Dating can be a fun and enjoyable experience, but it can also be costly. A recent study found that 22% of millennials are going into debt from dating. While this number may appear small, it’s a worrying sign about economic options for young people, so it’s important to know the dangers of dating and debt.
Why Do So Many Millennials Take On Debt From Dating?
Dating can cost a lot of money, both in terms of premium dating apps, the cost of dates, and the cost of your time. For example, one study found that spending on dates costs an average of $146 per month. That adds up quickly!
In addition, many millennials are not living within their means regarding dating. In fact, a 2016 survey found that nearly two-thirds of millennials (64%) say they don’t have enough money saved up to cover an unexpected expense such as a car repair or medical bill. Tacking on the expense of wining and dining a potential mate can quickly add up and turn a bad situation into something disastrous, financially speaking.
How To Avoid Going Into Debt From Dating?
There are a few things you can do to avoid going into debt from dating. First, don’t start making discretionary purchases, like expensive dates, if you’re already in debt. Your first goal should be getting out of debt before tacking on more costs. You can use something like the debt avalanche method to help you knock down your debt, freeing up extra funds to woo your date later on.
Next, make sure you have enough money to cover unexpected costs and be aware of the types of expenses common when dating. Many of these expenses are costly and not always necessary. For example, spending on luxurious dates often comes with a high price tag. Instead, you might consider going on inexpensive dates that will still allow you to show your date you’re interested such as a coffee date, taking an afternoon walk in the park on a nice day, sightseeing around your town, or going to a movie.
There’s also the option of searching online for discounted events and tickets. Sites like Groupon and Living Social offer deals on events all the time, so be sure to check them out!
Lastly, be careful about how much you borrow money from friends or family members during dating. Borrowing money from others can quickly increase your debt load. Instead, try to save up for these types of expenses yourself.
What To Do if You’re Already in Debt
If you’re one of the 22% who’s already in debt because of dating, don’t worry, there are steps you can take to get back on track.
First, look at your spending habits. Are you overspending? What costs can you cut back on? The sooner you recognize where your money goes, the better you’ll prevent yourself from going further into debt.
Second, consider talking to a financial advisor about your situation. A professional can help you create a budget and suggest how to improve your credit score. This can make it much easier to get approved for loans and credit cards in the future, which could help you avoid going into debt again from dating.
Lastly, you can always try to find ways to earn more money. Maybe freelancing or finding a second job can help. Or, look into ways to start a side hustle. This could be as simple as taking on a pet-sitting or dog-walking gig or starting a home-based business.
The Bottom Line
Remember, dating can be an enjoyable experience, but being responsible with your finances is essential. There are many resources available to help you get back on your feet and avoid going into debt from dating.