How Much To Spend on Dating

Dating can be expensive. All those dinners and movies can add up over time. According to a survey of 5,500 singles in the U.S., the average unmarried American spent about $1,600 on their dating life in 2016. That’s about $133 per month. When broken down by gender, men spent $150 per month on average, while women spent $120 per month.

I recently dated a girl who expected me to spend $400 a month on her. That’s a bit much for me, and is part of the reason we are no longer seeing each other. I didn’t know if an appropriate dating budget exists, so I decided to create a poll on Twitter. Here is what I found out. 🙂

It appears 8 out of 16 people think $100 is a good monthly amount to spend on dating. 4 out of 16 thought $250 is appropriate, and the remaining 4 voters thought $400 is the right amount. Overall my poll seems to more or less reflect the results of the Match survey.

But instead of using dollar a figure, maybe a better way to determine a dating budget is to use a person’s income. For example, 5% of take home income should go towards dating. So if someone makes $3,000 a month, his dating budget would be $150/month. Or maybe each relationship is different. If we really connect with someone special then perhaps we are more willing to shower them with money, time, attention, and other resources because they are worth it.

There are no universal rules when it comes to money and dating. But it’s probably a good idea to keep your standards reasonable. According to a Chase Blueprint Valentine’s Day survey, men on average expect $230 worth of Valentine’s day presents. But women are less greedy, only expecting to receive $196 worth of gifts. However, everyone is bound to be disappointed, because on average women only plan to spend $71 and men $98 on their Valentine’s day date, lol. 🙂

If you’re single, how much do you spend on dating? What about if you’re in a relationship; how much do you spend on dates per month with your significant other?


Random Useless Fact:

The division symbol (÷) is just a blank fraction. You replace the dots with the actual numbers.

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The Asian Pear
The Asian Pear
06/01/2017 7:06 am

$400 month? O_O; I think I averaged about $100-150/month when I’m actively in “the dating scene”.

I guess it’s natural to have expenses when you’re a couple – movies, dinner, etc. But dating doesn’t have to be expensive either. A really great date for me could be a walk in the park but I guess I’m a cheap date. ^_^;

06/02/2017 7:13 am
Reply to  The Asian Pear

Too bad you are in Toronto or else you two would be perfect for each other in terms of financial view point!! 😂

I’m sorry to hear that things didn’t work out. Did she tell you straight up that she expected you to pay a figure of $400/mo? Some girls take advantage and want guys to pay for everything. But if a girl likes you, she would be more sensible and offer to pay from time to time.

A friend of mine recently got separated and is starting to be in the dating scene. She went on a few dates with a guy and told me he seems frugal and didn’t like that, wasn’t attracted to him lookwise. Should she continue to see him? I told her no. She breaks it off… And then told me how she misses his attention. Sometimes she drives me nuts! Her ex was very generous she told me and thats why she loved him. She is in a good profession and has expensive tastes. Some people are just like that.

The Asian Pear
The Asian Pear
06/08/2017 4:59 am

Dude, my visits to the Dollarama pays for your dating lifestyle in dividends. =P

06/01/2017 9:17 am

Hey Liquid, I always thought the whole “Waaah women want a man with money” was just some limiting belief nonsense from crazy guys but a few years ago, I actually encountered a situation that was exactly that. Chatted up a cute girl at Starbucks and we end up going on 4 dates (all of which I paid for, and on average the cost was about $50/date – dinners for two). So we’re on that 4th date and we end up going to the beach after dinner to walk and chat and out of nowhere, she launches into this: “If we’re going to continue seeing each other, I have certain expectations.” Curious to know what she meant, I asked and basically, she outlined that she wanted to go to Holt Renfrew (for you Americans that’s the Canadian equivalent of Nordstrom’s) and about how much per month on average I was to spend on her ($2000 in case you’re curious). etc etc etc Needless to say, I never took her out or called her again and when we bumped into each other at the Starbucks that we met, she made a bunch of passive attempts for me to engage her but I… Read more »

John R
John R
06/01/2017 10:40 am

Are “dates or dating” expecting too much, do they only date who has the biggest bank role, flash vehicle, job status with the huge salary, expensive affordable tastes – the world is your oyster?

So is this ‘meet the person of your dreams at whatever the cost’? Or, date for friendship & benefits, mutual intellectual interests?

What is dating all about, that is what I’d like to know?

This brings me back to my mother & father in law that met in world war II Britain in the early 1940’s. Both just turned 20, he was in the forces, she was in ‘war work’. Here they were young adults that just came out of a depression, little money, no car or a telephone. Love conquers all… ‘life is simple says my wife’, we met the same way at college, little money, just made do with what we had, life evolved.

I would not want to be young in this modern day & age

Tazi Bnu
Tazi Bnu
06/01/2017 10:52 am

The expectations on who should be spending more for dates will be changing for most western urban communities. In these communities women are trending to outnumber men, more so at the higher education levels. If women as a group started going after “STEM” jobs, it will accelerate this trend greatly. As dating is normally geographically constrained, the women in these certain communities will have to be more active in the dating scene rather than the stereotypical passive role. Both sexes, will also have to get over the challenge of more women breadwinners. There will be more male “gold diggers,” but less “gold diggers” in general, because middle to higher income people will more likely hook up with other middle to higher income people. However, this can be a contributing factor towards more income inequality.
Disclaimer: This is just opinion and full of generalizations meant to encourage discussion, not to insult anybody

06/01/2017 11:20 am
Reply to  Tazi Bnu

My guess is if that happens, then women will date like men stereotypically do, short term hook-ups with sexy guys with no strings attached until it’s time to settle down. I guess the saying “There are 2 types, the type you marry and the type you f—” cuts both ways.

06/01/2017 2:42 pm

Holy cow $400 a month? Did she find out your net worth and thought you are a high roller?

When I went out with Mrs. T for the very first time I got her to split the dinner bill with me. Yes a bit of a cheapo move but she ended up staying with me. 😀

John R
John R
06/03/2017 4:24 am
Reply to  Tawcan

come on tell the truth Tawcan, you used a ‘buy one get one free coupon’ she paid her own meal while you got the freeby? lol

Our first date was a movie – I paid, but no popcorn or drinks back then. Given the time period of the 60’s, after that I don’t believe we did the dinner & date thing (because we never had the money to do that), until after we were married, then we ‘went Dutch’ most times.

Mrs. Picky Pincher
06/02/2017 5:53 am

Good grief! Okay, so here’s the thing: the best thing to do while dating is to go Dutch. That’s what I did when I was dating and it removed any awkward outdated power or gender dynamics from the relationship. Pay your own way and just focus on having a good time with each other. If the person you’re dating, male or female, insists on you spending X dollars on them, run for the hills.

06/02/2017 7:44 am

$400/date? And the numbers come from No wonder these people are single and had to resort to online dating. (Ahem).

For someone who never stay single for more than a month. heheh …. LOL 🙂 I’d pay for minimum 1/2 of my portion on everything when I go out with somebody. LOL 🙂 Beside, there are so many other free activities that you can do to find out of they are good for you. What happen to walk in the park? biking, hiking,… ?

Anyhow, even $100/date is wayyy too much. Best of luck to relationships that begin with financial hardship!


[…] much to spend on dating — how exactly does one go about asking for $400 a month to be spent on them? Still scratching my head over that […]