Dating can be quite the expensive endeavor. And, if you are doing it the more honorable way (men paying for the date), it will take a chunk out of your wallet.
So, I have a few thrifty tips to offer the guys out there that I hope will ease the bite. And, because there are many psychological factors associated with how each sex/person perceives money – my recommendation is that you are upfront with your gal about your thoughts on money and how you like to handle it. There may be a time when you present a coupon to the waiter at the restaurant and your girlfriend takes offense. And while I don’t pretend to know the inner-workings of our female counterparts, I do know they are a complex bunch. Best to handle your “thriftiness” with care and thoughtfulness when you are dating (better yet, find a gal who’s thriftiness outshines yours and you don’t need to worry).
- Learn to cook. Some of the best dates I’ve had with my wife were preparing meals at each others homes. This tends to be lower in cost than going out. Plus, it is more intimate and thrifty.
- Choose free activities. There are loads of em out there. To name a few: municipal zoos, parks, libraries (check-out DVDs for free), walking around the mall (browsing), nature preserves, star gazing, treasure hunts and reading together.
- Of course, use coupons. If you are headed to a restaurant, be sure you are signed up for all their e-mail newsletters and notifications. Or, “like” them on Facebook or become their follower on Twitter. I have found a lot of deals through the social networks and I recommend you use them to save a buck or two.
- Buy movie tickets online. Because coupon codes are becoming more popular, check to see if your theater has some deals online and purchase them through websites like Fandango.
- Have a cheap-date night. One of my friends would have cheap-date night with his wife. They would go out to dinner and a movie and try to spend less than $10. Easier than it sounds.
- Carry only cash. The trouble with many a male is when his ego gets in the way. Avoid the tendency to “look/act rich” with your date by carrying a set amount of cash on your night out. This way you will “feel” the pain of spending and know exactly what you have to spend.