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Ah yes, time for me to remanence back to the days when I was single and poor. One of the things I learned growing up is that stretching a dollar is absolutely required if you want to get involved in the dating game.
Now, this post isn’t about “cheap date ideas”, although that is a good idea for a future blog post. But I’m all about maximum value. I want to give you guys tips (and probably terrible ones at that) on how to save money while dating.
It might not get you far, but as a man who never had money in the dating scene, I would say I did pretty well for myself in finding Mrs. Debt to Dough.
I don’t know why I even mention “for men” in the title. Some of these tips are valid for women (except maybe tip #1). Anyways, enjoy!
Dating Saver Tip #1: Go Bald
For a decent hair trimmer, it will run you about $25. Personally, I prefer the Remington Shaver as seen below.
I used to go get my haircut every few weeks. You can get a haircut for 10-15$ depending on the location. But expect to pay $20-40 if you go to a barber. I ain’t about that hair-life. I used to work with other guys that spend $100/month going to the barber every 10 days.
Spend $25 now, go for the shaved head look and you are good to go! Save hundreds each year!
Dating Saver Tip #2: Happy Hour Is Your Friend
I hate dinner dates when meeting someone because the dynamics almost make it sound like an interview. Plus dinners are expensive if you are trying to be fancy.
Do you want to make a perception that you always have money when you don’t? That’s going to hurt your wallet to keep up that facade. You might get 2-3 dates and hope you get somewhere, I don’t like those odds.
And don’t get me started on coffee (although I would admit it was a go-to in my 20s), you are essentially paying to have a 1 on 1 with someone.
Activities are the best way to get to know someone (in my opinion). My favorite thing about happy hour is that:
- You can get a meal for the price of a Starbucks coffee
- More relaxed atmosphere
- It’s likely you both are working on similar schedules, so outside of getting to know someone, you have more talking points about jobs/coworkers.
- Generally, bars are social functions, more low key, and less pressure.
You can make a clean getaway with a $20 date for the both of you.
Dating Saver Tip #3: Learn Some Slick Lines
The only lines I ever use are the ones that mask the fact that I’m poor.
- “I’m having a great time, I like you so much we are gonna split the meal”
Actually, that is the only one that happened to work. Still saved me $8.
Dating Saver Tip #4: Come As You Are, Seriously
Yeah yeah yeah, “be yourself” so cliche! But in all of the relationships and dating I’ve been involved, the number one killer is that one person sets up very high expectations of the other person.
I’m cheap, I know I’m cheap. Even as I moved beyond paycheck to paycheck I also have the “this won’t last forever” mindset so I try to be frugal.
I didn’t have any fancy clothes and I always felt weird in dressing up back then, so I would tell my dates to keep it casual and be prepared to feel out of place if they overdress and I’m in my tee and shorts.
The more I think about it, I pretty much say I’m cheap almost right out of the gate. If I have to keep up a lie to impress someone, it’s too much of a hassle to keep up the lie so it’s never worth it.
Don’t get me wrong, you will have some terrible dates but I’d rather have one bad date knowing I can move on vs 3-4 dates knowing it’s an uphill battle.
I guess I should mention how this saves money. Well, when you tell your date you aren’t going to a fancy dinner because it’s ridiculous to spend that much money on someone you don’t know, you save $40-100 by shutting down that date idea…and probably the date itself. But that’s beside the point.
Dating Saver Tip #5: Show The Reality, Sell The Dream
I’ve always been ambitious but pretty much a failure in everything I did. But you know what? Even if I had nothing going for me, I would enjoy talking about how one day I plan to work with companies and make a difference. I would love talking about comedy and all of the hobbies I want to take seriously one day.
Mrs. Debt to Dough often jokes how “she saw a lot of potential in me”. But the reality is that I have ambitions and she felt that I was genuine when talking about my future.
She tells me that drive and passion I have is something that not many people show. And she wanted someone like that as a companion. She is my biggest supporter and she always motivates me to go beyond my limits.
So in other words, showing passion is worth more to some women than a $50 dinner. So there, another $50 saved.
Dating Saver Tip #6: Play “20 Questions” Using Swagbucks
If you are able to get your date’s email, you should sign her up for Swagbucks and rake in $5 for signing up. Oh on top of that, Swagbucks will ask you (her) profile questions which are in-line to the standard questions you would ask on the date.
- “What would you say your ethnicity is?”
- “You can’t be 23 years old. Oh, you are 28? Great!”
- “This bar is kind of smokey, do you find that annoying? Oh, you smoke? How often? Good to know!”
You can then fill out surveys as a way for both of you to get to know each other. Maybe date #2 or #3 bring her over to your apartment, make some frozen pizza, and earn money while getting to know each other. $5 frozen pizza in exchange for $10 made on Swagbucks surveys.
I think I’m starting to get off the rails here. Anyways, what over money-saving dating tips do you have?
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- How I Paid off $40,077 in Student Loans In 18 Months