As any man who has ever tried to impress a woman can tell you, a romantic dinner can end up costing you a small fortune. When factoring in valet services, bottles of wine, appetizers, two courses and dessert . . . the bill easily climbs into the triple digits. What’s worse, when you take a date to a fancy restaurant, it’s considered extremely taboo to ask her to stick to tap water rather than bottled. However, there are other ways to avoid racking up a ridiculously high tab. Instead of taking your lady out to dinner, opt for brunch instead. Equally romantic, the prices are less than their nighttime counterparts and many establishments provide complimentary mimosas and Bloody Mary cocktails for a reasonable rate. If it is warmer, sitting outside of an intimate eatery for brunch and people watching together is a viable substitute for the opulent setting that is expected during evenings. A second alternative is to take your date to an entertaining performance like a jazz concert or comedy show; though the two of you might end up eating there, your focus will not be on your plates so, naturally, both she and you will be inclined to order less. Of course, there is always the option of treating your date to a homemade dinner or preparing a picnic; your thoughtfulness and effort will not be wasted.
Another aspect of romance that can dig deep into your pockets is the giving of romantic gifts. Earrings, flowers, perfumes . . . you might find yourself wincing as you leave the jewelry store hundreds of dollars lighter than you entered. While there are, of course, some women that have come to expect their presents to be shiny, most women appreciate another aspect of the gift; the effort and thoughtfulness behind it. It is the spontaneity and not the sparkle of a gift that will wow her, so perhaps consider ideas like surprising your girlfriend or wife with delivered pizza when she and her friends are having a movie night. Consider your strengths and weaknesses when being inventive with gifts. For instance, if you are not a passable chef, there is no need to have her sick to her stomach after tasting your homemade sushi.
A honeymoon or romantic getaway can breathe fresh life into a relationship . . . unless you can’t afford the expenses. When you are spending savings that you cannot afford to be frivolous with, your stress-free vacation can turn become emotionally taxing as the guilt and worry plagues your thoughts. Perhaps you manage to ignore these rational anxieties . . . you probably will return having spent more than you originally intended and experience the financial fears tenfold. The good news is that you can still have your desired romantic holiday without significantly denting your savings. A good place to start is by investigate romantic hot spots that are within driving distance of your home; you don’t have to fly into another hemisphere to identify breathtaking backdrops, refined accommodations and invigorating local cultures. A more romantic, practical alternative to climbing behind the wheel of your car is to catch a train to your chosen locale, as this will provide opportunities to relax, soak in the surrounding countryside and do a little work, thanks to the Internet connection that is complimentary aboard many trains. Additionally, consider traveling during the “shoulder season,” the brief window of time that is sandwiched between the height of a destination’s tourism season (when the prices are significantly higher) and the time in which the weather turns undeniably unpleasant. By readjusting your travel dates by even a week, you can potentially take advantage of significant discounts. Another way to save money when travelling is to be weary of “tourist traps,” which includes restaurants. Just like a restaurant in New York’s Times Square is considerably more expensive than its Brooklyn counterpart, other cities have touristy areas in which prices are ballooned to take advantage of visitors’ ignorance. The solution is, therefore, to not be ignorant. Do your research prior to your travels and ask locals for advice, not the hotel concierge.
By not dropping outrageous amounts of money on dates, presents and vacations, you are preventing resentment and added stress, which ultimately helps to keep romance alive!
When Corey Lommer graduated with a his degree in Communications degree in 2009, finding a job didn’t come easily. Though he now is happily works in social media, the time he spent unemployed instilled within him the value of selective spending. He enjoys researching and writing about topics like which investments are reliable, how to maximize your savings, and ways to spend less without sacrificing quality of life.
photo by battled_void