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Counting your pennies as a couple

With an entry-level pay in the advertising field (Re: not the highest of fresh grads!), and a boyfriend who has two years of university life to go, dating can be a very expensive habit.

In the initial months that follow a new relationship, scrimping on dates might be the last thing on a couple’s mind. Yet, in this day and age, it pays to be practical (not stingy!) and lay out the foundation for a thrifty relationship that thrives.

The collective tips are my own – based on tried-and-tested experiences.

1. Don’t make your whole date expensive

Instead of trying to cut cost on every single activity, what we try to do is to splurge on one thing, and then be totally frugal on another. For example, if you’re spending $40 on dinner for two, then make your after-date activity something that costs little to nothing at all.

If we have dinner at Ichiban Sushi, we will head home right after to watch a show instead of going to the movies.

2. Don’t celebrate monthsaries

Monthsaries are not worth a fancy dinner a month. Or gifts. They also raise unnecessary expectations in a relationship, and are hard to top when “bigger” occasions roll around.

3. Make Groupon your best friend

I find that Groupon is perfect for food deals, and sometimes you get other things at a steal. I’ve bought Chir Chir vouchers thrice (no regrets), a staycation deal for my 1st year anniversary, and Zumba lessons. This may sound really sad, but you can sneak in an activity or two into your social life from Groupon. It just makes more economical sense. Just be sure you buy the right deals.

4. Hang out with each other’s family more often

This is probably one of the best things ever. Instead of going out on dates on weekends, hang out with each other’s family. instead. Chances are, if you spend Saturday at your boyfriend’s family dinner and Sunday with your own family at brunch, the parents will pick up the tab and be happy about all the bonding time. Perks.

5. Get a joint savings account 

This would be useful if both you and your partner are working. I currently have one with Nigel but it’s nowhere near progressive since half (not kidding) of my pay goes toward study loans. Saving a set amount together each month really goes a long way, whether it’s for a holiday, a fancy dinner out, or just because.

I hope that helps! x

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