Some people may associate going on a date with spending a ridiculous amount of money. Well, let’s just say a meaningful date may rely more on effort and planning rather than just throwing your money down the drain in a fake show of generosity.
After all, when the relationship goes down a more stable path, you might not be able to keep up with this show. At the same time, you don’t want to give the lady a false impression that she can expect this same level of expenditure over the long term.
Now that we’ve set the tone, let’s look at some ways to plan a nice date-night without going over the top yet not looking miserly:
1) Be The Chef
Being in Singapore where we get abundant cheap food almost at every corner, Singaporeans seldom find the motivation to cook as cooking at home may even be more expensive than eating out at a hawker centre.
The cleaning up and preparation process will also take up some time, so most of us settle for eating at the kopitiam if our parents don’t cook either.
Cooking for your date thus takes on a different meaning – it shows you are willing to make the effort to look for a recipe, spend the time perfecting the dish (because you don’t want to disappoint your date) and are able to get your hands dirty when you need to.
For sure, doing up an impressive dish on your own saves you from spending 3 times the amount to eat at a fancy restaurant.
If you are looking for places to get a cheap but fair quality wine to go with the wonderful meal you’ve whipped up, you’d be surprised at some good deals you can find at local supermarkets or online wine retailers such as Wine Connection and The Straits Wine Company.
2) Restaurant Week
If you really can’t cook even if your life depends on it, let me let you in on a secret. Heard of Restaurant Week?
Going into its 11th edition this October, the event invites diners to eat at top quality restaurants at affordable prices starting at S$25++ for a 3-course set lunch and S$35++ for the dinner equivalent.
Due to its popularity, do make your booking way in advance though, but I’m confident that you’ll be spoilt for choice by the variety of cuisine and restaurants to choose from.
Make it an annual affair with your date or partner to dine at least once during this special week. It’s a great opportunity to impress your date at a fancy restaurant without burning a hole in your pocket.
3) Use Your Credit Cards Smartly
Being a personal finance writer, I always advocate the smart usage of credit cards. These little pieces of plastic can be a double-edged sword but if you know how to manage your spending, they can be a great money-saving tool.
Now, we all know that going to a spa in Singapore is not cheap and most people would reserve these body-pampering sessions to holidays in Bangkok or Indonesia.
You can however check out credit card discounts with exclusive spa merchants, or redeem your reward points for free spa sessions with your credit cards!
Some of the best credit cards for spa include the AMEX Platinum credit card, Maybank credit cards with beauty and wellness treats, as well as the UOB Ladies’ card and DBS Woman’s card.
Who can forget credit card partnerships with dining establishments as well?
One of the best cards for those who love to wine and dine will be AMEX’s platinum suite of cards.
It gives you free membership to exclusive dining programmes – Palate, as well as The Far Card. These cards offer up to 50% savings on dining spend at selected restaurants including those at five-star hotels.
With these little tricks up your sleeves, you need not overspend at your dates anymore. Remember, it’s the effort you show that will impress your date; and not over-spending also helps to manage expectations over the long term.