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Don’t Let 21st-Century Dating Make You Broke

In the age of Tinder, it can be deceptively easy to spend a boatload on going on dates. Instead, try the more casual route. It doesn’t need to be expensive; just well thought-out.

Here’s a great piece over at CNBC about the economics of the modern state of dating. The authors, Eric Rosenbaum and Izzy West, examine trends and statistics that have emerged in what they call “the Tinder Age.” Here are a few notable takeaways:

“Thirty-one percent of singles met their first dates online in 2014”

Remember when online dating was something people were ashamed of? Not anymore. The same can be said for Tinder itself. Upon its release, it was belittled as nothing more than a hookup app. Rosenbaum and West cite a professor of psychology at Northwestern who calls Tinder “the best option available now” for those “who would like to marry someday and want to enjoy dating in the meantime.” 

“American singles averaged $61.53 a month, or $738.36 a year, on dating, according to’s Singles in America 2014 study.”

Rosenbaum and West make sure to note that they’re somewhat skeptical of’s results because “2014 was the only year its annual survey of singles included a question on spending.” Still — $60 per month. Ay caramba. All this dating can be a weight on your budget. And since there’s still something of an expectation with heterosexual dating that men pick up the check on a first date, that’s a lot of stress there for guys who want to date but also need to eat. This is why Rosenbaum and West make sure to note the following:

“The 2014 survey also revealed that a majority of women (58 percent) don’t want an expensive date and realize that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to be a good first date. They’d rather their date keep it casual, as long as there’s thought behind it.”

They cite the research of behavioral economists who argue that experiences can be worth just as much as physical luxuries in the currency of attraction. Examples of this include picnicking in the park, sharing a bike ride, a walking tour of historic landmarks, flea markets or thrifting, and volunteering. With regard to the latter, I moonlight as a volunteer coordinator at a nonprofit and I’ve seen first-hand the effects a positive experience can have on a first date. That’s anecdotal and probably useless, but it was also two people having a good time and paying nothing to do it. 

Take a look at the full piece (linked again below) to learn more. It’s a fascinating read and well worth your time.

Read more at CNBC.

Photo credit: Peter O’Toole / Shutterstock


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