Knowing how to date is, in some ways, an art form. This is even truer when it comes to dating while living on a college budget since the limitations on your finances can make it difficult to go on dates and not blow all of your savings. However, even on a college budget, there are some tips and tricks for dating that make the whole process a lot smoother and easier to manage.
There are also ways to reduce the amount of money that going on dates can cost, all without sacrificing the vibe of going on a date. It’s possible to date on a college budget, especially if you have the following tips. Happy dating, and stay safe out there!
Meet In Public Spaces
This is both a safety tip and a budgeting tip, especially on first and/or blind dates. When meeting someone you don’t know very well, it’s always a good idea to choose a location that’s in a public space like a park or plaza where there are likely to be a bunch of people around. Plus, those types of spaces are free, and they can be cute date spots if you pack a picnic and bring a blanket and portable speakers. If you don’t have portable speakers, a good hack is to stick your phone inside of a cup, since that will amplify the sound.
Take Advantage Of Dining Halls
The food may not always be the best and it may not look like the Hogwarts Great Hall, but chances are, it’s much cheaper to date on a college budget by buying a meal in your school’s dining hall than it is to buy a meal at a restaurant. You probably also get more options to choose from for less money, which is a bonus. And if either of you has dietary restrictions, it’s much more likely that both of you can find something to eat than if you’re at a restaurant that may or may not be able to accommodate dietary restrictions.
Plus, it’s a space that will probably have other people, and while that can have downsides (seeing friends while on a date can be awkward), it’s a better safety strategy.
Coffee Dates Are Your Friend
If you don’t want to spend a huge amount of money on a date, suggest going out for coffee and pastries at a local cafe or bakeshop. It’s cheaper than a meal but it’s still cute and cozy. If you don’t like coffee, get tea or hot cocoa. There are still ways to enjoy a coffee date, even if you don’t enjoy the taste of java or like the caffeine jitters it can bring.
Plus, you can rack up points on membership cards if the coffee shop has those, and you can post pictures of your cute coffee cups on Instagram and Snapchat. It’s very aesthetically pleasing and also super adorable.
Netflix and Chill
It may be cliche, but Netflix and chill (or Hulu and hang or Prime video and [insert verb here] or whatever it is the kids do these days) is a great date on a college budget idea if you already know someone and have a place to hang out at. Be sure to establish boundaries ahead of time, though, so neither one of you gets the wrong idea and creates an uncomfortable situation by pushing boundaries the other doesn’t want to be pushed.
If neither of you has Netflix or some other movie/tv show streaming platform access, YouTube videos can provide hours of entertainment and are also lower commitment in terms of attention, in case you become otherwise occupied, if you know what I mean.