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Are you looking for some cheap date ideas?
You’ve come to the right place.
Here are some fun and affordable ways to spend time with your loved one.
Whether you’re looking for something romantic or want to have fun, these cheap date ideas will help you save money while still having a good time.
I’ll also share some tips on how you can be frugal with your money when dating but not appear cheap.
Table of Contents
77 Cheap Date Ideas
Cheap Date Night Ideas
#1. Go For Drinks, Not Dinner
The cost of dinner can easily break the bank.
If you are heading out on a first date, you might not want to spend the money if you don’t know the relationship will go anywhere.
For example, spending $100 on first date dinners and going on three dates a month becomes a significant expense.
A better option is to go for drinks instead.
This could be at a quiet bar or even a coffee shop.
You have the opportunity to get to know each other a bit more and go from there.
#2. Stay In And Watch Movies
This date idea isn’t great for first dates as you want to be able to talk to the other person and get an idea of who they are.
Also, some people won’t be comfortable coming to a stranger’s house without knowing the other person.
But if you have been dating for a few months, this is a great option.
You can find movies on TV, a streaming service, or even rent movies at Redbox.
#3. Star Gaze
If you live in a rural area, this date idea is perfect.
You can lay out a blanket and look at the stars.
It’s a great way to spend time together without spending any money.
And if you don’t live in a rural area, you can find a place where there aren’t a lot of lights and try to stargaze there.
If you move it around, you can find constellations, planets, and even the space station.
#4. Attend Trivia Night At A Local Bar
This is a great way to have fun and test your knowledge.
Most places even offer prizes for the winning team.
You can find trivial nights at local bars or restaurants by searching online.
To save money, only order drinks, share a meal or see if any appetizers are on special.
- Read now: Learn fascinating fun facts about money
#5. Go To A Comedy Club
Laughter is the best medicine, right?
Check out local comedy clubs and see if any upcoming shows interest you.
Most times, the performances will be Friday or Saturday nights.
However, many clubs also have an open mic night in the middle of the week.
Be prepared to spend money in addition to the cost of admission.
Many clubs have a one or two-drink minimum.
#6. Hit A Bucket Of Golf Balls
This can be a fun date, even if you don’t know how to play golf.
It doesn’t matter if you have never picked up a golf club before. It’s a practice range, so all skill levels are welcome.
Then, just hit some balls.
You can make a game out of it and see who can hit the ball furthest or closest to the hole.
#7. Play Pool Or Darts At A Dive Bar
Dive bars are great places to hang out, have a few drinks, and play pool or darts.
They usually don’t cost anything to get in, and you can spend as little or as much money as you want on drinks.
Be sure to bring some quarters to pay for the pool game, as you never know if there will be a change machine at the bar.
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#8. Take An Improv Class
This is a great date for couples who want to try something new together.
Don’t think of this as a one-person show.
Most improv classes are group performances, so even if you fear getting in front of people, you won’t be alone on stage.
If you go, be prepared to have a lot of fun, act silly, and fail.
#9. Scavenger Hunt
The great thing about this date idea is you are in complete control.
You can decide to have the hunt take place just at your house, in a park, or around town.
You also can decide if you will do the scavenger hunt on foot or use cars.
It’s a great way to spend time together and see how you work at problem-solving.
#10. Eat Takeout By Candlelight
Here is an excellent idea for your next date night.
Figure out where you want to eat and get takeout.
Set up the food at the table or lay out a blanket when you get home.
Then light some candles and turn out the lights.
It sounds odd, but the candlelight sets a great mood and makes it feel like you aren’t just eating takeout food.
#11. Make Drinks And Sit Outside
If the weather is good, consider making drinks, sitting outside, and enjoying the fresh air.
You can even spice it up by making a drink for each other and seeing what you like and dislike.
#12. Make Milkshakes Or Ice Cream Sundaes
If you aren’t a drinker or are looking for something sweet, consider making milkshakes or ice cream sundaes.
You can sit outside or inside and even make each other treats to enjoy.
Fun Date Ideas
#13. Play Frisbee In The Park
A great fun date is to play frisbee in the park.
Not only will you get some exercise, but you get to enjoy the outdoors as well.
