I had the opportunity to hangout with a group of young professionals men after a recent speaking engagement. It was very interesting to hear their take on landing a job, dating and developing relationships. One of their dating perspectives actually mirrored a sentiment shared by some older men. One young man expressed frustration about dating being a very expensive experience and wondered if anyone else actually had a similar perspective. Listening to this group of young men actually caused me to reflect on a conversation that took place at a cookout between some older men. With the economic uncertainty still prevalent, a number of men have had to endure layoffs and/or settle for employment making less money.

Despite having to deal with various professional adjustments, men still want the ability to go out on dates with women they have a desire in learning more about. However, dating can be very costly. A traditional date can range from $ 60-150 depending if you opt for a restaurant, movie, concert, etc. How can you date economically without needing a 2nd job? Fortunately, there are various options you can use to get the most out of your money without compromising the overall dating experience.

Stop thinking you have to do extravagant things in order to make a favorable impression on your date. Sometimes a simple date is actually a sign of thought, creativity and alternative thinking. Never underestimate the power of sites like Great Date Deals (www.greatdatedeals.com) Groupon (www.groupon.com) or Living Social (www.livingsocial.com), who can assist you with planning an economical date or getaway without the need of a second job in order to pay for it. Also, never underestimate the power of walks in the park, museum visits, outdoor festivals or coffee shop chats. Although inexpensive, these provide great opportunities to hold quality conversations with your date.

Don’t allow traditional dating to drive you deeper in debt if your budget doesn’t allow for it. Think outside of the box so you can enjoy life, while still allowing you to meet your financial goals. Date smart!

Kenny Pugh is a Life & Relationship Strategist, Author of ‘Can You Do It Standing Up?’, Speaker, Host of the Chat Kafe Radio Show (http://www.chatkafeonline.com), singles leader and sought-after speaker on singleness, relationships, finances and life. You can find more information about Kenny at **http://www.kennypugh.com. You can follow him on Facebook at Kenny Pugh or on Twitter @mrkennypugh.