Dating on a Budget: How to Have Fun without Spending a Fortune
Aside from a short-lived, casual relationship this summer, I’ve been single since I ended my last serious relationship almost four years ago. During those four years, I’ve gone back and forth between actively dating and enjoying being single. And most recently, like so many, I’ve had to take some hard looks at my budget and cut some expenses to make ends meet.
For singles, dating can often be a category that takes a hit when the budget needs to be trimmed. It feels like a luxury and keeping a roof over our head or food in the kitchen seems much more important than dating. And while that may be true, it doesn’t mean you have to give up dating because you’re pinching pennies.
Instead, consider how you might have fun dating without spending much money. From how to meet someone to what to do when you have met someone, I’ve got 10 simple tips for dating on a budget. And as a bonus, you won’t look like a cheapskate when you use them, either.
Look for free or low-cost ways to meet new people
After the pandemic, a lot of people have come to rely on dating apps to meet people. Some people (myself included) relied on apps even before the pandemic for various reasons. At first glance, it does seem like a cheap way to find a date. Most apps have a free account that costs you nothing, you’ll spend no gas driving anywhere to meet anyone, and you can swipe right while binging your favorite Netflix series. But dating apps are also becoming a cesspool of people who are unwilling to commit because they’re afraid the best thing that ever happened to them might be the next profile — or the one after that.
Skip the dating apps and look for other free or low-cost ways to meet new people. Maybe there’s a local bar where you could have a beer or two while shooting a couple of games of pool. Maybe you could volunteer for a charity that matters to you or go to free local events like a Friday night movie in the park or a new art exhibit opening at the local museum. These are great ways to meet people with similar interests without spending a ton of money.