Money and Relationships: How to Save the “Spark” While Saving Money

Averi Amsterdam, Contributing Writer

Being in a relationship comes with a cute story of how you met, lots of pictures, happy memories, fun dates, and surprise gifts. You get to meet all of your significant other’s friends and family members, and you’re constantly learning new things about one another. Dates and adventures occur often in the beginning but then reality hits, and you both realize that money doesn’t grow on trees. All of those fun nights out turn into sitting on the couch thinking about what you can do that requires no money. Slowly, and unfortunately, you eventually see the spark that started the relationship begin to fade. The good news is that doesn’t have to happen. Just because you never found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, or cashed in a winning lottery ticket, doesn’t mean your relationship has to suffer because of it.

Have you been missing those fancy restaurants and dressing up for dinner dates? Take a trip to the supermarket, pick up some ingredients (nothing expensive, of course), and cook dinner together. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; it can be as simple as some pasta and chicken. Sure, it’s a lot more work actually having to make dinner for yourselves instead of having a waiter bring it out to you, but it’s a lot less expensive, it’s a lot more fun, and you will make some funny memories about that time you tried to cook dinner.

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Do you miss going to the movies? Your campus and local library both have a great selection of movies that you can take out for free! So, they aren’t the ones that are currently playing in theaters, but the library keeps their selection up to date with all the new DVD releases. Netflix has a nice selection as well. Pop some popcorn, grab a blanket, and enjoy your movie (in seats much more comfortable than the ones in a movie theater).

Do you miss fun adventures? Who says you need money for that? There are plenty of parks, natural springs, beaches, and hiking trails that don’t cost anything! Pack up a picnic  and get your walking shoes on! Explore all the great sights that Mother Nature provides to us for free. Is it the middle of winter? Bundle up, put snow boots on, and pretend to be a kid again playing in the snow. It may sound silly, but acting like a child again always guarantees plenty of laughs. Go inside and make some hot chocolate to warm up after your day outside!

Are you missing double dates with your friends? Invite them over and have everyone contribute to pick up some chips and dip. Pull out those board games you probably haven’t seen since you were a kid, and have a game night. A little friendly competition never hurt anyone!

Contrary to popular belief, money isn’t everything, and it definitely does not need to affect your relationship. All it takes is an open mind and thinking outside of the box to keep making those fun memories without spending much (if any) money.

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