In the dating world, it often feels like the only way to have a good time is to buy one. For many of us, though, the idea of spending a lot can’t be backed up with our bank accounts. Fortunately, there’s a way around this obstacle. The solution is to trick the spending part of your brain into feeling like you’ve spent a lot of money when you actually haven’t. This is important when you have a spouse (like mine) who cringes at the thought of unnecessary spending. The following ideas have allowed both of us to have fun on “spending” dates without breaking the bank. We give you: Date Night Ideas For Spenders.
Idea 1: Spending Time and Money on Yourself
One way to feel like I’ve spent a lot of money, without actually having to, is to go to the “Almighty Dollar Store” (why aren’t they called that in the first place?). In this realm of low price madness, a person can walk out with a lot of items and a padded wallet. The question (and premise of the date) is: Who can get the most items without spending over a set limit? On our way to the store, my wife and I decide what the limit will be for each of us.
It usually ends up between $15 and $30, depending on how many house chores I did that day. Once we get to the store, we each grab a cart, stare each other down for a second, and then set off. While I could follow my wife around and see what she’s doing, it’s more fun if we split up and try to hide our carts from each other.
When one of us is ready, we send a text to the other and wait for them near the check-out stand. At this point, all buying stops, and no more items can be added to a cart. Since I’m a gentleman, I let her check out before me. Since she’s my wife, she tells me no and wants to see how I did first. We usually count our items as we check out, and by the time she’s finished, we know who won.
If one of us goes over the limit, we lose, so I make sure to include tax when mentally adding up my purchases. The winner gets to go through all the items and keep what they want. The loser has to figure out what they’re going to do with seventeen sea breeze scented candles.
Idea 2: Spending Time and Money on Each Other
This idea is similar to the first, in that we’re going to a store to buy items we probably don’t really need. However, this one swaps quantity for quality and is a different kind of contest. Go to a store and see who can pick out the best gifts for the other person. Like the first idea, there are some rules to follow. One: We can talk about anything other than what we want at the store. Two: No comments can be made when a person picks an item out for the other. Three: Once an item is chosen it can’t be put back.
The goal is twofold; it allows us to spend time together while also forcing us to think about the needs and wants of the other person. Saving the discussion about the items until after we’ve left the store ensures that we talk the entire way home—and usually longer. By the end of the night, I feel good knowing that I’ve spent a good amount of time, and at least some money, on my wife—as she did for me. It’s a very good feeling indeed.
Idea 3: Spending Money and Time on Others
While spending time and money on each other is fun, spending it on people we don’t know really ramps up the joy factor. This is because when someone doesn’t know us, they don’t expect anything from us. When we see their looks go from confused to surprised and ultimately to joy, we know it’s sincere.
The night usually goes something like this: My wife and I leave around dinnertime and begin checking out local drive-thru places (In a non-creepy way). When we find one that looks busy, we get in the drive-thru line and hope that someone gets in line behind us. At the window, we pay for our order and ask to pay for the one behind us. We then collect our order (Usually a small one for convenience) and take off like we robbed the place.
If possible, we try to get a glimpse of the person we paid for. Seeing their smile makes our night, and we head off to do the same thing at another drive-thru. We pay for meals until we’ve either hit our spending limit or notice an increase of police presence.
This idea allows us to spend plenty of time talking about our life, and bring joy to other peoples’.
We’re usually pretty full by the end of the night, as we always order at least one thing at each drive-thru. If it’s a place where we don’t see anything we like or want, we order something to take home to the kids—they’ll eat anything.
We hope these allow you to spend more time together, and a little of your hard-earned money on each other. And maybe, a few random strangers. Remember, time and money are always well spent on the right people and causes.