ideas for your relationship:

  1. Cook: Instead of a night out on the town, try offering to whip up a gourmet meal for your partner

  2. One lazy Sunday afternoon drive to a national or state park to enjoy the outdoors together

  3. What % of your paycheck do you try and commit to saving each time? Whatever your goal number is (ie: 10%), talk with your significant other and decide that every paycheck you reach your goal, you guys will put $10, $20, $30 or whatever amount you guys come up with in an envelope. When you have enough, you guys go out for dinner and a movie or whatever you feel like. This way saving becomes like a game, reach your goal and stash away money for a night of fun, don't reach your goal don't add anything to the envelope. Pay your retirement savings first, then use the extra for fun

  4. Check your area for movie theaters that play old films for a heavily discounted price. While we all like to check out the new hot release, you would be surprised at how fun it is to go check out an old flick you've never heard of, and these usually cost only a couple of dollars.

  5. Check out events in your community. Most communities include things such as: school sporting events, town fairs, local performances, etc. These are very low-cost, if not free. CitySearch is a nice way to find some of the happening things in your area.

  6. Try and find a mutual low-cost hobby. This can lead to some quality bonding time, and a nice break for your wallet.

  7. Birthday? Anniversary? Valentine's? Holidays? Rather than purchase some expensive gift, try building something that has meaning to both of you. One example is a photo album with fun memories, you would be surprised at the cost-effective trinkets you can make that will often have more meaning than some material gift.

  8. When was the last time you've been bowling? Maybe high school, middle school even. Try it out, there's a reason why it's been around since the beginning of time - it's fun (try cosmic bowling late at night for a change of pace)

  9. Rent Movies rather than going to the theater. Try Netflix or Blockbuster's new Total Access

  10. Think of other fun, cost effective dates. One of my favorites: miniature golf, maybe even do a little friendly wager, just don't bet on dinner unless you know how to cook.

Other ideas? Please Share

A little off topic, but I can't resist a good retirement article

1 comment:

Learn a Hobby said...

shop by yourself is another way to save money. Thanks @Invest4Life for sharing a great tips.