The Valentine’s season can make some go all mushy and some vomit with disgust, but it can also drain your finances if your head’s in the clouds. Let’s find out.
The Valentine’s season is here. Cue for the greeting card industry and retail companies to launch into a frenzy and swamp stores and malls with stuff that ostensibly will seal the deal with your loved one. Cue also for those who’re tasked with protecting our society’s moral fibre aka anti-Romeo squads to stay vigilant of activities that may go against our cultural norms. Seldom has any festival caused as much debate and uproar as Valentine’s Day. The spectrum of responses that this day evokes rivals that of Trump haters.
But this piece is not about which side of the debate we’re on (we’re all for #freelove if you’re asking), it’s about how being in love may not bode well for your finances if you’re focusing too much on the optics.
Dating Leads To Debt?
In a survey conducted by Credit Karma in the US recently, it was found that 29% of millennials and Gen Z-ers are debt-ridden because of how much they spend on dates. Of those, 21% of the respondents said that they have accumulated more than $500 in ‘dating debt’ in the past year. Some of the key findings of the survey are as below:
- 29% of the sample of respondents aged 18-34 have gone into debt for a date. Of those, 21% have racked up a debt of more than $500 in the past year.
- When asked why they went into dating debt, 29% said that they accidentally overspent and 28% were looking to impress their dates.
- Of those who have gone into ‘dating debt’, millennials are more than twice as likely as Gen Z to go at least $250 in debt for dating (48% vs. 22%).
- 73% of young adults among the survey respondents said that they wouldn’t talk about finances on a first date, and 69% of those in a relationship said ‘I love you’ before discussing their salary or other finances.
- 20% of people aged 18-34 years old said that having too much debt is their biggest deal breaker.
Watch: #RomanceOnABudget: Save Money This Valentine’s Day!
Why Are Young Adults Falling Into ‘Dating Debt’?
In the survey, the respondents cited the following reasons as to why they went into ‘dating debt’:
- 75% of those who went into debt said they used Credit Cards to finance their dates.
- 28% of those who went into debt said they did so in order to impress their dates.
- 24% said they simply have expensive taste.
- 17% said they wanted their dates to think they had more money than they actually did.
Both generations of millennials and Gen Z-ers said that they had trouble talking to their partners about their finances. 95% of young adults in a relationship thought having conversations about finances with their romantic partners is important. However, 73% of survey respondents said they wouldn’t talk about finances on a first date.
Additional Reading: Gift Your Partner Something Special On Valentine’s Day With These Credit Cards
How To Date Without Draining Your Finances:
As a couple, if both you and your partner are open to trying out new things, you should experiment with your gift ideas a little more then. Quite frankly, gifting your partner chocolates, flowers, spa vouchers, teddy bears etc. are quite passé and might give off the impression that you didn’t put too much thought into the gift. It is possible, however, to still gift your significant other something that he/she will love and that will not drain your bank account.
Stay Home And Cook Together:
If you both love cooking, this can be a great way to bond over something you both love. If either of you don’t, you can always offer a helping hand by chopping the veggies, washing the dishes or just offering company. Enjoying a meal that you both have created from scratch is sure to create memories that you both will cherish for a long time.
Take A Local Tour:
Just because you don’t have enough money to take a trip to Bali doesn’t mean that you both have to stop exploring new places together. You can always visit a new area of town, go on a trek nearby or take a walk in the local botanical garden. If you both like to work up a sweat, you can sign up for a weekly session of squash at the local sports club or work out together in a gym.
Additional Reading: Valentine’s Day Gifts For Bae
Visit A Fair/Open-Mic:
Flea markets, fairs and open-mics that have a free entry are pretty common these days. If you’re tired of the dinner and movie dates routine, you can always mix things up a bit by spending a day listening to good music or checking out quaint, handmade stuff and doing your bit for independent artists.
Do Volunteer Work Together:
Doing your bit for a social cause can teach you a lot about your partner. Spend a day in an old-age home or an orphanage giving back and helping out those in need and you might get to know about the other’s ideals and values better.
Limit The Use Of Your Credit Cards:
If you’re focusing too much on wooing your partner by showering them with lavish gifts, you might end up swiping your Credit Cards too much and for all the wrong reasons. Gifts with a high price tag won’t necessarily impress your partner and compensate for the lack of an emotional connect. Have an honest conversation about the kind of dates you both can afford and agree to split the tab.
Additional Reading: Tidy Your Wallet By Cleaning Out Your Credit Cards
Swiping right doesn’t mean that you have to swipe left on your financial well-being if you’re both not afraid to try new things. Dating on a budget will not only bode well for your finances but will give you both clarity on your priorities as a couple and whether you can accept each other for richer or poorer.
If you’re still looking for a Credit Card to buy something precious for your loved one, the right Credit Card can help.