For anyone who’s ever been in a relationship in their early 20s, you probably know this struggle. It seems like every other couple is doing dinner and a movie every week while you and your significant other Netflix and chill. I just started my first full time job about six months ago while my boyfriend graduated from Stanford this past June.
With both of us saving up for the finer things in life, we’re learning to navigate how to keep our relationship going while maintaining a few zeros in our accounts. Here’s how we’ve done it so far:
- Be Honest. Initially when my boyfriend graduated, after being long distance for a few months, our instinct was to catch up on missed dinners at places we wanted to try. Which is what we did. However, after about a month, we both realized our excursions were getting a costly. So we were honest with each other. Although honesty should be a staple in relationships, it’s important to let your significant other know what you can and can’t do. Everyone will benefit in the long run.
- Simplify. This was the most important aspect of keeping our spark. While we both love sitting in bed and doing absolutely nothing, after a few movie nights, it gets old. It’s easy to get into the habit of not treating each other when you’re on a budget also. Therefore, we brainstormed things that we enjoy that are also free or super cheap. As you can see from the picture above, The Griffith Park Observatory is our favorite place to go. It’s free and you can spend hours day dreaming about the house you’ll buy when your budgeting pays off. Walks discovering new neighborhoods, cooking for each other, and cheap happy hours also do the trick.
- Budget. Where you can spend, do. Where you can spent, don’t. It’s pretty simple. We both have several budgets towards eating out and entertainment. The most successful tactic I’ve used so far is to only eat out on weekends. This is like a staple in the budget community, in which I’ve just instated myself into. I’ve found that I’m only eating out maybe once or twice on weekends because I’ve gotten used to cooking at home. Budget blogs and podcast are also great ways to keep you on track and find new ways to save. I love HisandHerMoney.com because they have videos and podcast where they include tips on money and relationships, it’s a one stop shop.