Check Please! Who’s Responsible for Paying for a Date?

???????????We’ve all been there before. You get a phone call from that special someone who desires to take you out. You make plans to meet downtown to grab a couple of drinks and appetizers. The music is right, the mood is sweet; and finally the check arrives. She looks to the left; and he looks to the right…so who is really responsible for paying?

Dating can be expensive, especially during these times. Whether you are picking up the tab, getting your nails done, or preparing for the night with the right haircut, you have to manage the high costs associated with dating.

No one likes to be surprised with the check at the end of the night, and others may feel uneasy about discussing who will be responsible for the check prior to the date. But, if you follow these simple rules you can keep costs manageable no matter who is paying.

If You Asked, It’s Your Check!
If you invited someone to dinner or a movie, it is understood you are responsible for the bill. If you are on a tight budget, that steakhouse restaurant may be out of the question. Of course, you may be able to rob Peter to pay for the dinner, but your date will be looking for filet mignon at every setting! With anything preparation is key. Seek out places beforehand that are inexpensive and fun, without draining your wallet.

Be Real
Before spraying on the cologne or making sure the whip is right, have a brief conversation with your date. If you are unable to pick up the entire tab, it may be a good idea to inform your date beforehand. Having this talk in advance can avoid embarrassment or ill feelings at the end of the night.

Kendra Jones, whose name has been changed to protect the innocent, revealed she experienced the worst date ever. “A guy asked me out for drinks, once the bill arrived, he politely paid with a $20 dollar bill and warned me, he would have nothing remaining if I sought after a second round. Upset, I decided to leave him and return home for the night.” she laughs.

Create a Partnership
As time progresses, consider alternating who will be responsible for picking up the tab. Alternating is a good idea and could decrease the financial burden on one party alone. Remember, you have other financial goals to achieve, if all works out well you may have to start saving for your future wedding!

Remember: Your choice, Your future!

Kemberley Washington is a certified public accountant, former IRS agent and business professor. Sign up for her blog at for personal finance and tax tips. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.


2 thoughts on “Check Please! Who’s Responsible for Paying for a Date?

  1. It’s good and timely advice. Communication makes a big difference and if you can’t communicate on paying for a date, the bigger issues don’t have a chance to be resolved.


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