Creative Date Night Ideas on a Budget

A picture of Becky with her now husband when they started dating (Creative Date Night Ideas on a Budget Becky Gonzalez Contributor Miami Mom Collective)
A very young Marcos and Becky, who had recently started dating circa October 1992.

When was the last time you had a “date night”? If it’s been a hot minute, have finances been to blame? Dating each other was how my husband and I learned that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together in marriage. It stands to reason that dating should play some sort of role as we continue our journey as a married couple. Contrary to what some may believe, date night doesn’t have to be this expensive undertaking in order to be meaningful. It’s important for couples to have creative date night ideas on a budget, because prioritizing regular date nights shouldn’t be dependent on a particular financial status.

“The best thing in life to hold onto is each other.” Audrey Hepburn

Why should we schedule date nights?

Before we can make date nights a priority, we should establish why we’d bother spending regular, focused time together in the first place.

Date nights are important because:

  • there are fewer opportunities to take each other for granted.
  • maintaining closeness and open communication is less challenging.
  • they provide opportunities for intentional relationship work.

Recently, a dear friend shared with me that life with her husband would feel more like a business transaction if they didn’t have regular date nights. And I agree with her, because at least in my life, business transactions haven’t really helped foster much relational intimacy and togetherness.

As a married couple, date nights should be added to our calendars on a weekly/monthly basis.

Date nights should also be a line item in our weekly/monthly budget. 

What if we don’t have time?

Let’s face it: if we’re not careful, our lives can become overwhelmingly filled to capacity with activities, events, and demands. That can leave little to no room to squeeze intentional one-on-one time with a spouse.

According to this Huffington Post article, a good way to fit in regular dates together when schedules are tight is to combine common interests. If you both like to cook, prepare a meal together. Couples that are both into health and fitness can go for a jog or play tennis together.

Regardless of how busy and demanding our lives are, scheduling regular date nights is going to require intention. It’s going to take purposeful planning. We’ll need to say no to some things so that we can say yes to each other as a married couple in this very important way.

A couple holding hands and going for a walk (Creative Date Night Ideas on a Budget Becky Gonzalez Contributor Miami Mom Collective)
Photo by Taylor Simpson on Unsplash.

What if we don’t have much money?

I’ve got great news for you: you don’t need a lot of money to have regular date nights.

My husband and I have had our fair share of tight budget seasons. The babysitter expense alone can be a huge date night deterrent. If you’re looking for some creative date night ideas on a budget, here are a few to get those creative juices flowing, in no particular order:

  • go on walks or bike rides
  • backyard/living room picnic after kids are in bed
  • go out for coffee or dessert instead of dinner
  • watch a movie just the two of you after kids are in bed
  • take an evening stroll on the beach
  • explore a new park together
  • grab your favorite drink/snack at Aldi’s, drive to a favorite lake/ocean, and just sit and relax
  • have a pillow fight
  • YouTube dance lessons
  • watch the sunset/moonrise

This is not an exhaustive list by any means. I hope there’s fresh excitement for your next date night. If you are in a tight spot financially, I pray you’ve been encouraged to make spending intentional time together as a couple a priority. 

Most of all, I hope you can see the investment you make in spending one-on-one time together doesn’t require a lot of money. A little intention and creativity can and does go a very long way.

I’d love to hear from you – what are YOUR favorite budget-friendly date night ideas?

Becky and her husband (Creative Date Night Ideas on a Budget Becky Gonzalez Contributor Miami Mom Collective)
Sneaking a lunch date in during daughter’s drama rehearsal, October 2020.

Want to plan a date night in? Check out this post for some more great date night ideas!


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