7 Cheap Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Romance doesn’t have to be expensive. In this article, we discover cheap dates that won’t break any budgets OR hearts.

So, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, but you don’t quite have the dough for a bottle of chardonnay, an extravagant bouquet, or breakfast in a hot-air balloon.

That’s OK!

There are plenty of ways to treat your special someone to a magical date night (or day) without cracking open your piggy bank or maxing out your credit card.

These 7 cheap date ideas prove the best things in life really are free – or at least affordable. We’ve categorised them into 3 categories to help you find the right fit for you and your significant other:

  • Cheap date night ideas
  • Cute cheap date ideas
  • Fun cheap date ideas.

Cheap Date Night Ideas

Board Games at Home - Cigno Loans

1. Boardgames by Candlelight

Do you and your partner have some interests of the nerdy variety? Treat yourselves to a pleasant date night at home with a boardgame you both love, or try one of these titles that work well for couples:

  • Fog of Love
  • Onitama
  • Codenames Duet
  • Monogamy
  • Our Moments.

Co-op videogames are also a solid option if that’s more your thing. Either way, turn off the lights and set up some candles to establish the mood – this isn’t any old games night, after all.

2. Moonlit Road Trip

Find a scenic route or a panoramic lookout nearby and go for a quiet night-time drive. Put your favourite tunes on during the trip, take some cute selfies with the landscape or cityscape behind you, and embrace the chance to catch up and spend some quality time together. Cheap date night ideas aren’t always about the destination – sometimes the journey is more important.

Keep your romantic road trip cheap with these fuel-efficiency tips.

3. Movie Marathon in Bed

Is there a franchise you both love? Or a series you’ve been meaning to catch up on together? Build a pillow fortress on your mattress and get comfy with some popcorn and/or ice cream.

This is one of the most inexpensive date ideas around, and it requires minimal preparation. Plus, nobody can judge you for binge-watching the Harry Potter films (again) if you’re doing it with your SO on Valentine’s Day.

Cute Cheap Date Ideas

Picnic in the Park - Cigno Loans

4. Picnic in the Park

  • Sandwiches with your partner’s favourite spreads.
  • A bottle of cheap wine and some fresh fruit.
  • And a picnic blanket laid out in your local park.

What more do you need for a cute cheap date idea? Bonus points if there’s a lake with ducks or even swans to watch.

5. Getting Artsy, Crafty or Hands-On

Are you and your partner creative types? There’s no better time than Valentine’s Day to embrace your artistic sides together.

Depending on your passions, you might like to try:

  • Drawing portraits of each other
  • Creating a meaningful mosaic together
  • Upcycling an old piece of furniture
  • Writing poetry for each other
  • Taking on that DIY renovation project you’ve had on your to-do list for ages.

Fun Cheap Date Ideas

Cheap Date at the Museum - Cigno Loans

6. Museum Crawl

Pub crawls are fun, but they’re not cheap – and the aftermath of all those beers isn’t always romantic.

Instead, why not explore some of the museums, art galleries and other cultural venues that you’ve neglected to check out? Most museums and galleries have free areas to discover, or you may stumble upon a limited exhibit that’s worth spending a little to see.

Acting like a tourist in your home city can also make you feel like you’re on a mini holiday, which is always a nice feeling.

7. Op Shop Extravaganza

So, you’re a couple on a budget. Op shopping combines a fun cheap date idea with a chance to get some serious bargains – it’s a win-win.

Enhance the romance by including some antique stores. There’s something undeniably charming about browsing vintage items as a couple.

Need a proper holiday with your significant other rather than a date night? We’ve got you covered with these 5 cheap holiday ideas.

And if you’re really due for a fancy Valentine’s Day that requires a little extra money, a short-term loan from Cigno could help. Because love may be priceless, but chardonnay sure isn’t.

Disclaimer: Please be aware that Cigno Loans’ articles do not replace advice from an accountant or financial advisor. All information provided is intended to be used as a guide only, as it does not take into account your personal financial situation or needs. If you require assistance, it is recommended that you consult a licensed financial or tax advisor.


Ordered by the Federal Court of Australia

The Federal Court of Australia has found that Cigno Australia Pty Ltd (Cigno Australia) and BSF Solutions Pty Ltd (BSF Solutions) have breached the law by engaging in unlicensed credit activity and charging prohibited fees.

In the period from July 2022 to 3 October 2023, over 100,000 consumers have been lent a total of $34 million, and charged fees of over $70 million, under the ‘No Upfront Charge Loan Model’ operated by BSF Solutions and Cigno Australia. At no time has either BSF Solutions or Cigno Australia held an Australian Credit Licence.

The Court also found that Mark Swanepoel (director of Cigno Australia) and Brenton James Harrison (director of BSF Solutions) were involved in these breaches of the law.

With effect from 24 May 2024, the Court has granted permanent injunctions preventing Cigno Australia and BSF Solutions from:

  • demanding, receiving or accepting fees or charges, including amounts of loan principal, from consumers in relation to credit provided under the ‘No Upfront Charge Model’; and
  • engaging in further credit activity pursuant to the ‘No Upfront Charge Loan Model’, including by entering into new agreements with consumers, for so long as they do not hold an Australian Credit Licence.

Cigno Australia was ordered by the Court to, by 5th July 2024, send written communications to consumers who between July 2022 and December 2022 entered into agreements with Cigno Australia and BSF Solutions under the ‘No Upfront Charge Loan Model’.

The Court will later determine whether (among other things) Cigno Australia and Mark Swanepoel ought to pay a pecuniary penalty in respect of this conduct, and whether Mark Swanepoel should be restrained from carrying on a business engaging in credit activity.

Cigno Australia, BSF Solutions, Mr Swanepoel and Mr Harrison intend to appeal the decision of the Court and have filed an application for leave to appeal. If the appeal is successful, some or all of the orders of the Federal Court of Australia may be set aside.

Where can you get more information?

Where to go for further support

You can access legal advice in your state at: Free legal advice – Moneysmart.gov.au.

If you are experiencing trouble with debt, or money worries in general, contact:

  • the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 or online chat (9:30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday).

If you need someone to talk to, contact:

  • Lifeline on 13 11 14 (24 hours) or their crisis support online chat or
  • Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36 (24 hours) or their webchat