In the modern world of online dating, it’s pretty much expected that 9 out of 10 dates will be duds. Why overspend on these dead ends? Stick to your dating budget.
Sifting through countless profiles and messages is just the beginning. Even after you’ve narrowed down your search to a list of selected potentials to meet, you never know if it will actually work out. There may be no chemistry, they might be 10 years older than their profile photo, or they could be more interested in themselves than about getting to know you. But on the bright side, these bad dates provide a surplus of funny stories to tell your pals. Just make sure your dating life doesn’t break the bank.
Work it into your monthly budget
Like all monthly expenses, dating should be included in your budget if it’s a regular part of your social life. Whether it gets its own category or is lumped in with entertainment, just make sure these dinners and movies are accounted for. Then keep track! If you give yourself $50 a month for dating, stick to it. This might mean getting creative with dating ideas or just sticking to the basics, like meeting at a coffee shop. If you’re fresh out of ideas check out my blog post 10 Best (Cheap) First Date Ideas.
Don’t spend a fortune
When it comes to online dating, you shouldn’t have to outdo yourself on a first encounter. The main point of a first date is to meet up and see if you both jive. This should not cost a fortune. Some low cost suggestions include a stroll through a lively street festival, a bike ride or a hike through a park or a nice trail, or swapping stories over a cup of tea. And once you do find someone worth pursuing, the idea of sticking to your date budget still applies.
It’s all about balance
If you know your budgeted allowance for romance just won’t cut it a particular month—you might have a birthday or a holiday that requires a little extra cash—be sure to compensate the extra costs by borrowing from another budget category. So if you normally give yourself $30 a month for take-out food but you really want to get your honey some flowers, think about reducing take-out to only $10 and spend the extra $20 on some long stems.
Then there is the old debate of going Dutch or not on a date. The way I see it, it just depends on what you can afford and what you feel comfortable with. No one should be obligated to pay for someone else but if you choose to do so, be sure that you can afford it. Whether it`s treating someone to a $5 coffee or a $30 meal, keep in mind that extra cash is taken out of your monthly dating budget allowance, so spend wisely. On the flip side, don’t assume your date is going to cover the bill. If you opt for the lobster and champagne, well, be prepared to pay for it just in case.
Dating can be confusing and emotional at times but if you go in with a firm budget and flexible expectations, you might just find your right match. And if they don’t end up being the partner of your dreams at least you can rest easy knowing that your spending is on track and your financial goals are being achieved, regardless of the trials and errors in your dating life.