This is always a tricky topic. How can you date on a budget? It goes without saying that dating shouldn’t be based on finances to begin with. You should date who you enjoy spending time with and vice versa, but the reality of the world we live in is that doing things typically costs money and buying things definitely costs money. Its unfortunate when you feel like you are held back from asking a girl/boy you are interested in out simply due to your nervousness of being able to afford the date or multiple dates that could come. Truth is, the significant other you are interested in (this goes both ways) really shouldn’t care about how much money you have, how much you can afford and everything in between. If they do care, there is probably more that needs to be discussed then just going out on a date, since that would sound like a potential relationship issue but I will leave those topics to your local newspapers Love column or similar
There are ways to happily date on a budget though! Think about it, if you’re 25 with plenty of student loan and now, life debt, odds are so is the person you are hoping will say “yes” to you. If they aren’t, they can probably relate just fine as its pretty rare today to find us mid twenty-somethings without any debt while having money burning holes in our pockets. Don’t let the Lyft commercials on Pandora make you think otherwise, sharing your car for a few hours and getting a few bucks wont burn a hole in your pocket, I promise!
This is an obvious one and most times, this isn’t even an issue. While I am a bit old fashion and would prefer to pay, open doors, etc. there are many people who don’t feel this way anymore. Times have changed and we all can relate to that, regardless of our age or dating status. Its very common to have the cost of a first (or first few) dates split equally. Even if you insist, she/he might insist otherwise and you will have to come to an agreement or risk a first date and first fight simultaneously. Also, on a side note, splitting the cost in a way can set you up for a second date “Okay, okay fine, you can pay this time, but next time I’m paying” and now your’e on date #2. If you’re a Seinfeld fan, its the old “leave something behind” trick but in a new light!
This is the greatest part about first dates or early dates. You don’t and shouldn’t have to go to extravagant measures. There are countless FREE things you can do together as you start to get to know one another and work your way up to more serious and in some cases, more expensive dates. Walks in the park, picnics, a cruise to walk the beach, and many more outdoor type things can be done at no immediate cost that can be enjoyable and fun. In addition, there are tons of other things you can do for free. Do you have Bank of America? If so, there is a program for free admission to countless museums across the country. Are you a student? If so, student discounts and free admission exist all over the place, especially in big college cities like Boston. Do a bit of Googleing and you would be surprised how much fun you can have for little to no immediate cost at all. Be creative!
So here is where I stand corrected. Not long ago I did a post about Groupon and how much you might be “wasting” on them. Well when it comes to a date, Groupon might be a win. If you are bored and its Wednesday afternoon and you’re cruising Groupon.com then yes, you are much more likely to impulsively buy two passes to a glass blowing class and create a nice glass pumpkin for Halloween. However, if you plan accordingly, you can get a Groupon for a dinner cruise around the Boston harbor, a local concert or event in your area, or something similar for a substantial discount. This kills two birds with one stone. You now have your date night activity taken care of and you saved money doing it. Living Social has deals similar to this and there are countless other daily deal type websites you can review.