You can even make it more challenging by playing with a smaller Frisbee or trying to hit targets.
You can use a flying disc or a hacky sack if you don’t have a Frisbee.
Just be sure to avoid busy areas where people are walking or running.
#14. Go Indoor Rock Climbing
If you are looking for a challenging date, consider indoor rock climbing.
It’s a great workout, and you can test your problem-solving skills.
Most indoor rock climbing places will have staff on hand to help you if you need it, and of course, they will take all the proper safety precautions as well.
Many times you can find Groupon deals to save even more money.
Just be sure to wear comfortable clothes and closed-toe shoes.
#15. Go Kayaking
For a fun date, go kayaking or canoeing.
You can find places to rent kayaks or canoes relatively cheaply, and sometimes you can even find Groupon deals.
If you have your own kayak or canoe, even better.
#16. Visit The Zoo
The zoo is a great place to visit and can be relatively cheap, depending on the zoo.
Some zoos even offer free days or discounted rates if you go during certain times of the year.
You can spend the day walking around, looking at the animals, and grabbing a bite to eat.
As a bonus tip, check the zoo’s website before you go, as many offer special events and attractions.
This is especially true around the holidays.
For example, if you visit around Halloween, the zoo might be decorated for this scary holiday.
#17. Go Ice Skating
If you are looking for a fun date, consider going ice skating.
Some might even consider this a romantic date as you get to hold hands while you skate around.
You can find indoor and outdoor rinks, and sometimes they even offer discounts if you go during certain times of the day or week.
#18. Visit A Psychic
For a unique date, consider visiting a psychic.
You can find psychics relatively cheaply, and it’s a great experience.
You might even learn something about yourself that you didn’t know before.
Just be sure to keep an open mind and don’t take everything the psychic says as gospel.
#19. Go Sledding
During the winter months, you can go sledding if there is snow on the ground.
All you need is a big hill and a sled or inner tube.
If you don’t have a hill or can’t find one, make snow angels or a snowman instead.
#20. Attend A Sporting Event
If you go to a professional sporting event, this could cost you an arm and a leg.
So instead, consider a minor league game or even a smaller professional sport like soccer.
The tickets will be cheaper, and the food will cost less too.
Many minor league games attract families, so there are always many interactive things to do besides watching the game.
#21. Learn How To Brew Your Own Beverage
Whether it is beer, wine, coffee, or tea, making your own beverage is a fun experience.
Jump onto YouTube and watch a few videos and start brewing.
The best part is tasting the final result and seeing how good or bad your drink tastes.
#22. Play A Game Of HORSE
If you aren’t familiar with HORSE, it is a basketball game where you have to match a made shot from the other person, or they have to match your shot.
If the shot can’t be matched, you get a letter.
The first person to miss five matched shots and spell out HORSE loses.
#23. Play Tennis
Tennis is a great date idea and can be done relatively cheaply.
If you have your own racket and balls, it is completely free.
And if you don’t know how to play, don’t worry.
You can usually find someone willing to teach you the basics.
Cute Date Ideas
#24. Take A Cooking Class
Taking a cooking class together is a great cute date idea.
You can learn how to cook a new dish and then enjoy eating it afterward.
Most classes are relatively cheap, and you might even be able to find a Groupon deal.
#25. Bake A Dessert
This could be a romantic date idea or even a fun one, depending on how things go.
Decide on a dessert to make and go to the grocery store together to buy the ingredients.
Then work as a team baking.
Enjoy the end result, and consider feeding your date the tasty treat.
#26. Go Out For Dessert
If baking the dessert isn’t your thing, consider going out for dessert only.
Many times after dinner, we are too full for a sweet treat.
So instead of eating a full meal, go for dessert instead.
You will enjoy it more and will save money.
#27. Pick Fruit At A Local Farm
If you are looking for a summer date idea, consider going to pick fruit at a local farm.
You can find farms that let you pick your own strawberries, blueberries, apples, and more.
Not only is this a fun experience, but it is also a great way to get fresh fruit.
#28. Attend A Carnival
All across the country, small towns have carnivals.
Sometimes, a local church sponsors the event, or it might be a volunteer fire company.
