There’s no avoiding the simple truth that living the “swingin’ single” lifestyle can be expensive. And this wild time in our lives usually coincides with a point when we have the least disposable income: either we’re young and still establishing our careers, or after a divorce when money is tight for all kinds of other messy reasons. This is also a prime time for depending on credit cards and signature installment loans to fund the fun.
Does that mean you can’t have an active social life and play the field? That you have to choose between finding the next Mr. or Mrs. Right and financial stability? Thankfully, it is possible to have your cake and eat it, too. There are a multitude of ways to both stay within a budget and actively date. Here are a few smart and easy ways to find love on a budget.
This is more for the guys than the gals, but traditional gender roles normally dictate that the man pays for the date. It’s the 21st century though, and it’s more than time for things to become a little more equitable. It is important to be upfront about going Dutch, but if you float the idea and she is receptive to it going into the date, splitting the cost of the meal is a good way to stay on budget. This is especially true if it is a first date or the restaurant you choose is expensive.
Speaking of restaurants, another way of cutting costs when living the single life is not too choose the fancy restaurant route on every date. More often than not, a good authentic ethnic restaurant or just a small family owned eatery will have just as good, if not better, food for a fraction of the cost. It’s also a good way of impressing your date with your knowledge of the area and make them feel special.
Another option is to skip the restaurant routine entirely and instead take your date out for another activity. What kind of activity, though? Some favorites include a picnic, hiking, bowling, or a night out dancing. Not only will it save you money, but it will also help set you apart from the dozens of other dinner dates she’s been on.
When dating on a budget, the key is to have a good time without overspending. That’s why it is best to avoid expensive events like theater shows, concerts, and comedy shows. While those are all fun things to do on a date, they’re a little too much of an investment for a first or second date. It’s best to wait until you’re sure there is a real connection before laying out that kind of cash.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to staying on budget while dating is that it’s about your mindset. Break free of the stereotypes of roses and candlelit dinners and be creative with your venues. If your date is difficult or put off by your thrifty nature, it probably wasn’t a good match in the first place. Most of all, enjoy yourself during this fun and exciting period in your life. Odds are you’ll look back on it with fondness someday.