I heard on the news the other morning that the divorce rate in Australia (and presumably other contries) has skyrocketed. The going theory is that we’ve spent so much time in lockdown together, without the distractions of other people, that we’ve realised that we don’t in fact like each other very much at all.
Which is quite sad – not enough time invested in staying up-to-date with each other; not growing ourselves and bring each other along.
On the other hand, that’s great! So many people will be out there spending money in shops, hairdressers and beauticians as well as restaurants and clubs!
But for sure, I’d say this is the perfect time to set up a dating spending plan.
Vision, Mission, Virtues
Now I’m just guesing that you want to meet people who share your interests. And the obvious place to do that, is to go to those places at the times where that’s likely to happen. Like maybe, hiking at 6 am on Sunday. Or joining a waterpainting class. Or something.
An ideal universe:
I love my boy/girl friend, and the time we spend together hiking in the wilderness.
Clearly, that’s not going to happen overnight, so you need a mid-term plan to make it happen:
Develop my fitness by attending classes, hikers meetings and taking group hiking trips.
Someone who appreciates fitness and nature might also appreciate Adventure, Friendship, and Health.
For the next twelve months, our budding hiker has to start small and work up. That means building strength and fitness via a gym membership, attempting to get to know others through fitness classes, and finding walking groups.
Now, it’s tempting to go SMART with metrics like the number of dates and so on, but it’s not about numbers (unless you’re looking for relationships that don’t generally last longer than a night). For our purposes, a HARD goal might be better:
Make new friends, and maybe that someone special at a hiking group.
So this goal has several components that need to be included.
First there’s the fitness aspect with a gym membership, hiking group meetings/memerships and park entry fees.
Then there’s the getting ready for the actual dating part of the scenario, with new clothes, leg and hair appointments, and what not.
And finally, there’s the actual one-one-one going out to restaurants, the movies and so on.
Basic Spending Plan
We’ll use the same basic proportional plan with the after-tax monthly income of $3,435.
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The best opportunity to develop ongoing relationships is through weekly classes, that could lead to monthly hiking group meetings, and regular weekend walks.
So let’s say the gym includes classes, and allow $1,750 for that ($143/mnth). My local bushwalking club costs $36/annum, and has monthly meetings, and regular day and overnight walks as well as other activities such as restaurant and theatre night. You pay for each of these seperately. Let’s be generous, and say $25 each. Total $174/mnth.
When it comes to the pre-date expenditure, you could stick to your normal grooming schedule… But chances are, you’ll add in extra beauty appointments so let’s say an extra $75/mnth for that. And you could get by with the clothes you own, but again, probably not, so let’s start with an extra $50/mnth and you can reassess that later. Total $125.
Then there’s the actual date, and I’m going to assume you’re a fully independent woman who wants to pay her share. Start with a small date, say $30 for drinks, maybe drinks and a movie for the second ($50), lunch for the next ($70), burgers and beer for a casual fourth ($100), and for the fifth, a whiz bang dinner at a restaurant ($200). Total $450.
Grand total $749.
And this is one possible way to rearrange the budget.
- Food: If you’re dating once a week, maybe cut your overall food budget a little to provide some wiggle room. This would preferably be on your discretionary treats rather than your subsistence needs.
- Housing: Not worth moving house for a this.
- Clothing: You don’t need to spend more, but we’ve already agreed on an extra $125.
- Operations: While there is probably some fat you could trim here, you may not see the benefit early enough.
- Happy Life: If you’re doing it right, boy/girlfriends make you happy, so this is where your fitness and dating costs go. You may already have uncommitted spending in this category, and you may need to cut back on some items allocated here (e.g., streaming services) if dating is going to be a priority for you.
Potential Make New Friends Holistic Spending Plan
You’ll make other changes according to your particular circumstances, but here is one potential spending plan:
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Of course, when you see it laid out like that, you might prefer a different distribution. Just try not to go nuts with your credit card over this!
How much you actually spend on this will ultimately depend on your income and the kind of person you want to date. You might cancel your gym membership after a year, and focus on the membership after that.
And if this is what you want, I hope the search goes well, and doesn’t cost more than it turns out to be worth.