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5 Tips to Save Money on Dates

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Are you behind on your monthly bills? Do you have credit card debt? Did your paycheck decrease at the beginning of the year because of tax changes? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then it’s time to start paying attention to how much you spend on your dates. The better off you are in the financial long-run, the more fun you’re going to have on that first date with your soon-to-be significant other – and the better your chances are of enjoying a long-term relationship. To learn how to save money on your dating adventures, read on!

1. Start With Your Online Dating Profile
If you don’t make $100,000 per year, don’t make your JDate profile look as though you do. While it may be tempting at the get-go, you’re only setting yourself up for failure. If your current job pays $40K per year, say so. Better yet, don’t mention your salary at all (whether it’s dismal or stratospheric) and let your date learn about who you are based on what you have to offer emotionally and intellectually, not financially. You don’t want your date to expect you to pay for a swanky dinner if you just can’t afford it.

2. Examine Your Date’s Money Mindset
In your online chats, emails, or phone conversations, find out what your potential date is looking for out of that first meet-up. If it’s dinner at a five-star restaurant followed by an expensive theater performance, you may want to reconsider. At the very least, suggest a less expensive first activity. If your date is a spender rather than a saver, it’s not only going to cost you more money now, but in the future as well.

3. Suggest Using a Coupon
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. If your date is comfortable with you using a coupon, put a big check mark in the money-saving column. If┬áthe prospect of dining out on a discount is scoffed at, then you just got a useful insight into your date’s views on money. To find coupons for local restaurants, try the websites Groupon and LivingSocial. Signing up is as simple as entering your email address and zip code, and you can receive email offers with deals on restaurants near you.

4. Offer Budget-Friendly Dating Ideas
It’s tough to be a money-conscious dater if you don’t offer any budget-friendly ideas. Miniature golf is not only a great value, but it’s also a much easier way to get to know your date than trying to hold a conversation in a crowded restaurant or nightclub. If you live near the beach, make a romantic picnic out of it. Pack some wine, fruit, and cheese, and plan to watch the sunset (instant charm free of charge). Museums are often low-cost, and many offer free admission days, and bowling is also a fun and inexpensive way to spend a night out. Apart from being cost-effective, these date ideas all share something else in common: They’re all original. Show your date something unique and save some money at the same time.

5. Limit the Alcohol
Bars and restaurants often charge a ton for drinks, so try to limit your alcohol consumption, especially on the first few dates. The less the two of you drink, the more you’re going to get to know each other’s genuine personalities. So save the drinks for later on, or, at the very least, limit yourself to one alcoholic beverage.

Final Thoughts
Now let’s talk about online dating websites. Should you go paid or free? What you’re going to find with many free websites is that their candidates are less than serious about finding true love, which is likely to result in a waste of your time and money. A paid website like JDate, on the other hand, attracts men and women with a genuine interest in meeting and establishing a relationship. You can browse profiles for free, or become a paid member and enjoy connecting with other Jewish singles in a variety of ways: JDate Flirts, emails and Instant Messaging. Saving money on your dates is important, but knowing where to spend it when seeking a partner is even better.

Got any other ways to save money on dates? Share your tips in the comment section below!

Jackie Kaplan is a young professional working in New York. She enjoys sharing her experiences with online dating and tips for frugal living.
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