Big date? Wash your car!
What do you do before a date?
- Agonize over washing your car?
- Spend hours in front of the mirror?
- Beg your parents for extra money "just in case?"
The first two choices have always been pretty typical of teenagers. However, choice No. 3 has become increasingly popular, with more exciting (and expensive) things to do on a date. The soaring gas prices don't help, either.
We've all been there. But hey, good news! Sometimes the dates you have the most fun on are the least expensive (and less stressful) ones.
Bye bye gender rulesThe dating tradition that our parents and grandparents grew up with has become outdated. You know, the one that declares that the boy must always pay.
Gender roles have changed along with traditions. Nowadays, it's not uncommon for the woman to pay for half, or all, of the tab. So ladies, although it's nice when the guy pays, don't expect it all the time!
Rachel figures it out.
Now that we've cleared that up, here's a good rule of thumb for paying: If you were the one who asked the other out for a date, you should probably pony up with the dough. Note: If you were the one who got asked, offer to pay for half or for all of it—nobody is made of money!
Let's say my friends Rachel and Gerald are out on a date. They go out to dinner, see a movie, and get dessert after. WHEW! That's a lot.
Fortunately, Gerald and Rachel agreed that Gerald will pay for dinner, Rachel will pay for the movie, and they will split the cost of dessert. Now, the overall cost of the date doesn't seem like so much! This technique is easy and it makes the stress of paying a bit easier to handle.
It may not be the first thing that comes to mind...
Keep the prices down
So now that we've gone over some suggestions and etiquette for paying, what can you do for a small price tag? Here are a couple of tips:
- If the two of you like to be active, check out the local trails for hiking. It's a great opportunity to talk and get to know each other better and get some fresh air. Other ideas: Go ice skating, bike riding, or mini golfing.
- If you want to plan a lunch or dinner date, consider "eating in." Invite your date over and cook up a feast-it's fun and less expensive than a restaurant. You can also pack your meal, then head to the park and have a picnic.
- If you're in the mood for some exploring, you don't have to go that far! Consider your local bookstore or the zoo. The bookstore is a great place to wander around and learn each other's interests. The zoo is another great active date. It's fun to wander around and look at all the animals!
- Speaking of zoos, if you or your date is an animal lover, make sure to stop by your local humane society and look at the cats and dogs.
Always be on the lookout for fun (free!) events happening within your community (such as concerts in the park, festivals, and so on). Check your local newspaper to find these opportunities.
Still stuck? I have some more tips for saving even more while dating...