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Some Millennials and Gen Zers are Going Into Debt From Dating: Survey

A man and woman looking concerned at a menu

It looks like love might cost a little more than you realize. Unrealistic beauty standards and small daily purchases aren’t the only things impacting the wallets of millennials and Gen Zers anymore. Now, according to a survey, some millennials and Gen Zers are going into debt because of what they’ve spent on dating.

A September LendingTree survey has revealed that 22 per cent of millennials (aged 26 to 41) and 19 per cent of Gen Zers (aged 18 to 25) have gone into debt because of dating.

“Everything is getting more expensive. It’s not just the new clothes, roses, ride-share, fancy dinner, concerts or the after-show coffee – it’s all of it,” LendingTree Chief Credit Analyst Matt Shulz explains. “The extra cost of each of these things individually may not be earth-shattering, but added together, they can be a very big deal.”

Related: Tinder 101: A guide to what to say (and when) in 2022

In fact, survey respondents reported that they spend an average of $91 on a date, with those who identify as women saying they spend an average of $81, and those who identify as men saying they spend an average of $104.

A man and a woman sipping from their drinks at a diner at night

How to avoid spending too much on dating, according to an expert

On top of this hefty price tag, Michael Liersch – the head of advice and planning for wealth and investment management at Wells Fargo – tells CNBC Make It that staying on top of the expenses from your romantic endeavours is particularly tough.

“Humans are known to inaccurately account for their money mentally – both in terms of the amount they’ve spent and their spending limit,” Liersch says. “That combination can create dynamics at the end of the month where you go to pay the rent, utilities or other bills and realize that your dating life is causing you to spend in a way in which you’re indebted.”

Credit cards and mobile payment applications make it even more difficult to stay on top of your expenses.


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Liersch says that tangible budgets can help you keep those dating costs under wraps without negatively impacting your romantic life. He suggests making a budget for what you can spend on dating and subtracting from it after each date.

However, it seems that being open about your budget with your partner and trying out budget-friendly options like homemade meals can be a simple solution. The survey revealed that approximately 85 per cent of respondents wouldn’t be offended if their partner took them out on a low-cost date.

See also: How to calm first-date nerves – tips from a dating expert

“Remember the old adage: it is the thought that counts,” Liersch concludes.

So next time you’re gearing up to tap your way through a pricey date, consider a more budget-friendly option like a trip to a museum or a walk through the park instead.

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