Dating on a Student Budget

Being a college student means being broke. Not really any way around it. Some students are lucky enough to lean on their parents for tuition and maybe even some extra cash, while others make do with part-time jobs to supplement their social lives. But the truth is that students just don’t have much money to their names. Sometimes, this isn’t a problem: if you want to hang out with friends, you can all chip in for cheap pizza. But if you’re trying to strike up a romantic relationship and pay for some legit dates, well, it’s a whole lot harder to do when you’re broke.

The short answer: maximize your dollars. Keep an eye out for restaurants that offer student discounts you can redeem with your ID. Whether it’s a free entree or just a percentage taken off your bill, these discounts are fantastic ways to hit the town without spending too much money. You can also usually get student discounts at movie theaters, which makes for a nice date night when paired with dinner or a quick dessert after the show.

You’re also going to need to get creative. A big part of college dating is doing free things because they’re free but without acting like that’s why you’re doing them. Check out your neighborhood’s art walk, for instance. This is usually a good opportunity to mingle with other art lovers and see some fun new works without paying for admission to a museum.

Speaking of museums, many of them offer lower or complimentary entry for students, especially if you visit during certain hours, so contact your local gallery to see what their policy is. You can also head to your local park for a walk or a picnic, or — if you’re lucky enough to be near the water — down to the beach for a relaxing afternoon in the sun.

Another great but overlooked date idea is the homecooked meal. The cost of ingredients for a nice meal is always lower than the cost of going out, especially when factor in drinks and transportation. Have a nice night in with a special dinner and maybe a movie afterward. It’s a great date that doesn’t need a lot of dough. The point of a date isn’t how much you spend but who you’re spending it with, so don’t be afraid or ashamed to look for inexpensive activities. If you’re with the right person, cost won’t matter at all.

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