Other times, the town celebrates how long it has been around.
You will mostly find carnivals during the summer months and only for a few days at a time.
You can go on rides, eat junk food, play games, and more.
There is usually plenty to do, and you can even win prizes for your date.
#29. Paint Your Own Pottery
Paint your own pottery is a great low-pressure way to get to know someone.
When you go, you choose a piece of pottery to paint and then spend some time painting it.
Once you are done, the studio will glaze your piece and be ready to use in a few days.
You can find pottery painting studios in most cities, which are usually cheap.
If this is your first date, you might have a unique family heirloom if the relationship works out.
#30. Teach Your Date How To Do Something
A cute way to get to know someone is to teach them something you love to do.
What skill do you want to teach?
This could be anything from cooking to playing an instrument to fishing.
Remember, the end goal is to have fun.
#31. Make Each Other A Music Playlist
Back in the day, making a mix-tape for someone else showed them you liked them.
Today, the playlist has replaced the mix-tape, but the concept is the same.
Make a playlist of songs you think your date will like and share it with them.
You can also listen to the playlist together and talk about the songs.
This is a great way to get to know someone’s taste in music.
#32. Visit An Animal Shelter
Nothing is cuter than puppies and kittens, so going to an animal shelter is a great date idea.
At most shelters, you can walk the animals or play with them in a designated area.
And if you are looking to adopt a pet, this is a great way to find your new best friend.
#33. Go On A ‘Reminds Me Of You’ Shopping Spree
Instead of going shopping together, go on a shopping trip to buy things that remind you of the other person.
You can split up and agree to meet up in 30 minutes, or you can shop together.
Once you have some items, explain why they remind you of the other person.
The only catch here is to set a dollar limit, so this date idea doesn’t get expensive.
Of course, you could just window shop and explain why the item is a reminder without buying it.
Romantic Date Ideas
#34. Take A Wine Tour
There are vineyards all over the country, and many offer tours.
This is a great way to spend an afternoon, and you will get to sample some wine.
Some vineyards even offer food pairings with their wines.
If you are looking for a more romantic setting, you can find candlelight or private tours.
#35. Go Horseback Riding
Horseback riding is a great way to spend time together outdoors.
You can find stables that offer trail rides, which is a great way to see some beautiful scenery.
You can find stables offering sunset or private rides if you want something more romantic.
Of course, if you are at the beach, you most likely can find a horseback ride on the beach at sunset.
#36. Take A Dance Class
Dancing is a great way to get close to someone and is also a lot of fun.
You can find dance studios that offer classes for all levels, so you don’t have to worry about being a beginner.
You can even find one that offers a specific type of dance you want to learn.
And if you are looking for something more romantic, you can find studios that offer private lessons.
#37. Have An At Home Spa Date
Going to a spa can cost a fortune.
Luckily, you can recreate the spa atmosphere at home.
Amazon sells some great products for you to have an at-home spa day.
Once you have the items, close the blinds, put on some New Age music, and light some candles.
You now have a spa at home for a fraction of the cost.
#38. Read Each Other Romance Novels
Pick up a couple different romance novels and spend time reading them to each other.
It might sound cheesy, but it works.
You can even take it a step further and act out what you are reading.
#39. Take A Dinner Cruise
There are dinner cruises available in most major cities.
This is a great way to see the city while enjoying a nice meal.
And if you are looking for something more romantic, you can find cruises that offer private tables, so it’s not as crowded.
#40. Visit Your Hometown
If you are from out of town, take a trip to visit each other’s hometowns.
You can tour the city, visiting important landmarks.
You can show your partner the places that have significant meaning to them and learn about their childhood.
This is a great way to get to know someone on a deeper level.
#41. Go Camping
To some reading this, camping is not romantic, but hear me out.
If you have an open mind, you can make this very romantic.
For example, you can spend time cuddling by a fire and roasting marshmallows.
You can star gaze or even have deep conversations with your partner.
When it comes time for bed, you can snuggle closely to keep warm if it is a chilly night.
#42. Enjoy Breakfast In Bed
Who doesn’t love breakfast in bed?
You can either make breakfast yourself or order it from a restaurant.
Either way, this is a great way to start the day with your partner.
