Dating is expensive
This past Monday I went on a date with a new friend from an old part of my life. We went to a medium to high priced restaurant and proceeded to go through a bottle of wine, dinner, dessert and dessert wine. We had a great time talking about people that we had long since forgotten about and seeing how we both had connections to those people. Three and a half hours later, the bill came.
How much did this night of entertainment cost? Around $150 – which we split evenly. Did I have an idea going into the meal it would be that much? Yes I did. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be aghast at the unbelievable price tag there is to being a single guy in an expensive city like DC.
It’s rare that I go out to eat, so I don’t mind spending a bit when I do. But, one or two dates a month and I start to really feel the strain on my wallet. At the PF blogger happy hour we discussed all sorts of hidden costs that can be associated with dating, but the food and the drinks are really the two primary culprits of breaking the bank. Even at a less expensive restaurant, you are still looking at $40 for a simple meal (2 drinks, 2 dinner plates, tax and at least a 20% tip as waiters and waitresses need to make money as well, right AK?)
The friend that I went out with talked about how much she loves going out and she would do it three to four times a week if she had the time right now (she is studying for the bar exam in a few weeks). This has made me wonder about lifestyle inflation in the coming months for her. From what I have read, going out to eat is the largest indicator of consistent lifestyle inflation (buying cars and houses are other indicators, but those aren’t every day expenses).
For my friend, will three nights a week turn into five or six once she starts work in September? Saying that she is a lawyer and she can afford such outings isn’t the point. I think a lot of young people start to spend more money after college by saying “I will be working soon and therefore can afford it”. And then when they actually land a job, they increase their consumption further because now they have money coming in. This is how people get in over their heads with debt.
For me, trying to curb lifestyle inflation is why I don’t date that often. After a while it gets expensive and while you can meet some interesting people going on dates, aren’t their other ways to meet folks that won’t make me go back into debt? Of course there is. A lot of other writers talk about alternative methods to dating, but in a happy hour driven city like DC, the norm seems to be drinks and dinner.
While writing today I want to put a challenge out there to some bloggers that track their expenses. I would like to see who spent more over the past year; the actively dating single person, or the married person. If anyone is willing to compare their going out expenses please email me at email@example.com.
Have a good weekend and enjoy your Friday and Saturday date nights.