Love.... isn't it amazing???
I often talk about several aspects in our lives affected by a minimalist lifestyle... but not much about how it affects love!
But is does.... deeply... and actually, this is the one thing that may be the most difficult to adjust too.... and the one subject I have never encounter in reading about minimalism... if you have suggestion, I will take them. Would love to read how others handle living a simple life while in love or looking for it! It can be difficult because sometimes, over the clutter lives we have, we've somehow created a distance between each other... and once everything is declutter, it is pretty much back to that: each other... like when you first met!
My husband and I met before we even knew minimalism existed... and we were living in a way not even remotely close to being minimalists! With credit margin, credit cards, 2 cars, 1 house - loaded with everything, a pool on credit... a tons of clothes, CD, DVD, books... etc! Basically mostly everything was on credit because our 2 salaries could only afford mortgage and 2 new cars payments as well as gas and food! Until everything fell apart: got sick, lost my job, went bankrupt, had to move in an apartment...
and there was the light!
Of course, like most people we know, we celebrated our love with gifts (clothes, jewelry, decorations), outings (restaurants, movies, theatres, shows), vacations... all stuff we charged to... you guessed it: CREDIT!
Because we couldn't afford it! But we HAD to do it! I mean, this is expected when in love! At least this is what I thought!
Now when all credit was taken away from us... we had to figure out other ways to get all that stuff... so we got rid of a few things, kept one car, moved into an apartment.... and there was loose ends for gifts and stuff... little did I know that it would not take long before I would get into debts again... smaller but still... today, I still own a small amount... that I am repaying slowly... and I am much more smart about money!
We are now celebrating our love for each other in ways we can afford... in ways that does not require playing around with the budget! In ways that still allow us saving and planning for retirement and doing work we love.
I thought I might share those... of course, at first we were kind of forced to figure something out and just found those solutions boring and stupid... and fit for poor people - NOT US! However, now we really do enjoy them and I sincerely think they are very romantic! And it actually brings us much closer then spending 50$ for a meal, 30$ at the movies and then some for gas, parking, tips... and then fighting because we have money issues!
All the suggestions I will give you do not require anything special (that most people do not have anyway)... and will cost less or around 20$ if you do them without a car expense.... if you do use a car, you'll have to add that amount but since I do not have a car, I left it out!
1) Get up early and walk to somewhere quiet where you can watch the sunrise - you can bring home made juice or smoothies... or why not even a complete breakfast? - this one is FREE... you would have had breakfast at home anyway!
2) Watch the sunset... there is something very romantic in a sunset light... especially in nature or over water... - FREE
3) Go for a long walk hand in hand (no phone or ANY type of electronic devices)... with no destination... no schedule...when you're tired, stop for "coffee" or grab public transit to get back home - will cost you the price of "coffee" and public transit if used
4) Go for a pic-nick in a nearby park, bring a blanket, your food and maybe some candles? But no music... just listen to the wind, the birds and your discussion - FREE as you would eat at home anyway
5) On a warm rainy summer day, go for a walk under the rain - a soft rain... no umbrella or rain coat... feel the rain on your skin... cooling you off.... - FREE
6) On a rainy afternoon go for a movie... tickets are much cheaper in the afternoon... skip the snack and go for coffee after to discuss the movie... - Cost of 2 tickets, and 2 coffees.... should be close to 20$
7) Visit a museum - most of them have free time slot or free exhibits - FREE
8) Tour the garage sales and/or flea market in your area - take this opportunity to open up to each other by telling memories brought about by the stuff you see - FREE or the cost of anything you can't resist buying!
9) Go to an arcade - feel like a teenager again - Set your budget yourself! And laugh!!!
10) Play Frisbee in a near park or beach - FREE
11) Visit a festival, something you would normally not go to: you might discover a new passion - most of them have FREE events
12) Go to movie night in the park - most cities have those events nowadays and they are mostly FREE or by donation for a cause...
13) Go bowling - Usually around 20$ you can have enough in most bowling alley
14) Get dress and go for coffee in a different place than you usually go to - and play the "first date" game... this can be really fun! - for the price of a coffee!
15) Go the library and chose a book each but not for yourself, for your spouse... this can be interesting - obviously the spouse has to read it! FREE
16) Get dress really fancy and have ONE drink at a jazz/blues bar - 20$
17) Go hiking - some places are still FREE and other have minimal fees. Bring a lunch/snack along to eat on the top! Our own little problems seem so insignificant at the top of a mountain.
18) Go see fireworks and bring a blanket and maybe some tea if it's a colder night- FREE
19) Attend outdoor FREE concert - there are always some in the summer
20) Take a bike ride - FREE if you own a bike if not rental price of the bike
21) Go to a new not too fancy restaurant and share a meal - set a budget to 20$
Here are some ideas to celebrate or show your love for one another that do respect a minimalist lifestyle and budget! As I wrote earlier, if you're use to some fancy stuff, like we use too, it might take a while before you actually enjoy them... but try a few before you give up!
As an incentive, save the amount of dollar you would have normally used for a date... over time you'll see this amount becoming quite significant! And use it towards which ever suits you: paying debt, saving, dream vacation, etc... this is an easy way to save dollar and reconnect with your loved one on a more profound basis!
thanks for reading! and sharing!