You’ve taken the plunge and conformed. You dread anyone ever finding out you’ve done it, but the winter nights have just become too cold. You joined Tinder, or OkCupid, or whichever generic dating app is popular at any given time.

Things are going swimmingly; you’re currently juggling five or more right swipes or matches, and the time seems right to start going on dates with said right swipes or matches.

The thing is, five dates could take a heavy toll on your mid-month budget. Herewith, a few dating ideas that won’t bankrupt you by the third date:

1. Don’t pull out all the stops at once

Keep it sweet and simple. Stick to drinks after work, rather than dinner. This sets the informal tone a first date should have. If the two of you get along like a house on fire, drinks could always turn into dinner.

Assuming this happens, there is nothing wrong with splitting the bill; we’ve passed the point where one person is expected to foot an entire bill.

Meet at your local pub. You already know the place and it’s prices, so you won’t be caught off guard.

Alternatively, try a simple picnic at a nearby park. Parks are quaint and lovely places to take someone on a date. Take along a few snacks and a good bottle of wine. It’s romantic but still informal enough.

Stuck for choice? Check out a few great picnic spots in and around Joburg here.

In a nutshell: A quick beer at the place around the corner is cheaper than dinner at the French place, so is packing a picnic basket.

2. Don’t date everyone you meet

Be selective about who you go on dates with. Tinder FOMO is an actual condition, we know! When there are so many options to choose from, we often try to give the whole lot a go. Don’t.

Try to get to know someone before you start dating him or her. Just because you thought they seemed intriguing in their pictures, it doesn’t mean they are. Try to get the gist of someone before going on a date. You don’t want someone to feel like they’re just a booty call, or vice versa.

In a nutshell: Don’t go on dates with every single one of your matches.

3. Take your time

Remember, it’s not a race. At a certain point you might feel pressured to meet “the One”, but don’t let this be your motivator.

While it might make sense to meet as many new people as you can in the shortest amount of time possible, nothing is stopping you from getting to know a particular person better.

The fewer people you’re dating at a particular time equals spending less money, and more time getting to know people. This is the most economical way to date, and also the most rewarding.

In a nutshell: If you hit it off with someone, don’t look any further for a while. You won’t just save you money; it might just be personally profitable in the long run.

While these tips don’t necessarily guarantee that you’ll find a partner in the next 5 minutes, we hope they’ll guarantee that you have a good shot at meeting someone worthwhile while maintaining your financial independence.

Happy dating!

About The Author

Angie Gallagher

Angie Gallagher is a freelance writer in the Upper Karoo. Aside from writing content for Counting Coins, Angie has tried her hand at a few juvenile attempts at poetry filled with storms and stress, and a marginally successful radio station, Radio Grootoor, recorded on cassette tapes when she was ten.

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