And if you want to make it extra special, you can include a tray with some flowers and champagne.
#43. Have A Couples Massage
A couples massage is a great way to relax with your partner.
You can find spas that offer this service, which is a great way to unwind after a long week.
While a massage can be expensive, you can find Groupon deals to save money.
You might even ask friends or family if they know of a masseuse who does at-home massages.
Finally, consider reaching out to a massage school.
You might be able to find a recent grad who is looking to gain experience and, because of this, charges a very low rate.
#44. Write Each Other Love Letters
This is a great way to express your feelings for each other.
Ideally, you write a letter by hand, but you can type it up on the computer if your handwriting is hard to read.
You can create a video love letter if you want to go the extra mile.
This is a great way to let your partner know how much you care about them.
Free Date Ideas
#45. Enjoy A Picnic In The Park
You can pack a meal and enjoy a romantic picnic in the park.
If you want to make it memorable, you can even put together a basket with some champagne and strawberries.
This is a great way to spend time together without spending much money.
#46. Find A Free Movie
During the summer months, many communities offer free movies in the park.
Often these will be family-friendly movies, but if you search around, you can find movies in other genres.
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#47. Cook Dinner Together
With the cost of dining out continuing to rise, you can save money by eating in.
When you cook dinner together, you get to enjoy a meal you made yourself, and you get to know the other person better.
And if you are feeling really ambitious, you can even cook dinner using only ingredients that you already have in your pantry.
#48. Have A Game Night
Whether you play video games, board games, or card games, this is a great way to spend quality time together.
And if you want to make it even more fun, you can have a competition to see who wins the most games.
#49. Put Together A Puzzle
If board games aren’t your things, maybe a jigsaw puzzle is.
You can pick an easy or difficult one and work as a team to put it together.
This is a great way to spend some time together, and it’s also something you can do while watching a movie or TV.
You can even combine it with some other ideas listed for when you need a break, like making each other a milkshake or watching a movie.
#50. Volunteer Together
Giving back is a great way to spend time together.
You can look for opportunities in your community or even online.
There are many ways to volunteer, so you can find an opportunity that matches your interests and availability.
Not only will you be helping others, but you will also be building a stronger bond with your partner.
To keep it interesting, you can alternate where you volunteer.
One time you can volunteer at a place that has meaning or importance to your partner, and the next time you can volunteer somewhere that means a lot to you.
#51. Go Fishing
This is a great way to spend some time outdoors.
You can go to a local pond or lake and try your luck at fishing.
It’s a great way to see how patient the other person is, as chances are you will spend a reasonable amount of time trying before you catch anything.
And while you wait, you will have a lot of time to talk and get to know one another.
#52. Visit A Flea Market
This is a great way to find some unique items and can also be a lot of fun.
You never know what you might find.
If you want to go further, you can make a game from your visit.
You can set a dollar limit and see how many things you can buy for that amount that will decorate a room.
Or you can buy things that have a special meaning to you and talk about them with your partner.
#53. Shop At An Antiques Store
This is similar to the flea market idea but can be a bit more expensive.
You can set a budget and see what you can find.
And like the flea market, you can buy things that have a special meaning or that you think your partner would like.
If you want to make it more challenging, you can try to find things from a particular era or related to a hobby your partner has.
#54. Visit A Fair
This is a great way to spend some time together while enjoying the sights and sounds of a fair.
There are usually plenty of things to do, so you can try your hand at some games or go on some rides.
And if you get hungry, there is usually plenty of food to choose from.
#55. Go To Festivals
Check your city’s or local event website to see if any festivals are happening near you.
Festivals are a great way to experience new things and sample different foods.
You can also find many free or cheap events at festivals, such as live music, stand-up comedy, or art exhibits.
Be sure to dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes as you will be doing a lot of walking.
#56. Enjoy 5 Minute Crafts
If you search on YouTube, you can find an endless list of 5-minute crafts to try.
The fun part with these is that, in most cases, you can’t put the craft together in five minutes.
Many times, you will fail miserably but have a blast doing so.
You could even find drawing classes on YouTube and draw simultaneously with the person in the video.
Then see whose drawing is better.
