DAT­ING? IT’S GO­ING TO COST YOU

Peo­ple spend more when they’re look­ing for long-term love

The Beaufort Gazette (Sunday) - - Business - Daniel B. Kline The Mot­ley Fool

If youwant to find love or keep it go­ing, you bet­ter be ready to open up your wal­let. Sin­gle peo­ple spend the most money on dat­ing, fol­lowed by those in a re­la­tion­ship, with mar­ried cou­ples in last place, ac­cord­ing to a new study from GiftCards.com.

Sin­gle peo­ple spend an av­er­age of $146 per month on dat­ing, ac­cord­ing to the poll of just over 1,000 peo­ple. Peo­ple in a re­la­tion­ship spend a lit­tle less at $139 a month, while mar­ried cou­ples spend only $130.

It’s not all un­ro­man­tic news for mar­ried cou­ples, how­ever, as they spend more per date ($54) than peo­ple in a re­la­tion­ship ($44) or sin­gle peo­ple ($43).

“Peo­ple in re­la­tion­ships (who are not mar­ried) prob­a­bly go on more dates but spend slightly less on each out­ing,” ac­cord­ing to the re­port. “Sin­gle in­di­vid­u­als, by con­trast, spend the most per month but the least per date. Per­haps that’s be­cause peo­ple of­ten think of dat­ing as a num­bers game but don’t want to break the bank with a large ticket per date.”

Are you mar­riage ma­te­rial?

Peo­ple in re­la­tion­ships spend more money on spe­cial oc­ca­sions (birthdays, hol­i­days and Valen­tine’s Day) if they be­lieve the per­son they are dat­ing is mar­riage­ma­te­rial. For ex­am­ple, cou­ples spend an av­er­age of $155 on birth­day gifts if they see mar­riage as be­ing in the cards ver­sus $99 if it’s un­likely.

The same logic holds true for­ma­jor hol­i­days like Christ­mas, where the dis­par­ity is $166 when mar­riage is likely and $129 when it’s not. There’s an even greater dis­par­ity when it comes to an­niver­saries: Cou­ples who be­lieve mar­riage is likely spend $144 com­pared with $50 for those who ex­pect to break up be­fore get­ting mar­ried.

Do you have to in­vest in love?

“Money may not buy hap­pi­ness, but it seems to cor­re­late quite strongly with re­la­tion­ship sat­is­fac­tion,” ac­cord­ing to the study. “Of course, it’s pos­si­ble this ap­par­ent con­nec­tion is due to in­di­rectly re­lated fac­tors. In­di­vid­u­als un­der fi­nan­cial strain, for ex­am­ple, might ex­pe­ri­ence ten­sion with their part­ners re­lated to money – and spend less on dates as well.”

Ob­vi­ously, you should not “in­vest” in dat­ing if you have other fi­nan­cial con­cerns. If that’s the case, how­ever, as a cou­ple you should dis­cuss your fi­nances and finds ways to have mean­ing­ful, mu­tu­ally en­joy­able dates that fit your bud­get. (A pic­nic din­ner and free out­door movie can be just as nice as spend­ing big bucks if you han­dle it right).

Money can be a break­ing point in any re­la­tion­ship. Don’t let that hap­pen. Only spend what you can af­ford, and make sure fi­nances are some­thing you can openly talk about. Yes, that’s awk­ward in a newre­la­tion­ship, but it’s im­por­tant your part­ner knows you have a pizza bud­get even if you value him or her on a cham­pagne and caviar level.

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