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If you’re still looking for that special someone don’t let looking for love leave you in a financial mess – try my tips for Dating on a Budget
The world of dating, in particular online dating is more different and diverse than it has ever been. With the advent of dating apps such as Tinder and Plenty of Fish and pretty much everyone and their brother having social media it’s a completely different ball game to what it was twenty years ago. On top of that, people’s expectations seem to have risen – with many girls now expecting to be wined and dined on every date and expecting the gentleman to pick up the tab every time. Here’s how to cope when you find yourself dating on a budget.
Dating on a Budget
There are thousands of people who have found love online, whether it was through a dating app, website or simply getting chatting to someone on social media. Sadly, these success stories don’t seem to outweigh the negative experiences people have had – especially with Tinder and Plenty of Fish.
Research shows that the average cost of a date in the U.K is £129. If you’re going on a few dates a month the that’s is a lot of money to be spending and an amount I’m sure a lot of people couldn’t comfortably afford.
If you’re one those people who is still looking love but are finding the numerous first dates, second dates and casual drinks are taking their toll on your bank account, here is my advice on looking for love while Dating on a Budget.
You don’t need to Pay to be On a Dating Site
If you’re one of the many, many people that has had a dating disaster from the likes of Tinder or Plenty of Fish, you may now be considering one of the many paid dating sites, such as E-Harmony or Elite singles. Before you do it’s definitely worth giving a free dating site such as welovedates.com a try first. You have nothing to lose and could save yourself some cash in the long run.
First (and subsequent) dates don’t have to be expensive
Once you get chatting to someone and then decide you want to meet it can be really easy to get carried away and want to impress them with a full wine and dine experience at a fancy restaurant. Try to remember they are there for your personality and charm, not how much you can spend on them (or at least they shouldn’t be!)
Personally I wouldn’t want to do dinner until a third of fourth date, when I’d really be starting to get know someone. Casual drinks, a walk in the park or something quirky like mini-golf all make fun ideas for dating on a Budget
It’s okay to Go Dutch
Deciding whether or not go dutch can be tricky. Some people believe that if you invited a person (whether they be male of female) on date then you should pay. However, if the date hasn’t gone well many Gents now prefer to go dutch so they’re not left out of pocket after a bad date (Have seen this so many times on first dates!)
Others may think this ungentlemanly and will always pay for everything regardless. It really is a minefield and talking money with someone you barely know can be awkward.
A few tips:
- Always make sure you can afford the total bill before you go – look at the restaurants menu online beforehand for guidance.
- It’s not always worth showing off – sometimes food at a cosy country pub can be just as nice a fancy restaurant and costs much less.
- When I first started dating my now husband we’d always go 70/30. He was happy as he was contributing more than me and I didn’t feel guilty that he was always paying. Worked for us!
- Let them pay next time – if you’re both keen for a second they can pay next time and choose something that works for them budget wise.
Gifts are not always necessary
It can be tempting to show up at first date with a huge bouquet of flowers or box of chocolate but again there’s not need to spend money to impress. Also it’s worth thinking about the logistics of the date – if it goes well you may well decide to do something else afterwards – having to carry flowers around may make this really difficult and lead to the date getting cut short.
If you really enjoy a first date then sending a bouquet of flowers to the their home or office the following day may be a better way to go. And don’t forget a single rose can be just as romantic as whole bunch 😉
Other Ways to Save
There are of course plenty of other ways to save when dating – here are my top tips for Dating on a Budget
- For the ladies – If you have a tendency to spend a lot of money on getting your hair and nails done before a big date consider using a local beauty school for massive discounts.
- Having a date on a weeknight could mean any number of savings – 2 for 1 at the local cocktail bar, cheaper set menus at many restaurants and 2 for 1 cinema tickets.
- If you eat out a lot a Tastecard is definitely worth the £30 annual investment – you get 2 for 1 or 50% off a loads of restaurants and you could always discreetly take it to the bar to use when paying – essentially meaning your dates meal is free.
- My husband and I recently had a Poundland Date night, it may not be for everyone (and definitely not for a first date!) but we enjoying it. Read more here.