Date Ideas For Teens
#57. Play Miniature Golf
This is a classic date idea that can be a lot of fun.
You get to take the pressure off of creating conversation as there are natural breaks as you are playing.
You can also use this as an opportunity to bet on something, such as who will finish first or the score.
#58. Go Bowling
This is another classic date idea that can be a lot of fun.
You get to see how good or bad you are at the game.
You can make it more entertaining by trying to make a trick shot.
#59. Ride Go-Karts
Go-Karts can be a lot of fun, especially if you are competitive.
You get to see how well you can handle the pressure and how well you can steer.
And if you are feeling courageous, you can try to race your date.
#60. Play Wii Sports
If you still have a Wii, you have a fun time just sitting there waiting for you.
There are a couple of sports games, Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resorts, which have multiple games in one.
You can easily spend hours playing and having fun.
And if you have a Wii but not these games, you can buy used copies on eBay for cheap.
#61. Visit An Arcade
This is a great way to relive your childhood.
You can play classic games, such as Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Street Fighter.
Most arcades today also have skeeball, air hockey, and other non-video games to play.
Some even have a built-in restaurant, so you can also have a few drinks.
#62. Attend A Concert
This is a great date idea if you and your date are into music.
You can see your favorite band or artist live and sing and dance along to their songs.
You can even go see a performer you never heard of and see if you like it or not.
Bonus points if it is an all-day festival and you can see multiple acts.
#63. Experience An Escape Room
If you haven’t done an escape room before, they are a lot of fun.
You and your date will be locked in a room and have to find clues and solve puzzles to get out.
You will have to work together as a team, which can be a great way to bond with your date.
The only downside to this is that depending on where you go, you might have to be in the room with other groups of people.
#64. Make An Obstacle Course
You can create a course inside or outside and make it as complicated as you want.
All that is required is that you let your imagination loose.
Then you and your date can create a fun course to try to work your way through.
#65. Make Tie Dye Shirts
Making tie-dye shirts is easy and fun.
While you wait for them to dry, you can take advantage of some of the other ideas on this list.
Afterward, you have a fun shirt that reminds you of the other person.
#66. Go Thrift Shopping
Thrift shopping is a great way to find some interesting and unique items.
You can go to a thrift store and see what you can find, which makes it all the more fun.
A fun option is to pretend you are going to a themed party and try to find an outfit that would stand out from the crowd.
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#67. Play ‘Would You Rather’
This is a great game to get to know each other better.
You can ask each other some serious or goofy questions, depending on what you are looking for.
The options are endless, and it can be a lot of fun.
Another version of this is ‘Three Truths And A Lie.’
Here you say four things about yourself, three being honest, and one lie. Your partner has to try to guess which is the lie.
Weekend Date Ideas
#68. Spend An Afternoon At The Beach
If you live close to the beach, this can be a great way to spend a day together.
You can go for a swim, build sandcastles, or just lay in the sun and relax.
If you don’t live close to the beach, you can always find a lake or river to visit instead.
#69. Visit An Amusement Park
An amusement park is a great way to spend a day if you are both thrill seekers.
You can go on all the rides, eat junk food, and play games.
Even if you aren’t thrill seekers, there are more mild rides you could still enjoy.
And if you visit in the summer, there might also be a splash park to enjoy.
#70. Take A Road Trip
This is a great way to explore new places together.
You can list the nearby places you have always wanted to visit and make it happen.
To keep costs down, plan on coming home that same day or if you want to spend the night, find a cheap motel or camp out instead.
#71. Drive Through The Country
If you live in a more rural area, this can be a great way to spend the day.
This is especially true during the Fall months when you can look at the changing leaves.
Chances are there are some fun things around your area that you never knew existed.
The fun part is stumbling upon them as you drive around.
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#72. Enjoy A Bike Ride
This is a great way to get some exercise while spending time together.
You can find a nearby trail and explore it at your own pace.
The key is to have fun and enjoy each other’s company.
#73. Go Hiking
Chances are there is a hiking or a walking trail nearby that you can explore.
If not, you can easily find some by searching online.
Just note the difficulty level, so you don’t overextend yourself.
