Are you thinking of a nice, romantic weekend with a special someone … until you look at the stack of bills you’ll need to pay next month, or your empty wallet?
Have no fear … guest blogger Mark Hooson has four ideas straight from the silver screen to inspire you in planning your next frugal date.
1. Joel and Clementine (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2004)
Though their on-screen romance might have had its ups and downs, Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) knew how to do frugal dating.
The most iconic scene from the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is the one in which the couple takes a trip to a frozen lake for a ‘night-picnic’ and some impromptu ice-skating followed by some star-gazing as Joel proceeds to point out the constellations he knows of to Clementine.
While it isn’t advised to put yourself in danger by going on a frozen lake, Joel and Clementine’s date shows you don’t need to spend a fortune to have a memorable date.
2. Nick and Norah (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, 2007)
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is a story of boy meets girl, boy drives the pair around New York City all night looking for a secret show being put on by their favourite band.
In their search for their favourite band ‘Where’s Fluffy’, Nick (Michael Cera) and Norah (Kat Dennings) spend the night driving from one music venue to another in Nick’s beat-up Yugo.
You might not be lucky enough to live in a bustling metropolis like Manhattan, but most small towns have some sort of music scene with young bands who put on free shows.
Support your local music scene and enjoy a cheap date at the same time by going to a free gig or open-mic night.
3. Tom and Summer (500 Days of Summer, 2009)
There are a few cheap dates to choose from in the quirky rom-com 500 Days of Summer, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tom and Zooey Deschanel as Summer.
One cheap date would be to share an interest of yours with your date. In the movie, Tom (an aspiring architect) takes Summer to a spot in a park where they have a good view of the cityscape so that he can share his knowledge about the buildings. Do the same for your interests, whether its art, music or anything else you can share.
Another cheap and potentially hilarious first date would be a night at a karaoke bar. If you’re the sorts of people who would enjoy that kind of thing, it would be a good ice-breaker and not especially expensive.
4. Bella and Edward (Twilight, 2008)
Though it doesn’t end particularly well, vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson) takes Bella (Kristen Stewart) on a date to play baseball with his family.
If you’re both sporty types then there might be a sport you can enjoy together for a very cheap date. If you’re both into fitness but don’t share a particular interest in one sport you could go for a run together.
If it works in the movies…
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from a lifetime of watching movies, it’s that the best on-screen dates aren’t the ones where the leading man is flashing his credit cards or wads of cash to impress the girl, instead it’s about doing something different, unique, and often cheap.
Take a leaf out of these thrifty couples’ books and enjoy an inexpensive but memorable date.
[Mark Hooson is a financial writer and a film fanatic, who writes on the subjects of money-saving, frugal-living and personal finance (including purchase credit cards)]