Want to Fall in Love? Better Budget For It

March 6, 2019
Updated 1mo ago

By Chloe Aiello

Dating isn't cheap. From dinners and drinks to primping and prepping, the expenses can add up quick. Most millennials won't think twice before throwing down on dating, but Erin Lowry, author of "Broke Millennial," said budgeting for those expenses is a smart move.

"It needs to be a line item in your budget, it's really that simple," Lowry said. "If it's a priority for you ー which it's totally understandable that it is, you need to be setting a certain amount of money aside ... and it needs to fit in with your overall financial goals."

Just how much to set aside, Lowry said, depends entirely on the individual. She recommended about $100 to $200 per month.

But when going traditional, dates can get pricey fast. The cost of dinner for two plus drinks can easily exceed $50, and according to Match, the average cost of dinner and a movie has soared to about $102.32. To keep costs low, an introductory coffee or cocktail date is a dependable, low commitment way to get to know someone, Lowry said ー and there's no shame in being a budget dater.

"You can have frugal and fun dates. Especially if you live in a city, especially in the summer, you have a lot of opportunities," Lowry said.

When it comes to who pays the tab, the expectation ー in heterosexual dating ー still falls to men, Lowry said.

"Sometimes people will judge if the man doesn't offer to pay," Lowry said. "On the flip side, more and more women do tend to want to go dutch for a variety of reasons, and one can be then that there's then no expectation of being beholden to do something you don't want to do."

Even though men might be paying for dinner, Lowry said women usually shell out more ahead of a date for "beauty maintenance," and also must deal with the mental strain of creating a safety plan if that date goes south.

"I would think of it kind of like a pink tax," she said.

For full interview click here.