A Singles Guide to Dating on a Budget
Just because times are tough and you want to make an effort at remaining ‘budget conscious’ - that doesn’t mean you have to look or act like a cheapskate on a date.
Match Special has a wonderful list of ideas on how you can maintain an active dating life and not put a strain on your wallet.
The one I’ve always liked most is going Dutch! To be honest, I always felt guilty having the guy pay for everything and most of all, I never wanted to feel I owed him anything following the date.
Dutch is the best way to go as far as I’m concerned.
What about dating during lunch and happy hour instead of going out during the most expensive times of day?
Go out to eat early in the day and then make it a home date complete with movie rental and popcorn.
In many cases, the single periods in your life are also periods of transition. For one reason or another, you are needing to become independent and financially stable. This may mean that you are faced with the additional challenge of dating on a budget. It’s not impossible, you just need to be creative. The following are some tips for Craigslist dating on a budget:
Don’t expect your Craigslist date to compensate
Whether or not you are the guy or the gal in the relationship, don’t expect your Craigslist date to be your taxi and
own personal bank. On any given activity, you should be able to afford to pay for at least half of the
expense. So if this is dinner and a movie, you should be able pay half the dinner tab and your own movie
ticket. When your date does pay, always express your gratitude immediately and again at the end of the
date when you part ways.
Date during lunch or happy hour
If you are set on restaurant dining, you can save a few dollars by visiting the establishment earlier in the
day. You’d probably never guess it, but many restaurants have separate menus for lunch and dinner. The
difference between them? All menu items are just a few dollars more. Do not hesitate to call ahead and
ask about lunch or happy hour specials.
Have a home date
If you have any cooking skills at all, you can cook a meal for your guest. Alternatively, invite your date
over to cook a meal with you. You can even do the grocery shopping together. It doesn’t matter if both of
you have no cooking skills; you can learn to cook together. You do not need to take an expensive cooking
class. With the internet, you can print out some basic how-to’s and easy recipes. Even if the meal is
somewhat of a disaster, you will enjoy the experience.
Afterwards, you can either watch a movie at home or play board or card games. All of these alternatives
are less expensive than going out to a movie.
Think outside the box - find free activities
Every city has many things to do that don’t involve expensive entertainment. For example, visiting a
museum is inexpensive. If you live near a waterfront, you can walk down the beach or stroll around a
harbor. Go on a picnic or visit a nature reserve.
Use Coupons for low-cost activities
You probably get coupons in the mail every week for two-for-one ice cream, discounts at the zoo or
aquarium, or low cost movie specials. Use these coupons to save money, or enjoy discounts on activities
you would normally consider to be out of your budget. Coupons are nothing to be embarrassed about.
Being conscious of your spending is a good quality to have.
Don’t be afraid to tell your date you are on a budget
Now, I would never recommend you tell your date your checking account balance, the amount of bills you have to pay, or even say “I’m broke,” but there’s nothing wrong with telling your date you are trying to save money right now. Keep it light, and mention it in passing. Odds are, if they know things are a bit tight, they won’t order the Surf and Turf. Do not complain or whine or ever ask to borrow money.