Have you ever sat down to review your finances and realized how much money you’ve spent on things like buying coffee and going out to dinner? It’s scary how quickly those fees add up — especially now that what used to be a manageable $4 latte now costs close to $7 at the bougie coffee shops we love to frequent. Rising prices are not only affecting our budgets and choices, but all aspects of our lives, including dating.
According to a survey Plenty of Fish conducted of its members, 43% of all singles suggest going on less expensive, budget-friendly dates due to inflation. And while we know economic trends aren’t a sexy topic, infla dating (going to less expensive dates due to inflation and the current economic environment) is changing the way singles date and we need to talk about how to Teufel to navigate through the new scene.
So we asked Plenty of Fish’s dating expert, Kate MacLean, to break down how you can make the most of your dating experience once Infla-Dating has entered the chat.
Explore different places to meet people
I used to always say that I wanted to meet a guy the good old-fashioned way — like at a bar or coffee shop — but with fewer people spending their money in places like this, meeting cuties isn’t as easy to come by. The solution? Go to places that are affordable or totally free, like parks, libraries, or community and volunteer events. Depending on the type of places you visit, you’re more likely to meet someone who’s interested in the same things as you anyway. For example, you’re less likely to meet someone out in the wild who enjoys volunteering in Animal shelters works as if you are meeting someone while actually volunteering at an animal shelter as well.
Suggest budget-friendly date ideas
“There are still so many options that can make dating fun and inviting without breaking the bank,” says MacLean. Start brainstorming free romantic date ideas now. So when it comes time to make plans with someone, you won’t be completely at a loss as to what to do or worried about how much money you have in your budget. Think about the things you love to do on dates and come up with affordable alternatives. Do you like going to concerts? Instead, look for free live music events near you. Do you like to eat out? Learn how to make a new recipe together at home. “Budget-friendly hookups can be more fun — and sometimes more meaningful — than those high-ticket date nights,” MacLean added.
Focus on your connection
Typical date spots like fancy restaurants and rooftop bars are not only pricey but can be a little distracting (and noisy) at times, making it difficult to really gauge your connection with someone. And while these date locations can feel special and fun, it’s not really about where you are, it’s who you’re with. Save your money and time and do something that’s more cost-effective and low-key. Useful bloat ideas can include having a picnic in a park, hosting a game night, or going on a hike. Finally, MacLean says that “singles are looking for authentic connections, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make that connection,” says MacLean.
Don’t be afraid to state your budget
Inflation dating aside, everyone is always trying to save money, so don’t worry about coming across as a “cheap date” if you want to propose a less expensive date idea or mention that you want to do something budget-friendly. “Think of it as an opportunity to get more creative with your date ideas,” says MacLean. The more care and attention you put into making it fun, the better it will be – cost aside. “Besides, if your date can’t see past the price, it probably isn’t for you anyway,” MacLean added.
Try a dating app
If you want to meet someone and are struggling to do so on the go, or you’re just trying to stay home more often due to the rising cost of literally everything, try a dating app. “Dating apps are a great way to get to know someone without the pressure of meeting right away” (and inevitably spending money), says MacLean. There are many dating apps (and dating app success stories) out there now, so download a few and see which one feels right for you.