Every year, British singles spend about £1,280 on dating related activities, according to a study by Match.com and the Centre of Economic Business Research! Love is priceless, but sometimes the costs of dating like restaurants, entertainment, new outfits, bars, haircuts and getting to and from your date location can add up.
It doesn’t have to be this way, though. Below are six tips for having an exciting dating life without going broke.
- Free dates can be just as good as expensive dates
The good things in life can, and often do, come for free. The most important ingredient of a successful date is simply good company, which doesn’t cost a penny. Check out our top 20 free dates for inspiration, from botanical gardens to comedy nights. Impressing your date with expensive dinners or trips, especially in the early stages of dating, is a thing of the past.
- Have drinks or dessert at home before or after your date
Most of us love going out to eat, but when you order a drink or two, a meal, and a dessert, you’re going to rack up a tab. There’s just no way around it. Try and enjoy one of these things at home instead of the restaurant. Have a glass of wine or a cocktail at home, and water with your meal, or wine with your meal out, but then dessert at home – home cooked desserts are cheap, and especially romantic. Win-win!
- Split courses with your date
I’m not trying to take food away from you! But if you’re trying to cut back on the amount you spend on dates, splitting an appetizer, meal, or dessert every now and then is one way to do that. Not to mention, it can be romantic to pick something out together and eat off the same plate. Tapas restaurants have built a whole following based on this concept!
- Going Dutch on the bill is the new normal
It’s 2017, and we’re no longer stuck following old rules of dating rules. The guy doesn’t have to pay for every date anymore, and neither does the person who makes more money. If this is something you work out with the other person, that’s fine. But if you don’t want to, or you’re not there yet, you shouldn’t worry about asking to split the bill — it’s simply the done thing. You also don’t have to pay separately every time. Make your own rules and do what feels comfortable for you and your date.
- Plan Date Nights In
For a whole lot of us, staying in is the new going out! Think about how long it takes to get ready, get to the bar, restaurant, club, or venue, wait for a table, get your drinks and food, get your bill, and get home. I want to take a nap just thinking about it.
Spend more quality date nights at home, and make that extra bit of effort to differentiate it from any other night. Cook a delicious meal you decide on together, gather your favorite snacks of yesteryear and snuggle down to watch a classic movie or tv show or play have a few drinks over a board game…use you imagination and create a romantic evening for the two of you.
- Be a Savvy Saver
Spending money while dating is pretty much inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be smart about it. Make use of deals and research places that offer deals on dining – often for slightly earlier bookings.
Just because you’re trying to save money doesn’t mean you have to slack on the courting aspect. You can still give each other little gifts without breaking the bank. A cute bunch of flowers from your local florist, a hand written card for a special occasion, a photo collage of the two of you, or something unique for their house or flat are all cheap gifts full of meaning.
Unfortunately, money isn’t going to be growing on trees anytime soon, so it’s up to us to keep our spending in line, especially in terms of dating. It can be easy to get carried away when you really like someone, but you also don’t want to drain your bank account. Try to implement a few of these tips, and you’ll see what a difference they can make. Your date nights don’t have to go down in quality just because you’re saving money.
Hayley Matthews is editor-in-chief at DatingAdvice.com, a popular site featuring advice from more than 250 dating coaches, matchmakers, and other relationship experts. In addition to offering expert tips and guides, the site also publishes reviews of the top dating sites and apps, where Hayley and her team rank Match.com as #1. When Hayley isn’t writing about dating and relationships, she’s listening to the Beatles or watching Harry Potter.