How to Date With Your Wallet in Mind

Dating can mean putting a lot of things on the line. Your emotions and your time are just a few things you gamble with when you’re in the dating world. However, there is also the matter of your finances and how they are affected by your dating life. When finding a worthy partner, you should consider things like honesty, humor, and a similar taste in takeout, but you should also consider how that person will affect your financial well-being.

Knowing How to Have a Cheap Date

Dating can be expensive and sometimes stressful. Fancy restaurants, movie popcorn, and flashy cocktails are not cheap. For those who are trying to watch their spending, dating can be tricky. However, there are ways to go on dates with your wallet in mind:

Coffee over alcohol: Coffee is cheaper than booze. Going on a coffee date will be more cost effective.

Breakfast over dinner: Breakfast is almost always cheaper than dinner. Not only that, it makes for a more unique date.

Utilizing happy hour:

Investing in free experiences: A walk in the park, going for a hike, visiting a bookstore, feeding ducks, or driving around listening to your favorite songs are unique dates that don’t cost a thing.

Identifying Partners Who Are Bad for Your Wallet

Sometimes it’s not the date itself that’s bad for your wallet — it’s the person. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people out there who take advantage of others and their finances. It’s nice to know if someone is taking advantage of you and your finances before it’s too late, and to do that it’s important to keep an eye open for any red flags. Understanding how your credit score works and how important your credit health is will show how vital it is to date people who will respect your finances.

If they expect you to pay for everything, you notice a disparity in financial independence, they ask for money or a loan, or their spending is outside of their means, be wary of how those behaviors can affect your finances.

Having a Good Work/Partner Balance

Dating with your wallet in mind isn’t just about how your money is spent; but also about how it’s made. It’s not about putting your career first, or your partner first; it’s about finding that balance and making sure you’re not sacrificing one for the other. If your partner is in any way jeopardizing your career, that is a big red flag. When you’re looking to be a leader in the workplace, it’s important to prioritize your career goals. Being professional is one of the important traits in leadership, and having a partner intervene with work is unprofessional and can affect your employability and focus on work.

Some things a partner may do to hurt your work and your ability to make money include calling your place of work often to talk to you, having jealousy issues with co-workers, or asking you to choose between them and your job. If your partner is being neglected because your balance leans too far on the work side, that’s an important conversation to have. However, interfering with your job can be a red flag for your wallet as well as a red flag in terms of being in a toxic or controlling relationship.

Making Large Purchases as a Couple

For many couples, things slowly start to blend the longer and more serious a relationship gets. This can mean sharing money, moving in together, or taking big trips together, among other things. Generally speaking, this is a great step for many couples looking to be together for a long time. However, it’s also important to protect yourself in case you don’t end up together forever. Deciding whether to rent or buy a home, for instance, is an exciting decision to make for yourself or for you and your partner. On one hand, buying is a great decision for your long-term financial health. On the other hand, if you split up, you can be risking a lot.

Just be sure when you’re making large purchases together, you’re taking precautions. For a home purchase, talk to your lender about ways to protect the both of you in terms of a written agreement or the title. If you’re renting together, be sure you can afford the place with one income if you have to. Be sure you have a healthy savings account. The scary part is that if you rent, buy, or have some type of loan together and you break up, your credit suffers if your ex doesn’t pay. For this reason, it’s important to make large purchases together cautiously.

Knowing How Your Finances Affect Each Other

The reason why it’s important to date with your wallet in mind is because you and your partner’s finances will affect each other. Even if you have separate bank accounts and make big purchases under one name, there are still ways that your finances will affect one another. For this reason it’s important to talk about what your finances look like now, what your financial goals are, and how you plan on combining finances. This might not be as prominent early on in a relationship, but it can turn into something prominent the more serious your relationship becomes.

If you have old hospital bills, it’s important to understand how that medical debt will affect you long term as well as your ability to take out a loan later on. If your partner has student loans, it’s important to know how that will be paid off and if they’ll affect your ability to take out a loan for a home in the future. Spending issues, debt in collections, a pay gap between the two of you, or one or both of you with poor credit can affect the other indirectly throughout your relationship. For that reason, it’s important to talk about and understand how these financial shortcomings can affect each other.

Dating can be a really exciting aspect of life. You get to meet new people, try new things, fall in love, and blend your lives together. It can also be difficult. You may meet a bunch of jerks, fall out of love, and see your lives drift apart. Because dating can go one of two ways, it’s important to keep your financial well-being safe through it all. Learn how to date on a budget, weed out people who are bad for your finances, keep your career goals set, protect yourself with big purchases, and talk about how your finances will blend together. Be sure to protect your heart through the dating world, but don’t forget to protect your wallet as well.

Chelsy Ranard

Chelsy is a writer/blogger from Montana who graduated with her journalism degree from the University of Montana in 2012. She loves drinking coffee, is interested in everything true crime, and her hair is always a mess. Follow her on Twitter @Chelsy5