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How to Date and Save Money

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Big date? Wash your car!
What do you do before a date?

  1. Agonize over washing your car?
  2. Spend hours in front of the mirror?
  3. 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 rules

The dating tradition that our parents and grandparents grew up with has become outdated.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!

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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.

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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:

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...

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