Q. What’s invisible and doesn’t cost 700 billion dollars?
A. Love!

In fact love defies anything to do with numbers, because the more you give away the more you have. With the perceptions of economic troubles, you may feel inclined to pay more attention to your spending habits. This is a good idea; I say stick with it and put your concentration on your love life. This is definitely one aspect of your life that can really flourish from some smart investing.

The average cost of dinner and a movie is $105.00. There are too many variables involved on a date to really calculate how one night could be an investment and create an economy of love. I realized that it wasn’t about not spending money, but the value of what you get for the amount of money that you spend, and sometimes it doesn’t take a penny to get a lot of value out of time spent with someone you care about. When I was doing research for my business plan to start my company New World Sex Education, I learned that in tough economic times people keep spending money on things they like, but they purchase more things that enhance their personal lives. In other words they spend money on things that last longer and have more meaning. For example: a couple will arrange something like a trip with family and friends to a nearby state park for a whole week instead of just the two of them going to Vegas for 3 nights. They end up having many more laughs, much deeper memories, and find themselves much more relaxed. They get more out of it than they thought, more enjoyment for the dollar, more memories per mile…this is the economy of love.

I invite you to create more value for your money by practicing simple ways to bring more love into your life. That love feeds you in a way that no material object can.

Here are some tips to start implementing the “economy of love” into your life:

Find the economic value of your choices, how much goes in (cost) compared to how authentic the experience you get coming out (pay off).

For example, you may want to spend a romantic evening in with a date or long time partner instead of going out to the theatre ($100-$300+) and dinner ($30-$100+). During this romantic evening at home you may talk during meal preparation, getting to know each other better, and then perhaps give each other back rubs, full body sensual massage, or simply gazing in each other’s eyes. The only cost to you would be food and drinks for your meal ($20-$75), massage oil ($2-$15) and perhaps learning sensual massage that lasts for many evenings to come ($0-$40). Research on the internet for tips on giving erotic massages or purchase an instructional DVD ($20 for one DVD or $135-$500+ for numerous DVDs or a weekend workshop). But the true value is the experience that you create. An evening in creates an environment for communication, touch, and creativity. And you save money on gas!

Keep it simple: eliminate variables that can be costly.

Some of the best times I have ever had have been the simplest. One of my all time favorite dates was spending a few hours hiking, preparing dinner at home, and then gazing into each other’s eyes while kissing. It was only my second date with this person, and we spent most of the day talking deeply about ourselves and just being together. And the only costs involved were gas and some veggies that we grilled. It was so simple and the value that we both got out the day was priceless. A little over a year later and we found ourselves expecting a baby together! Maybe you have been with your partner for years—when was the last time that you spent a few hours making out on your living room couch? Why not try it? The simple art of kissing can bring you closer together and create more magic in your life and it doesn’t cost a penny.

Extract emotion from the moment, go deep, feel more, and savor.

Let the person you are with know who you are through the experience of being with YOU rather than some form of entertainment. It is much easier to avoid being transparent and authentic when you are out at a movie or event (not that these aren’t fun, every now and then). When you can be really present with the person you are dating, or the person you have been with for 30 years, then you are going deep and ultimately getting more value out of the experience with them. What can you learn about them and what can you reveal about yourself? How do you feel? Are you enjoying their company? This requires absolutely no money and the value is beyond the beyond. What it does require is personal self esteemand overcoming some inabilities to be completely present and open.

Don’t let fear of what is happening in today’s economy scare you away from love. And definitely be creative in ways that express love. Touch, talk, take time to be with each other, and don’t forget the value that you are getting just from being.