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Cheap date ideas: blossoming on a budget

Discover how you can share magical moments together with cheap date ideas that don’t break the bank.

March 2021 – 5 minute read

Key takeaways from this article:

  • Cheap date ideas
  • At home date night ideas
  • How to budget for dates


free date ideas

Dating can be fun, tough, emotional, exhausting and exciting all at the same time. If you’re on the apps or meeting people in person, the financial (and emotional) cost of dating can add up very quickly. In a perfect world it would be great to splash the cash on every date in an effort to impress. However when push comes to shove this can become very expensive. Look past expensive dinners and over-the-top experiences. Instead there are a plethora of fun and romantic date ideas that don’t break the bank.

Date night ideas

There are lots of good date ideas that you can do on the cheap. From enjoying a picnic to sharing a board game, we’ve got ideas for your next date.

Out & about dates

Just because you’re after a cheap date idea, doesn’t mean you can’t still go out! If you’re still after drinks, then arrange to go to a pub or fun bar during their happy hour. You’ll save cash on drinks while enjoying each other’s company. There’s also the option for activities on your date. Bowl a strike at a bowling alley or get a hole in one at mini golf mid-week. Do your research and avoid the typical high-cost and crowded venues.

At home date night ideas

Who says you have to go out? Chances are you probably have things at home that you can you use as your next date activity. Blow the dust off an old board game or spend $30 dollars (still cheaper than 2 cocktails) at your local games shop. Games are a great way to socialise and talk while taking some of the pressure off driving conversation. The same goes for a movie at home. Get the value out of all the streaming services you pay for and watch a film together. Just don’t forget the popcorn! Other ideas include doing a puzzle together, cooking a delicious meal, starting a low key book club or crafting something out of nothing. The options are endless!

Free date ideas

You’d be surprised at how many activities you can do in your city free of charge. Take a trip to a museum or art gallery, as many normally have free admission. Spark a conversation about an artwork and impress your partner. After the gallery, go window shopping or don your swimmers for a beach date. You could even watch the sunset and then stargaze the constellations.

Cheap double dates ideas

Grab a friend and their partner and mix things up on your next date night. The more the merrier! A double date is perfect for a trivia team at your local pub. These nights are normally free and can be a lot of fun. You might even learn something new about your partner. Take a road trip to the great outdoors and go bushwalking. Everyone can pitch in for petrol and your friends will love escaping the city and getting back to nature. Other double date ideas include going to local markets, going to a comedy night or hosting a backyard BBQ. Round up your friends and live it up!

Budgeting for dates

Dating and going on dates is undoubtedly expensive. It’s very easy to go overboard and it can be disheartening if things don’t work out after spending lots of money on a date.

A good tip is to set a monthly dating budget. (PDF 718KB) Work out how much you can afford to spend each month on dates and once you hit that amount, wait until next month for another date. This is mainly applicable to first dates and exploring the dating scene. It can be hard to set limits especially if you’re getting to know someone on the 2nd, 5th or 10th date. If you’re going on multiple dates with someone within the month or week, then take a leaf out of our book and explore cheap date options.

In the end, if the person you’re dating is the one for you, then it doesn’t matter what the date is. You’ll have fun in each other’s company no matter what you do and how much you spend.

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Things you should know

This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness for the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

© Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714.