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Being a young parent comes with its own set of challenges. There’s the difficulty of adjusting to life as a family and no longer a couple, finding time for each other (read my article about how to find time to be a couple here!), and perhaps most importantly, the financial struggle many young parents face. Put all of those together, and you get this post: budget date ideas for young parents!

if you’ve read my post about how to carve out some time for yourselves as a couple, then hopefully you’ve alredy begun to see some changes in your relationship. But what about dates? Going out on your own and spending some quality time together is SO important as young parents.

So if you’re a bit tight financially, here are 10 great date ideas that are free or close to it. Enjoy!

Related: Find out how to set up a budget to manage your family income here!

1 – Go for a hike

Even if you’re not the outdoorsy type, going for a hike is a great way to spend quality time together. It’s free and super easy – no need to plan ahead! Just put on some sensible shoes and head out the door!

Well… Do plan according to the weather and your destination though. You don’t want to be caught out in the middle of nowhere without water or sunscreen on a hot day!

So, on second thought, do take a couple of minutes to check out where you’re going (will it be mostly wooded and in the shade? Or will it be full sun?) and the weather, and prepare a back-pack with all the necessities for the hike.

Then head out with your man and enjoy!!

2 – Go for a picnic

This is one of my personal favorites. As we struggled financially for years, we hardly ever went out to a restaurant to eat. So a picnic was always my fall-back plan; I love them! Easy and fun budget date idea 😉

Pick your favorite spot, whether it’s by a lake, on the beach or at the top of a hill with a beautiful view, and head there now!

Get your cooler ready with all your favorites: cold drinks, bread, meat, cheese, grapes and more. Grab that blanket to sit down on, and maybe some music if you’re going to be somewhere calm (which you should be!!)

Once you’ve got it all, head out and have fun!

3 – Make a couple’s bucket list

Bucket lists are huge right now. So make one for your couple!

Sit down together, and write down all the things you’d like to do together, like travel to Paris, get a dog or ride the cable cars in San Fransisco. Get crazy; write down all the things you want to do!

Then, for extra credit, write down a time-frame by which you will do those things. It doesn’t have to be immediate (who can just drop everything and fly to Paris?), but setting a time-frame turns them into goals instead of dreams. Just like magic!

So write a “will do by” date next to each item. And make it happen!

4 – Go for a bike ride

Get yours out of the garage or rent a couple. Renting bikes can be super cheap!

Then ride somewhere beautiful. Go the sceenic route you never have time for, stop at all the places you hurry by in your daily life. Ride to the top of a hill and enjoy the view while you catch your breath.

Enjoy the sensation of freedom and childish pleasure when you ride back down the hill. Ride through the fields and explore routes you’ve never gone before.

Have some fun and discover places you never knew existed because you can’t get to them by car!

5 – Go for a swim

Water has a magical calming effect. Feeling stressed out? Go for a swim. Feeling overwhelmed? Go for a swim.

So grab your bathing suites and head out to the pool, the lake, the ocean, whatever you live near.

Spread out your towels to warm in the sun while you enjoy the cool water on your skin, and the feeling of weightlessness of you floating in it. Splash each other and find that childish humour you thought you’d lost or had to leave aside now that you’re parents. Have fun with each other again!

Then, climb back out of the water and wrap yourselves in your warm towels while you enjoy the feeling of the sun drying you off.

6 – Go mini-golfing

Another favorite of mine! There’s just something about mini-golfing that brings back memories of simpler times.

So go out to your favorite mini-golf course if you’re lucky enough to have several close to you, and get your clubs and balls!

Spend a coupls of hours tapping that ball around, and laughing at your man who just can’t seem to get that ball into the hole, not matter how hard he tries. There just seems to be some force-field around it that prevents it from going in! (Or is it yours that can’t get in?)

7 – Make some s’mores

Here’s another great budget date idea. I mean, how much do marshmallows really cost?

So make a fire, in a fireplace inside or go out to a fire pit. Don’t forget to bring all your essentials: chocolate, marshmallows and crackers! Don’t forget the pokers for the marshmallows either, or you’ll regret it!

Get some comfortable chairs and sit down next to each other, enjoying a slow, stress-free moment, watching your marshmallow slowly caramelize and then catch fire while you panic and throw it on the ground.

Ahh… There’s nothing quite like it for reconnecting with your partner!

8 – Make a video

Use your phones for good instead of using them to drive you guys appart. Turn on your camera and film each other doing silly things. Or saying what you love about each other. Or what your hopes for your future together are. Or your funniest memory together.

But film something that you’ll want to watch together later! Create a memory. You could even start a tradition; film something on every anniversary, about what you want to remember of the year that just passed.

Be creative and have fun! You can even edit your video and add some pretty cool effects if you want extra creadit 😉

9 – Make a vision board

Take some time to talk about what you both want in life. What are your common dreams? Is it to travel together? Or buy a house? Or have more children? Find your dream jobs?

Write them down, and then find some pictures that best represent your dreams. Cut them out and stick them to a piece of cardboard or wood, and arrange them in a way that they best remind you of what your vision for your future is.

Then set out your board somewhere where you’ll see it all the time. Best motivation in the world!

10 – Go for a boat ride

If you’re lucky enough to own a boat, what are you still doing here? Otherwise, see if you can rent one, or even borrow a blow-up boat.

Then just go out into the middle of a lake (avoid the middle of the ocean, for obvious reasons…) and just let yourselves float there, enjoying the feeling that you have nothing to do.

Enjoy the other’s presence without talking, or take the time to share your most intimate fears or hopes. No matter how you spend this time, as long as you spend it together and avoid other distractions (no cell phones!!), you’ll grow closer together.

Do it now!

No matter how you spin it, time as a couple is vitally important for young parents, even if you’re a little tight financially! With these easy budget date ideas, you’ve got no more excuses.

So take some time to examine this list, and choose which date you like best! Or even try combining them into a mega date 😉

Then, go out and enjoy some precious time together!!

Don’t forget to let me know what you think!! What are your favorite budget date ideas for young parents?

I’d love to hear, so let me know in the comments!

In the meantime, take care!

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