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Recently several young couples, whom are close to me have found themselves in, well, dire financial straits. They were complaining about their predicaments to not only each other, but to me as well. Been there, done that. Not much fun, in thought.



I say "in thought" mainly because I remember the days (occasionally hubby and I still have them)where budget came before "romance". They were actually some of the most romantic evenings my husband and I "spent"! We had to put in lots of personal thought, planning and time. Those events meant the most.



Our first budget night of romance? Our first month anniversary. Right before our wedding I was not only in a car accident, but (yes, now I know this was illegal)the radio station I worked for decided they didn't need an afternoon newscaster so I lost my job as well! So there we were, stereotypically poor and newlyweds!



Did this dampen our ardor? NO!!! While hubby was at work-I cleaned our little "hot box" (no a/c and no cross ventilation. I made his favorite roast chicken, baked potatoes with all the toppings, salad with homemade dressing and his favorite homemade brownies for dessert.



I dressed the table with our new lace tablecloth, china, crystal and my grandmother's community silver. We had some wine left from our wedding so I chilled it.



Before coming home, my husband stopped at my parents home and asked for some of my favorite roses from their yard. My mom wrapped them up and he continued on home to me.



When he arrived I was dressed up and greeted him with a glass of the chilled vino in our new goblets. While I served our meal by candlelight, he put on some music. Needless to say, our meal and evening was quite romantic without having strayed from our meager finances even the tiniest of bits!



Just the other day I heard about a couple who went to McDonald's. While the husband ordered their "meal deals", the wife went to a corner of the unit and took out all of their wedding fineries from a shopping bag and dressed up their little dinner nook! When the food came, she put the burgers and fries onto the china and poured the sodas into the crystal.



Again,they had a very romantic "special occasion" evening without spending much money at all.



When I related these stories to the aforementioned young couples-they appeared shocked! What was I recommending? What could I possibly be thinking? Budget romance?



I enjoyed pointing out that most of the fun my husband and I had was thinking about how to SHOW someone you love them and not spend what you perceive to me the "right amount" to get idea across.



Honestly, what would mean more to you? Finding out someone spent some time thinking about how to please you and then putting the required time into the thought OR whipping out a credit card and either throwing it onto a tip tray at a fancy restaurant or jewelry store?



I'm not knocking the later at all, it's fun and leaves you heady with delight as well, but if you can't afford it-you just feel sick. At least I do!



Hopefully, these very smart young couples listened with both heart and soul to my little stories and use their heads before the next date night.



My bet is they will and the experience will bring them closer than they think imaginable.



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