Has dating become so expensive that you’d rather stay single? Are you finding it hard to impress your significant other (or potential love interest) without spending the big bucks? If you’re struggling to find things to do that are affordable and don’t cut into the romance, check out these top tips.
1. Keep an eye out for free and cheap events
Not every piece of entertainment has to make a dent in your wallet. Many museums and art galleries offer free admission. Wanting something a little lively? Look out for free outdoor gigs like Music in Parks during the summer months. Even your traditional movie date can be done for free if you’re lucky enough to live near one of the many outdoor cinemas that pop up in summer, such as Silo Cinema or Free Openair Cinema.
2. Explore the great outdoors
In case you haven’t noticed, New Zealand is gorgeous. People spend thousands and travel ages to come check out our incredible landscape. We live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, so take advantage of it! Watch the sunset from a local beach, find a quiet walking track or go stargazing from your nearest hilltop. The only costs involved are the petrol or bus fare it takes to get there. Got dogs? Even a casual walk around the block is going to earn brownie points if you’ve got some furry friends to show off.
3. Coupons, coupons, coupons
Okay, maybe you still want to do something a little fancier. Not everyone likes a sweaty hike as a first date. So if all else fails, go hunting for coupons. Apps like Niesh can keep you on top of student discounts. Sites like GrabOne can save you big time on food, drinks and activities, because if you are going to spend some money, you might as well spend as little as possible. Do you have True Rewards? Save even more money by spending your True Rewards dollars at a variety of restaurants and cinemas. Check out the full list of partners here.
4. Go BYO
Even a fairly casual place in Auckland or Wellington can have you spending over $20 before you’ve even looked at the menu. If you’re keen on the restaurant thing, try to find a BYO. It’ll cut down on drink costs and the meals tend to be cheaper. Better yet, skip the restaurants all together. Fish and chips on the beach is a great Kiwi twist on the classic romantic picnic, and it won’t break your budget. But if you really feel like impressing them, try cooking dinner yourself. Not only is it more affordable, but it also shows you’re willing to make an effort.
5. Be honest
Does your date still want to go all out? If you’re stretching your paycheck thin this week and don’t want to spend any money, just say so. Suggest a cheaper option! They’ll surely understand, and there’s a pretty good chance they’ll be in the same boat. There’s no shame in being honest and if they’re cool they’ll respect you for it. Dating is stressful enough as it is without the unnecessary expenses. Anyone who tries to shame you for caring about your cash flow probably isn’t worth the effort.
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