Recession Lesson Numero Uno: A great date isn’t about the amount of money you spend, but rather the thought you put into creating a day or night filled with fun.

A date’s purpose is to get to know someone. And while you don’t want to come off a cheapskate, if the first impression you make is that you’re the kind of chap who thinks with his wallet (among other nefarious things), you have a better chance of finding a suitable mate by clubbing them over the head and dragging them back to your cave.

Exciting, inexpensive outings can happen anywhere, anytime. To prove it, here are eight high-octane adventures in cities that span the nation.

New York City: Samurai Sword Class and Sushi

Wax on. Wax off. And learn some kick-ass street-fighting skills while you’re at it…

Say what you will about commercialism and Valentine’s Day—it’s hard to reject a day that celebrates love in all its squishy glory.

Stop using money as an excuse to check out–who says you have to buy roses at inflated prices, or shell out for an overcrowded restaurant? In fact, sharing V-Day in a way that involves less spending (much, much less…) can be even more special. Start with our nine tips for gifts, meals and activities that will
make your Feb. 14 about connection, consideration and romance, not cash and cliches.

Say it with pictures

Or as PhotoJoJo puts it: “If you love someone, shoot them.” Go out and take portraits of each other, even if it’s with a crappy camera…

Cashing In on Wedding Gifts

by Sara Clemence on January 20, 2010 in Money

In some circles, it’s considered totally ticky-tack to give cash as a wedding gift. Well, times are tight and with people getting married later and later, couples are likely to already own not one but two sets of salad servers.

We expect cash to become more acceptable–and frankly, think it’s far preferable to some of the junk guests call “gifts.”

Deposit a Gift is a new site that seems right on trend…

Heart of Pennies 150Just because you’ve been laid off doesn’t mean you feel good laying off on giving. We’ve come up with a list of thoughtful, unique and inexpensive holiday gifts for every friend and family member.

Significant Other: $25 Experience
It’s more than likely your partner has interests, right? Maybe it’s cooking, maybe it’s fashion. (Maybe it’s something weirder that you really don’t feel like sharing with others.) Anyways, if your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife is curious about anything, consider booking two tickets to the next panel discussion, cooking class or lecture that focuses on their passion. While cooking courses can get expensive, events at a local winery, kitchen store or community center often don’t break the $30 mark…

couple-smiling-sunshineForget the notion that economic worries and stress cause strife within a marriage. Despite what you might think, there are a lot of ways that going through a recession together—and all the anxiety that comes with it—can actually be good for couples.

And no, we’re not just saying this because divorce rates are down—even though they are. The reasons a recession can be good for marriages are a lot more fun than that. After the jump, we’ve put together five of our favorite ways the recession is turning about to be pretty good news for a lot of married couples…

heart-money-150Money is a reliable source of tension in relationships, in both married couples and those not yet in wedded bliss. Karin Mizgala wrote an article in the Canadian Financial Post with suggestions about how couples can ward off money problems. She says:

While talking about money can be often be more difficult and emotionally charged than talking about sex, religion or politics, a simple conversation about money can save you a lot of tension and resentments throughout married life.

Below, we’ve expanded on Karin’s tips and come up with six steps to ensuring a financially successful union. Are you financially compatible?

1. Each person makes a list of their expenses. This includes regular monthly costs, like rent, groceries and the gym; major purchases you hope to make, say, a new car or flat screen TV; occasional expenses like clothing, restaurants and iced lattes; and a bit of padding for expenses you can’t account for.

man-torso-eating-sugar-150Up until recently, if anyone had bothered to ask about my sex drive (which they never did), I would have said it was normal. I enjoyed sex as much as the next woman. But like many urban professionals, I was often too busy thinking about, say, the implications of some new regulation to give much thought to the sexual impulses that spiraled through my brain each day like dust motes.

Now that I have traded in my dry-cleaned, button-down, inoffensively colored work shirts for a set of neon green pajamas, the dust is gathering attention.

If I’m any example, unemployed girls do it better–or at least they want to do it more. Layoff has sent my libido to frenzied new heights…

man-box-laid-off-150The economy is supposedly in recovery, but layoffs are still prominent in virtually every industry. Many more people than usual can relate to a phenomenon usually restricted to the over-60 set: living with an unemployed spouse.

While being laid off and entering into retirement are far from the same, they both often leave one half of a couple with extra time on their hands, and plenty of pent-up energy that their significant other, coming home after a long day at work, can’t handle.Read: 4 Reasons To Date The Unemployed recently wrote an article that shared a few words of wisdom on how to deal with this situation. Here are a few of their tips, plus some of our own…

hearts-love-150Okay all you lovers out there, so what do you know about dating, living and loving in the recession? Budgets for lavish dates and gifts have shrunk; long-term plans for established relationships have been somewhat downsized; and we’re all perhaps a little more deliberate in our dating than we were in the boom times. Things have changed–not least in the way you appreciate your mate. Below, some of the new realities that have emerged in these tough times:

You don’t need to spend a lot to get a lot. In a guest post, “Funky Brown Chick” Twanna A. Hines wrote about getting laid without laying out too much for it. Try renting porn flicks, buy sex toys, and try mixing it up by getting out of town on the cheap.

There are countless options for romantic dates on a budget…

Dating on a Dime

by YourTango on August 21, 2009 in Lifestyle,Money

heart-money-150Let’s face it: The economy may be improving, but blast that lagging economic indicator—unemployment is around to stay, at least for a little bit. And while you may have plenty of time on your hands, the reality is that, more likely than not, your pockets will be a little bit emptier than desired.

Never fear, necessity is the mother of invention! And there are plenty of ways you can save money on a date (without looking like a cheap skate). Clever, low-cost date ideas will get you out and about in the world with your sweetheart and allow you to get to know each other better than any fancy-schmancy dinner could ever facilitate…