What is your idea of an ideal date with your mate?

Ellie Kay, Personal Finance ExpertBy Ellie Kay, Personal Finance Expert

On special days, whether it’s an anniversary, Valentine’s, a birthday or the big proposal, we all like to do things for our significant other to make them feel loved. But while buying a beautiful piece of jewelry may make them feel special, creating a mound of debt in the process isn’t ideal. Spending now shouldn’t mean not saving for later. Here are some ways to have a cheap date without being a cheap date.

There are quite a few ways to save a lot when eating out and still have a nice time together.  For example, before your date, go to your favorite restaurant’s Twitter or Facebook page and see what specials they are offering to get the best value. You can also go to Restaurant.com where gift certificates go on sale. Also check in with local group buying sites such as Groupon for deals.

If you have a little more to spend and want to take in a show, check out broadwaybox.com or goldstar.com to find great prices on tickets.  Or consider buying a season’s pass to a museum at www.museumca.org  where not only can you visit your local museum whenever you want for the year, but you also have privileges at 400 other museums.

Romantically Challenged? The “Creative Romantic Ideas” app gives ideas that are ranked by price and difficulty, from personalized M&Ms to more elaborate ideas that go beyond the usual candy and flowers. Open Table is another great app that will help you avoid being caught without a restaurant reservation. Finally, there’s a free app called Cineplex Mobile which is useful for any occasion when you want to find out what’s playing at a theatre near you.

In order to be prepared for a long and fulfilling future with your mate, it’s important to plan for the quality of life you want in retirement. Money savvy couples who are looking for smart retirement solutions and more control of their long-term finances will recognize the important role that fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) play in any balanced financial plan for their future.  I have found that fixed indexed annuities offer certainty during uncertain times that other financial products cannot because they provide protection from stock market volatility, offer guaranteed interest and income, and also provide the opportunity for additional interest when markets are up. Understand that FIAs are typically used in addition to other retirement vehicles (such as a 401(k) or IRA) to add balance to a retirement plan—they aren’t intended to be your only source of retirement income, but to help moderate risk in your portfolio so you can enjoy the finer things throughout your retirement.

In my partnership with the IALC (Indexed Annuity Leadership Council), I have found a great option to recommend to my readers and viewers. So the next time you go on a date with your mate, don’t forget to discuss your financial future so that in the future, your dates will be great!

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