Dating on a budget

March 26th, 2009

In these tough economic times, it’s important to balance being a college student with saving some coin. You need to find every corner you can cut, and not just in the classroom, but in your love life as well.

  1. Date someone whose parents are loaded.
    In order for this to be effective, you need to write home to their house at least twice a week requesting money so that you can “treat their child right.”
  2. Don’t discriminate based on gender.
    If the woman pays, it doesn’t mean chivalry is dead; it means equality is alive.
  3. Box of wine.
    It’s cheaper and you don’t need a corkscrew. Also, don’t be a fool, SUPB cups work.
  4. Make your own presents.
    Elbow macaroni and construction paper aren’t just for kindergarteners; they’re also for serious daters. For the card, go to the store and copy a Hallmark slogan, then draw some pictures on the front and end it with an “XOXO (insert name here).”
  5. Don’t be a hero; you have a meal plan.
    Guest swipes aren’t off limits as far as paying for your date goes (never actually pay cash for JCU dining).
  6. Always be prompt.
    Another idea is to take standard date ideas and put a money-saving twist on them. Have your date meet you for coffee, but make sure you get there about 15 minutes early. That way you can pick out a table and order yourself a drink before your date arrives, so that he or she will have to pay for his/her own drink. Moral? Perhaps not. Financially wise? You better believe it. Also, you’ll save money because you won’t have to worry about paying for a second date.
  7. Fast food has dollar menus for a reason.
    If your date is unhappy about you sticking him or her with his/her own coffee bill, you can always head to Taco Bell and buy a meal for under a dollar. Not only does this keep the amount of money you spend on your date under a dollar, but it also puts you back in his or her good graces with triple layer nachos or a cheesy double beef burrito.
    McDonald’s, Wendy’s and KFC all have cheap ways to feed your date. Use them.
  8. Gift cards are not out of line.
    You need to use those Christmas gifts at some point, might as well be on your date.
  9. Use movies for inspiration.
    If you’re looking to recreate a movie-like romance, you and your date can take a pottery class together. Odds are the two of you will be able to make something more useful and practical than Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore did in “Ghost.”
  10. Pheromones.
    Sticking with the movie theme, you can always watch a movie that you already own. Just be sure to put on clean clothes and Febreze the couch before your date arrives. There is nothing worse than having your date wonder whether it’s you or your couch that smells.
  11. Carroll Cash
    You need to be resourceful, so use what you have. The money is already on the card, and there’s no point in saving it. Plus your date might think you’re swiping your gold card. Who says the Inn Between can’t be romantic? You’ll be blessed with good karma at the checkout when told, “Have a good night!”

There are infinite possibilities. It is all just a matter of finding something cool that does not break the bank. Whatever you do, just do not pay with your credit card because if the date does not go well, the last thing you will want is a bill in the mail a month later.