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Free date ideas: how to first date if you're broke

They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And even though the world might feel a bit like a citrus mall at this point, your dating life doesn’t need to be. Whether you’re stuck at home or struggling financially, love is still free (at least, the healthy kind!) and so is spending some quality time with that someone you like.

Remember, two’s company. Three’s a crowd. Unless ‘three’ is your laptop. Or your phone. Boot it up, because, with these ­no money date ideas, they’re lifesavers.



It’s a new decade, and money is overrated so here are our top date ideas that don’t cost money:

  • Man's got to eat
    Assuming you’ve got food in to feed yourself every day, make dinner time the perfect opportunity to set up that video call. Whether it’s FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype, set aside an hour to meet the bae you’ve been chatting to. The novelty of the situation is enough to make it one to remember. At the very worst, it’ll be awkward – but you can make your tech glitch excuses and leave: ‘sooooo… you seem to have frozen’. The end.

  • Happy hour
    Maybe it’s too early for your date to see you chow down on your super sloppy nachos. So having a virtual happy hour is an excuse to get all dressed up and avoid the over-preparation (and face splatter) of a virtual dinner. It’s one of those no money date ideas that still manages to keep things classy. Whatever you’re drinking – pour that soda into a flute. Why not set up a little snack board to keep you going? It’s not like they’ll be able to smell your bologna through the screen.

  • Go for a walk
    With your phone, obviously. Plug in your earphones and you’re away. Dating when broke doesn’t mean the two of you are stuck in your sitting room. Take them on a tour of your local area, past all the restaurants you could have gone to in better times. Well, restaurants, joke’s on you. Good date ideas with no money are all about bucking the trend and being a bit creative – a trip down memory lane can be way more memorable than a trip to the local Italian.

Date ideas when you’re broke can still be special.

  • Watch a movie
    Broke or not, this option is up there on our list of date ideas. No money is no barrier – watch a movie in sync with your date over a streaming service like Netflix or some funny videos on YouTube. Try using an extension like Netflix Party to message during the action. Or you could even share your screen over video chat and talk with each other as it’s all happening. Exciting! In all seriousness, though, distance is romantic – and sharing moments like this can be a great way of getting closer without actually getting close (that’s something to look forward to!).

  • Mix it up
    … with a mix tape. Or the 20s equivalent – a list of your favorite tracks or whichever music streaming service does it for you. Dates without spending money can still be lit. Get the video chat on and turn it up (turning it down to talk every now and then, of course). Take it in turns to DJ the set-list – hearing someone’s music taste is a great way of gauging their personality.

  • Watch the sunset
    No, seriously. If it’s nice out, and you’re lucky enough to have some outside space, prop up the screen and watch day fall into night together. Date ideas when you’re broke can still be special… plan for an evening when you know the sun’s been shining that day. To be the absolute boss of no money date ideas, combine this one with sharing a virtual dinner – have a picnic while the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie.  
No money? No problem. With these date ideas that don’t cost money, it’s all about the connection (the internet connection).