Love is... not hav­ing to spend money

Money can’t buy you love and you don’t need to spend much on ro­mance once you’ve found the love of your life, says.

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE -

Valen­tine’s Day might have been and gone, but ro­mance goes on for­ever. But the art of ro­mance may be slowly dy­ing be­cause peo­ple can’t af­ford it.

So this year I’m on a mis­sion to rein­vig­o­rate my love life with some­thing that many peo­ple would con­sider a bit cheap: Free Dat­ing.

Sound a bit counter in­tu­itive? Bear with me. Free Dat­ing takes a big help­ing of ro­mance and mixes in a dol­lop of cre­ativ­ity and a splash of good ol’ fash­ioned Kiwi in­ge­nu­ity to cre­ate a fun and mem­o­rable dat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Not only does it keep your love life ex­cit­ing and fresh, it also keeps your bank bal­ance smil­ing.

This one’s for the out­doorsy types among us. While the weather’s still warm, get out­side. Go on a hike and be­come one with Mother Na­ture, or head to the park with a pic­nic and a good book. Make your visit to the beach a bit more in­vig­o­rat­ing than sim­ply ven­tur­ing into the wa­ter up to your knees, by pack­ing buck­ets and spades and hav­ing a sand­cas­tle com­pe­ti­tion with your bet­ter half.

If your dat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence nor­mally re­volves around food, swap out an ex­pen­sive din­ner date with some clas­sic DIY in your own kitchen. Play MasterChef with what­ever’s in your fridge; the win­ner gets to eat the leftovers to­mor­row. Cook a pro­gres­sive meal (con­sider rop­ing the neigh­bours in!) where you each pre­pare a course, or in­vent your own dessert and forego mains com­pletely.

Movies are a clas­sic go-to date idea, but at roughly $20 a pop (not in­clud­ing pop­corn) they can be hard on your wal­let. Hark back to your child­hood and build a blan­ket fort, then while you’re curled up snug as a bug un­der a rug em­bark on a movie marathon.

If you’re more of a com­pet­i­tive soul, or­gan­ise a games night and ac­tu­ally fin­ish a whole game of Monopoly, or in­vent your own like Non­sense Scrab­ble where you make up words and have to cre­ate def­i­ni­tions for them. Con­struct a wa­ter slide in your back­yard and race down it, or make kites and see who can get theirs higher.

Free dat­ing isn’t limited to the in­doors. Dress in your Sun­day best and visit ex­pen­sive open homes in neigh­bour­hoods you’d love to live in (there’s noth­ing wrong with dream­ing, right?). Many com­mu­ni­ties of­fer a range of free events like con­certs, movies and mar­kets too; keep an eye out on Neigh­bourly for any free things hap­pen­ing near your place.

The best thing about Free Dat­ing? It’s not limited to ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ships. In fact, any­one with friends is wel­come to take the Free Dat­ing con­cept and turn it into Free Friend­ship, be­cause even if you’re try­ing to be fi­nan­cially-savvy this year, you don’t have to miss out on hav­ing fun.

123RF

Get­ting back to na­ture doesn’t cost the earth.

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