If you’re in a relationship, chances are you’re probably saving up for something. Whether it’s a house, a car, or a wedding, we all want to save money for our goals and dreams together.
However, saving is hard. And it’s even harder to save money and still have fun as a couple.
It can often feel like we’ve only got two options when it comes to our financial approach as couples. Either we save up for that house deposit/car/dream vacation and sacrifice our social lives — saying goodbye to dinners, drinks with friends and takeouts — or we live in the moment, enjoy our current social calendars but completely failing to save anything substantial for the big future stuff.
The good news is that, even though it feels unlikely, it is possible to save money and still have fun as a couple in 2020.
Read the article below for four simple ways you can do this, and get yourself off to a good start!
1. Ditch those expensive dates out
Date nights don’t have to be expensive for you to show your partner that you love them, and for you both to have a good time. We frequently get too carried away on date nights with our partners, splashing out on fancy dinners and expensive cocktails, or going to the movies way too much (all those hot dogs and bags of popcorn add up).
Ditching those extravagant date nights is a super easy way to save money. And this doesn’t mean that you have to sit at home, twiddling your thumbs and watching TV instead.
There are plenty of alternative date nights you can plan instead to still have fun as a couple that won’t cost the Earth, either.
Having a board game night, a crafts evening, simple dinner or snuggling in with a movie and popcorn are all great — and cheap — date night options.
And if you want to have a fun date night with a special twist, then trying out a date night box subscription is a great idea. Each themed box contains games, activities, recipes, and playlists to keep your date nights fun and entertaining — and inexpensive too, starting at just $19.99 a month for four to six date night games and activities. That’s less than the admission price to a movie for two!
2. Meal prep together
Making food together is an excellent way to save money and still have fun as a couple.
Think about your normal lunches during the week; you probably try to bring in prepped food when you can, but often time — or laziness — gets in the way. The ease and availability of buying lunch during your working day is tempting too; buying a sandwich or burrito at the store or cafe around the corner can seem like a great idea at the time, but the costs can quickly rack up if you’re doing it most days.
Instead of splurging on lunch out, try meal prepping at home instead. Doing this as a couple can be lots of fun — picking out an exciting recipe, making your dish together, and batch-cooking for the week.
If you’re a couple that loves cooking, then it’s the perfect activity: you get to spend quality time together while trying to make your own versions of your favorite international cuisines with fresh ingredients. Check out these world cuisine recipes from Allrecipes for inspiration on everything from street tacos to Bangladeshi beef curries to Italian sausage stews.
It’s also a much healthier way of eating that buying fast-food lunches; when you’re making your own lunches, you know exactly what you’re putting in it.
3. Plan a staycation instead of flying abroad
We all love going on vacation, and it’s even better as a couple; you get to explore exciting new destinations, try delicious local delicacies and embrace the exotic culture of whatever country you’re in.
However, there’s a price to pay for every fun but expensive vacation you go on. Yes, you might be having a good time this week, but when you look at your bank account next year to see how you’re getting on with saving for your dream house, things are going to turn sour.
Swapping to a staycation can help you avoid racking up expensive vacation costs such as flights, hotels, health insurance, visas, and even international roaming charges.
By cutting your vacation costs, you could be saving thousands of dollars which you can put towards a down payment on a house. Of course, buying a house isn’t cheap, but reducing your outgoings is a strong step toward finally buying your new home.
So this year, plan a vacation in your home state instead; your bank account will thank you. Go “full tourist” and visit the landmarks you never got around to seeing; spend days in parks or beaches where you can have a great time for free. You can even have a camping adventure and save money on a hotel!
4. Swap the car for walking and cycling
We’re all so used to owning cars that we don’t really think about the huge costs that it takes to run one. Fuel, maintenance, taxes, and breakdowns… it all adds up very quickly.
If you want to save a significant amount of money this year as a couple, then reduce the use of your car, even if you can’t get rid of it completely.
If you’re able to, start walking or cycling to your destinations, whether it’s work, a friend’s house, shopping or going to see your parents. Traveling on foot is, of course, free — and you’ll notice the money you save pretty quickly.
Walking places together can be fun too; it gives you the chance to catch up properly, ask about each other’s days, and bond as a couple. When modern life is so stressful and busy — especially when you’re trying to save money — it’s easy to become disconnected as a couple and feel like you don’t get enough meaningful face time.
Walking together gives you a chance to do this while getting some fresh air and free exercise. It’s even been suggested that walking side by side may help with reducing tensions and resolving relationship conflict, according to this article by Psychology Today.
Saving money and having fun as a couple don’t have to be mutually exclusive things. It is possible to do both — just follow the four tips above to get you started, and make 2020 your year!
Laura May is Digital Editor at Just Another Magazine. We write about beauty, fashion, lifestyle, relationships, travel, trends and anything else that matters to you. Name throwing you off? Don’t take it too seriously – we intend to stand out from the crowd.