I’m not going to say that I’m perfect, or that I’ve never made any dating mistakes, but there are a few things that young people do that hurt them financially, and they can be corrected easily.
1. If you are trying to make sure you are financially literate, why would you want to date someone who isn’t. I understand that they may be smokin’ hot, but is that really enough? (hint: no it isn’t) Avoid anybody who doesn’t understand your goals, or who is stupid about money. Believe me, you will thank yourself later.
2. Let’s be adults. If you are young, you probably don’t have a lot of money. Neither does the young person you are dating. Now that that has been said, we can move on to other things. If you can only afford McDonalds, don’t suggest Stewart Anderson’s. You are interested in dating the person, not their money, right?
Also, in this age of equality, girls, don’t feel like you have to make the guy pay for everything, and guys, don’t feel like you have something to prove by trying to pay for everything. Special occasions aside, there is nothing wrong with going “dutch”, where you each pay your own way, or with one person paying for dinner and the other paying for the entertainment, or even alternating who pays for dates. In the best of cases, you may eventually marry this person, and all the money will come out of the household anyways. In the worst of cases, you are saving by not spending on someone who isn’t worth your sacrifice.
3. There are plenty of cheap or free things to do. Going to the movie theater is not one of them. Also, day dates (great for spring and summer breaks from school) are usually far cheaper than evening dates. There’s nothing wrong with this, as long as you are enjoying the company of whoever you are dating.
4. This is really the most important, but I will go into the least detail. KIDS ARE EXPENSIVE!!! There are any number of ways to avoid having kids, pick one that works for your beliefs. I guarantee you that nothing will screw up a young person’s budget quicker than having an unplanned child.
I’m sure there are many more ideas, and if you have some, feel free to comment, or email me!