couple on a movie date

A Date with Debt

Are those first-date butterfly jitters or heartburn over picking up the check? If it’s the latter, you’re not alone. In fact, a recent survey from Lendingtree noted that “22% of millennials (ages 26 to 41) and 19% of Gen Zers (ages 18 to 25) have gone into debt from what they’ve spent on dating.”

There are many reasons why dating is driving more and more people into debt, but one of the main players is the overall inflation of goods. What was once an inexpensive casual coffee date might now take a substantial chunk of money out of your wallet. Or perhaps the price of that perfect first-date outfit has increased considerably, not to mention the gas money that you’ll need to pick up your date. If you don’t pay close attention to your transactions, you might not realize how much more you’re spending.

Another reason dating might be damaging to finances is due to the ever-increasing popularity of dating apps. Many young singles are on dating apps such as Bumble, Tinder, or Hinge. In fact, many are on all three at the same time. While not every app adventure turns into an actual date, many millennials and Gen-Zers find themselves going on dates weekly because of these apps, and the cost of these frequent outings can add up fast.

So, how do you pay more attention to what you’re spending?  

First and foremost, pay attention to what you’re actually spending. It sounds obvious, but the excitement of a date can often make you view your transactions through rose-colored glasses. We all want to spoil our significant others. However, swiping without care will get you into financial trouble fast. Plus, with money-sharing apps like Venmo, you might not even realize how much money you are really spending. Budgeting and keeping track of your date-night expenses will allow you to properly examine your finances and make a plan to pay your bills on time.

Second, make sure to be honest with your partner about your budget. This probably isn’t the best dinner topic for a first date, but at some point, have an honest conversation about your budget. Don’t worry, low-budget dates aren’t always a dealbreaker. In fact, the Lendingtree survey reported that “85% of respondents said they wouldn’t feel offended if their partner took them on a low-cost date.”

Dating costs can add up fast, but that doesn’t mean you should swear off romance for good. Although it’s tempting to splurge, make sure to spend responsibly so that you can enjoy the dating world the way you deserve. After all, nobody wants a date with debt!