Has Cupid's arrow struck?

Don't date your way into debt

Has Cupid’s arrow struck? Don’t date your way into debt

We know your new girlfriend or boyfriend wants to go out every Friday. Even two drinks each, some snacks and an Uber ride home could set you back $50. It’s dead easy to blow $100 if you throw food in as well. What’s more, dating can send your credit score south. Fast.

Let’s say you spend $150 a week going out, $300 a couple of times a year on a weekend away, $200 on his/her birthday, and flowers or chocolates on Valentine’s Day. You’re up to around $8,500. And who has that to spend year in year out?

If you keep this up your savings will be knocked for six if nothing else. But it could lead you into a downward debt spiral. Debt is a real turnoff to plenty of potential mates. Trust me, I’ve been there.

Unrealistic expectations

Serious socialising might also set your date up with unrealistic expectations about how much money you have and are willing to spend. What if she wants jewellery, or he wants to go Dutch on lots of expensive weekends away at $200 a night love hole hotels?

As unromantic as it sounds, the difference between needs and wants matters even when you’re dating. There is good news, however.

Cheap but romantic dates

You can be romantic without spending much. If you’re clever, the apple of your eye won’t even realise what you’re up to. Tee hee.

  • Cupid tip 1: Take up walking. Going for a walk down the beach, a walk in the bush or a walk through an interesting part of town is very romantic.
  • Cupid tip 2: Learn to cook. Find a recipe that you know you can pull off easily. It doesn’t have to be haute cuisine. Google ‘simple romantic recipes’ and choose something easy. If you really need three courses, choose cold dishes for the starter and desert and prepare them the day before. If you can’t cook then buy nice bread and salad and a few simple sausages.
  • Cupid tip 2: Cook up a storm on a public barbecue. You’ll find them at many beaches around the city.
  • Cupid tip 4: Pack a picnic. Almost any food becomes romantic when there is a picnic blanket and park, river or beach involved. Buy a pre-cooked chicken or French bread and fillings from the supermarket. Cold champagne for two is oh so romantic.
  • Cupid tip 4: Go bike riding. Meet up with your own bicycles. Or many of the major cities in Australia now have public bike stations, such as Melbourne Bike Share, or Brisbane City Council’s CityCycle bike hire scheme . Many cities now have electric bike hire as well.
  • Cupid tip 5: Watch a movie together. But whatever you do, find out the other person’s tastes. If you like fantasy and she only watches period dramas you could make a mistake. Homemade popcorn is very romantic indeed.
  • Cupid tip 6: Go to church together. Honestly!  If you both believe in compatible religions then it’s a nice thing to do.

The great thing about cheap dates is they set the bar low financially, but high in terms of what a creative, romantic person you are.

Happy dating!

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