Dating on a Budget
As a 20-something, I tend to be drawn to all things fun and fabulous. I love buying chic clothes to wear to cool bars and brunches. I like to think that money is my kryptonite, and I have learned to accept that. So whenever I enter a new relationship, I am sure to gently warn my new partner that I am high maintenance. I typically hint it off by going on really lavish first, second and third dates just so that they get the picture.
The problem is, it’s okay to do that when you’re just dating someone for a little bit or if it’s not that serious. But once you find someone you really love and want to invest time in, you need to adjust to their lifestyle too, which includes caring about their wallet. My current boyfriend and I have dated for nearly two years now, and he still practically pays for everything. Lately, I’ve volunteered to help out occasionally, but I mostly just try to be more considerate of his spending since it’s mostly on me, and I actually love and care for the guy.
Here are a few ways to still live your lavish lifestyle, but not break the bank with your significant other.
Lately, my boyfriend likes to plan our dates for the week ahead of time, which sometimes annoys me. It’s not that I don’t like to plan, but I just like to be spontaneous at times. But after trying it out, it’s not so bad. I’ve come to realize he likes to do this so that he can plan how much he’ll be spending for the week, which in turn keeps him within his budget. Of course, he always leaves room for my spontaneous nature and expects to spend a little more than planned every time, but planning our dates weekly really helps us not overspend, but have a ton of fun at the same time.
Think of something that actually doesn’t cost a penny. Maybe go to the park or on a hike. The outdoors isn’t as scary as it looks, so take your significant other out on an adventure and prove that you can go a day without emptying their wallet. Plus, the fresh air will be great, and you can work on that natural tan while you’re at it.
For years I was convinced I could be a gold digger and never worried about spending a dime in a relationship. But then reality hit, and I realized that I had morals that wouldn’t let me just use someone, and I’d actually fall in love with a personality rather than a wallet. When you really love and care for someone, try to help them out occasionally. I have a friend that never pays for dates, but she always leaves the tip. On the other hand, I never pay for dates, but I do help out if it’s a vacation and agree to go half on the hotel or flight. Any help you do will be appreciated by your other half and won’t go unnoticed. But if you find you have no soul and are completely fine with being a gold digger with no remorse, go for it. I seriously envy you.
At the end of the day, no couple is perfect at balancing their bank. While my boyfriend and I have gotten better, just last week we splurged way too much. I have to admit, happy hours and Taco Bells are my weakness. But the two of us simply talked about it and agreed to not go out as much the next week to make up for it. Money is all about balance, just like relationships need balance to function. Just be open with your partner about how much you can and can not spend. While money is always an awkward conversation to have, it’s something you need to talk about to have a healthy, successful relationship.