#74. Visit A Museum
There are all sorts of museums out there, and chances are there is one nearby that you will both enjoy.
You can learn about different cultures, art, history, space, science, and more.
Before you go, see if there are any special events you might be interested in.
If you plan ahead, you can also get great deals on the price of admission.
#75. Tour A Brewery
If you are of legal drinking age, this can be a great way to spend an afternoon.
You can learn how different beverages are made and sample some of them.
Plus, walking around and exploring a new place is always fun.
Learning about the brewery’s history is fascinating, even if you aren’t a big drinker.
#76. Go To An Aquarium
This is a great place to go if you want to learn more about marine life.
You can walk around and look at the different fish, mammals, and reptiles.
Plus, it’s always fun to watch the otters play.
If you are feeling brave, you can even pet some of the stingrays or maybe swim with sharks.
#77. Try Each Other’s Favorite Hobby
This one is fun because it takes you out of your comfort zone while at the same time seeing your partner in theirs.
Whether you are teaching or learning, be patient with the other person as they learn, and odds are you will have a great time.
Tips To Be Frugal When Dating
Now that you have some great cheap date ideas to try, what are some tips to make sure you save money and not overspend?
And, what are some things you should not do, especially on the first few dates, so you don’t look cheap?
Here are the tips to follow.
#1. Don’t Use Coupons on The First Few Dates
Using coupons on the first few dates can send the wrong signal to your date.
It doesn’t mean they aren’t smart with their money too, it’s that this date is supposed to be special.
Using a coupon makes it appear that saving money is more important than the experience you are having.
To avoid this, pick dates that cost an amount of money you are comfortable spending.
Years ago, when money was tight, it was getting pricey for me to go on dinner dates.
I started using some of the above ideas, including going for drinks and other low-cost, fun activities.
This allowed us to have fun, fully enjoy each other’s company, and save money.
After you go on a few dates and get to know each other, you can start using coupons.
Finally, if you insist on using a coupon, make it discreet.
Wait until your date goes to the restroom to pay or even arrive early, give the coupon to your server, and tell the server to not mention it when it comes time to pay.
#2. Don’t Make The Lady Pay
Look, certain things in life are a given.
One includes watching football and having your girlfriend/wife/sister/mom interrupt to ask you to move something heavy.
Another is being the lucky one to investigate that noise downstairs in the middle of the night.
And yet another is paying on the first date.
Don’t ask the girl to pay, and don’t suggest you go “halfsies.”
If she is a girl with manners, when the check comes, she will make a move for the check, at which point you tell her it is your treat.
This should be the routine for the first few dates.
Once you are in a committed relationship, then you can start splitting the bill or switching off on who pays depending on who asks who out.
Paying the bill for the first few dates is chivalrous and makes her feel special.
Of course, some things that were once taboo are now more acceptable.
This includes going halfsies when you know there will be no second date.
The thinking is that since there will be no more dates, it makes sense for you both to pay and then go on your own ways.
Call me old-fashioned, but I think the guy should pay regardless.
But, as with the changing times, this option is acceptable.
#3. Make An Honest Effort
Most people are more impressed that you put forth an effort than how much money you spend on a date.
So stop trying to impress someone by taking them to the most expensive restaurant.
Instead, listen to what they enjoy or wish they could do and plan a date around that.
For example, maybe Christmas is their favorite time of year.
Set up a date to drive around looking at Christmas lights or find a holiday festival to attend.
Listening is just as important.
If through your conversations you find out your date is gluten-free, when you plan a picnic, keep this in mind and pack gluten-free foods.
The fact that you listened is priceless.
#5. Be True To Yourself
At the end of the day, you must embrace your inner frugal self.
Don’t hide the fact that you are conscious about how you spend money.
Be honest from the start.
The last thing you want is to form a connection with someone while being inauthentic because the relationship will quickly end once the real you comes out.
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Traditional date ideas can end up costing you a fortune.
By taking advantage of these cheap date ideas, not only do you save money, but you get to have a great time too.
And in some cases, you will learn more about the other person than if you only sat at a dinner table eating.
So scroll back through the list and note the ideas you want to start using.
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I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
Visit my About Me page to learn more about me and why I am your trusted personal finance expert.