(Guest Post by Andrew at Money Crashers)
Ready for your big date? Your night is planned, you’re dressed up sharp, and you’ve got a wallet bursting with cash. No? Money’s tight these days? Good thing you’ve got a coupon for a big discount at that restaurant you’re headed to!
Perhaps you’re not entirely comfortable with the idea, however. While it’s always great to save money, can you really get away with using a restaurant coupon on a first date? Will she think you’re cheap? Or will she admire your financial savvy? Here are some pros and cons before you make your decision:
Pros to Dating on a Budget
- It Shows That You’re Frugal. If you choose to use a coupon on your first date, you are sending a clear message. No, it’s not that you are cheap – it’s that you realize the value of a dollar! With money being such a difficult subject for couples to discuss, your date will know right away that you’re smart with yours.
- You’ll Save Money. How much money have you put out by picking up first date dinner tabs? Now, how many of those first dates ever led to a second? I’ve been on plenty of dates in which I didn’t use a coupon, spent a boatload of money, and ended up never having any more dates. Had I used deals that were available to me, I could have significantly cut my losses.
- You Can Identify Her Values. If she agrees to a second date, you can bet you’ve found someone who appreciates frugality. And if she frowns upon your coupon use, you may have quickly identified someone with whom you’re not financially compatible with and saved yourself a lot of trouble.
Cons to The Coupon Date
- Possible Rejection. There’s a spark between you and your date, and you’re both feeling it. Things are going well until you whip out the coupon, and her entire demeanor changes. If you’re not an outgoing type of guy, and your dates are few and far between, the stakes on the table may be too high to risk .
- She Could Tell Her Friends. If your date views you in a negative light, and your usage of a coupon contributes to that, it could damage your reputation. This could be especially awkward if you have mutual acquaintances.
If you have a dining coupon you’d like to use, at least bring it with you on your date. You can decide one way or the other depending on how it goes throughout the night. If there’s no connection, by all means, take the discount! Or, if you sense that she is a frugal person (or at least not opposed to you being frugal), use it. Personally, I’ve whipped out coupons on all sorts of first, second, and third dates – even at some very upscale restaurants here in Chicago!
Ultimately, if your intentions are long-term, busting out a coupon for one of your first date ideas could very well be a building block for a long and prosperous relationship. Finding a partner with a similar financial mindset could provide for a relationship that will last. If you’ve got the courage to do it, you just might find yourself the perfect match.
Would you ever use a coupon on a first date?
Andrew Schrage currently lives in Chicago and runs Money Crashers Personal Finance, a website that seeks to help readers improve their financial fitness and get on track with money management.
EDITOR’S NOTE: I just asked the wife what she would have thought if I whipped one out on OUR first date, and she responded with, “I would have probably been weirded out… On the first date?? Maybe on the 2nd or 3rd, but def. not on the 1st. That’s when you’re supposed to show me how generous you are!” Haha… it’s a good thing I wasn’t blogging back then ;) All I do now is use coupons on our dates!
(Hilarious photo by Fuzzy Gerdes)
Killer resources and apps:
- Best Budget Templates & Spreadsheets (FREE)— The best free budget templates from around the community! Including the ones I use :)
- Personal Capital* (FREE) — A great app to track your investments and net worth. You can see an in-depth review we did here from a millionaire who checks it daily 😂
- You Need a Budget (YNAB)* (FREE TRIAL, then $14.99/mo or $98.99/year) — One of the BEST budgeting methods in the space, with new users saving $600 on avg their first two months, and more than $6,000 over their first year! Check out my friend Vic’s review of YNAB here that went on to completely change his finances 💪
- Digit (FREE 6 mo. Trial, then $5/mo) — This is one of my favorite apps for automatically saving money, and I even came on board as an advisor I believed in them so much! You can see my full review on Digit here.
- Acorns* ($3-$5/mo) – Similar to Digit, this app helps you automatically INVEST money by rounding up all your transactions to the nearest dollar and then investing it right away for you. My full review of Acorns can be found here.
- Honey (FREE) — By far my favorite coupon service out there! Click the Honey button any time you're about to buy something online, and BOOM - any discounts it finds will be automatically applied at checkout. You can see my write up on them here.
- Credit Karma* (FREE) — An easy way to check and monitor your credit score AND report! See my full review of these guys here.
- My Favorite Blogs + Books < -- Click here to see all my other recommendations!