How To Date on a Student's Budget

Dating on a student's budget might seem stifling and limiting. Of course, the right person for you should want to be with you no matter what. (Eh hem.) But just in case you need to drop a little dough on your special someone, we've got you covered.

Dating On A Student's Budget

So you have an active social life and a date for this upcoming weekend, but you lack the money for a fancy dinner and you have no idea where you can go for a low-cost good time. No sweat. But now what? You don't have much money, and you're fresh out of ideas! Still, you can find a way to take that person on a fantastic or even sophisticated date without emptying your wallet in the process.

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As a student, your college ID card can get you discounts at many places, including museums which may offer free events. Now, museums may sound boring, but there's more to the experience than just looking at paintings or statues. In Washington D.C., you have places like the Smithsonian and the Spy Museum, and many other states have similarly large or themed museums. From technology to sports, you're bound to find something that suits your date's needs, even if it's the local children's museum. Don't knock it till you try it, it's more fun than you might think!

Community Theater

Want to feel ritzy without spending all your money? Look into local college or community theater productions. If your college is putting on any interesting plays, see if you can get in free with your student ID card or at least get a discounted ticket. Small-time theatre productions aren't as expensive as you might think. You can dress nice, go out and catch a show, and come home feeling more highbrow than if you had just rented a movie. Especially if your date's a theatrically inclined person, this can be an impressively sophisticated seeming first date, even though it costs next to nothing.

Discount Movie Theaters

Performing arts not your thing? That's all right, because most places also have local discount movie theaters. From student matinee specials to dollar theaters, you can find places that show movies that have been out for a while for low prices. Finding a good deal on movies is likely to cost you less than $15 even after popcorn and a soda, and it's a very traditional and relaxed date.


It seems like every week there is a new festival going on somewhere. If you can, find a local alternative weekly newspaper to look up local arts and wine festivals, food festivals and music festivals or concerts. Or you could look online. Some festivals might be free, and the rest might not cost very much per person. You can spend a whole day just looking at the wares and events going on. Be careful about the cost of festival food though! It can be unexpectedly expensive, so it's prudent to eat before or after you go.


This is a classic and costs only as much as the food you bring with you. You can tailor it to be something romantic, on the beach or in the mountains. Or you can just as easily have it casually in a local park or on a hiking trail up in the hills somewhere with a view. Pack a basket, grab a blanket and look out for those pesky ants. For a little added activity if conversation falls flat, bring a deck of cards and play a couple games.

Rent a Movie and Order In

This date is especially good for a rainy day. Pick out a movie from Redbox or Netflix, curl up under a warm blanket and order a pizza with your significant other. You can pick an action, romance or comedy, whatever suits your mood. And when you get hungry you can just pick up the phone and order some Chinese or pizza. It's a low-key date, but something that takes no planning ahead and can cost you easily under $15 if you order light.

Trying to cut back costs in college? Take a look at a few hidden college freebies that might be on your campus!

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