It should be no surprise to my fellow college students that I’m broke. We all are. So it’s also no surprise that my boyfriend is too. But sometimes this little fact of life can get in the way of our relationship. It’s hard to have spectacular dates when your electric bill is past due, and you can’t really expect fancy anniversary presents when you’re digging into the couch cushions for gas money.
Sometimes this can get a bit stressful. No one likes the feeling of being in debt, it’s emotional, so naturally when the subject of money comes up in a relationship, it’s bound to start some fights. Matt and I have gotten into plenty and it’s mostly because he gets about 4 times the amount of financial aid that I do. How is it fair that we split things evenly if he’s got more to spend than me? And if he’s got more, why isn’t he offering to do more?
And so the fight begins.
The best thing that I’ve learned from those types of fights is that you should sit down, actually talk about your finances and try to find a balance. For me it was accepting the fact that I just don’t have as much money for Matt, and he agreed to divide up the expenses accordingly. I always hated asking Matt for money and it’s much easier now that we’ve sorted everything out and have an understanding.
As far as the dates go, Matt and I are always finding ways to have fun together without spending a whole lot of money. In fact, we’re going to a museum this weekend because we get in free for being students. As far as cheap dates go, here are a few things we’ve managed to come up with that don’t make us feel like we’re broke as a joke:
-Look into what your city has to offer for students. Always be looking for student discounts. My favorites are student nights at movie theaters and free passes to concerts and museums.
-Do some research into what your town has to offer parks-wise. I love heading to the park on a nice weekend, having a picnic and going kayaking, which together can be as cheap as $10.
-My best friend introduced me to Groupon.com. It’s seriously amazing. They have deals every day that are essentially gift certificates for a discount, but you can only get it if X amount of people buy it. I’ve found everything from $20 for $40 worth of food at local restaurants to $10 massages.
-This where on-campus events can be your friend. Check out cool clubs together, or go to events together. Matt and I always go to this thing at UT called 40 Acres Ffest, which is pretty much a fair that covers the main areas of campus that’s put on by all the student groups and ends with a free concert from some pretty well-known bands. Check out what your school has to offer and take advantage of it all!
With a little understanding of your financial situation and a pinch of research and creativity, it’s totally manageable to not let money affect your relationship. Just don’t be afraid to have the money talk with your significant other; and never be embarrassed to go on a “cheap” date. Sometimes they’re the most fun!
Anybody else have any ideas on the cheap?