Growing up, not only did you think you would make stupid-good money coming out of college, you also thought people you’d date would, too. You would go on candlelit date nights at the city’s finest steakhouse and take spur of the moment weekend trips to anywhere your two excessively-funded hearts desired.
That was all before the reality that your paycheck barely covers rent, bills, and whatever you qualify as “food.” However, just because being fancy isn’t necessarily your reality, it doesn’t mean everything is all bad. While you’re attempting to make something of yourself as a postgrad, remember that your potential suitors are, too. There are just some things you have to learn to let slide.
Dinner Dates On Buy-One-Get-One Nights
If there is one thing I’ve learned after college, it’s that eating out all the time is expensive. The typical person living off $35K a year can’t afford it for him or herself, let alone for another person. The ladies shouldn’t look down on a guy who’s trying so save where he can–plus, you know you love Taco Tuesday just as much as the next person. However, guys, if she’s cooking for you and asks you pick up something she forgot, for God’s sake, this is not the time to cheap out. Paprika is not that expensive.
Share Netflix, HBO GO, Or Hulu Accounts
I’ve done this out of the goodness of my heart before, and also to pay forward others’ kindness of letting me get caught up on my favorite premium-channel shows after Mom and Dad decided they no longer had a need for those channels, nor a need to support any raunchy show addiction. It’s okay to share or ask to share. If you’re watching together, there’s no need to pay twice; also, if it’s your account, the “recently watched” list can be highly informative. If sharing becomes a problem, simply set the parental controls to G-rated shows only. He or she should get the message.
Go Out Drinking Make A Trip To The Discount Liquor Warehouse
If there is one thing more expensive than eating out, it’s drinking out. Unless you’re meeting friends, sometimes it’s just not worth it for the two of you to go out for $9 beer night just to sit there and do the exact same thing you’d do at home on the couch with a fifth of Popov and some club soda. Also, we’ve all seen that lone couple at the bar–they’re all over each other the whole time, for what seems to be purely to gross out other patrons. Don’t be those people. Go buy booze. Go home, drink together, and bump n’ grind on each other in private. You know it’s fun, and it’s cost-effective.
Taking A Trip Together Means Not Crossing State Lines
If you can’t afford to send yourself on a vacation, it’s safe to say your significant other can’t, either. When dropping $2,000 on a Vegas weekend just isn’t in the cards, a modest couple hundred dollar lake house rental is likely a more viable option. Load up the car and pray for good weather. Tahiti will come one of these days, hopefully. When I say “hopefully,” I mean it better.
Show Appreciation With “Favors” Instead Of Presents
Gifts are nice. Who doesn’t love opening a present? However, material presents can be tedious to find and expensive to buy. You know what doesn’t cost money? Yup, you know. Save yourself that uptown trip to the mall–I believe the gift you’re looking for is “downtown.”
If you’re dating someone with any sort of ambition, his or her day is coming. Surviving temporary poverty together establishes a solid foundation. Like Steve Winwood said, “The finer things keep shining through.”