Dating on a budget

By Bahiyah Shabazz, MBA

Young Couple Sleeping

Young Couple Sleeping (Photo credit:

Just because the economy is stressful doesn’t mean your relationship must be the same. Couples are wondering how to continue courting without taking away from their monthly obligations. Spending time with each other doesn’t have to cost a lot of money; it’s the quality time that is priceless.

The “courting dance” entails two people taking time out of their busy schedule to romance each other through words, gestures and gifts. When you consider courting your mate it’s not difficult to think of ideas especially if you’ve been dating for awhile. If you’re married, you should date more than often. A marriage certificate should not cut out the romance from your relationship.

What if you don’t want to leave the house? That’s perfect because we’re going to give you ideas that will put a spark in your relationship. It’s time for an In-house Date Night…

An attractive dinner setting

An attractive dinner setting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dinner and a movie

For many, dinner and a movie is a standard date. Well, you don’t need to make reservations to a restaurant in order to spend quality time and enjoy a bottle of wine.

Plan an intimate dinner at home and buy a movie. You can create a “$25 plate” with all the trimmings to impress your mate.


Caesar salad

3 oz. Seared salmon

Sautéed spinach

Steamed red potatoes

& Parsley garnish w/ lemon wedges


Strawberries stuffed w/ orange liqueur cream cheese

This plate will give an impression that you’ve worked hard all afternoon.

Set the scene

For those who have a fireplace this is the ideal time to light the wood or ignite the gas.  Place a small table with a white tablecloth in front of the lit fireplace. You can decorate the table with a fresh floral centerpiece and a chilled bottle of wine.

Once the plates are served you will have time to savor the food and enjoy the conversation without feeling rushed. Make sure you don’t discuss the bills, children or work. The topic should be about each other!

After dinner, it’s movie time. Choose a theme that will allow each of you to prolong interaction. The fireplace will already be lit and the wine poured for continued romance.

Don’t forget the gift of giving your love to your mate.

An In-house date night can occur as often as you like customized to what you enjoy. Think of activities that allow you to engage in your relationship. Movies, games, music or quiet time are all inexpensive and enjoyed at your leisure.

Other dates to consider on a budget:

  • Hiking
  • Bowling
  • Picnic
  • Visit a park
  • Board games
  • Movie marathon
  • Create a meal together
  • Miniature golfing
  • Rollerblade/Ice skating
  • Watch the sunset at the beach

The act of dating should always be included in your monthly plans and budget. Just as you nurture yourself you must be willing to nurture your mate…it’s the key to a lasting relationship.

If you’re wondering if a budget date night would work, it will. Every expense you have should include a budget. Whether it’s $150 or $15…it’s a budget. You don’t have to spend a lot of money in order to have a good time. How many times have your reflected on an activity and said, “I paid how much for this”? Exactly.

My husband and I make a conscious effort to have an In-house date night. We don’t allow either one to make an excuse for not participating. Take the time to schedule your date and plan an unforgettable night. Trust me!


“Love yourself enough to support yourself.” Bahiyah Shabazz


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