Australians Spend Nearly $12 Billion Annually On The Search For Love

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“Money can’t buy me love,” said The Beatles, but Australian singles are determined to prove them wrong. According to ING Direct’s 2017 Cost of Dating report, Aussies happily hand over nearly $12 billion per year in the name of finding their happily ever afters.

The exact figure is $11.65 billion, a price tag that’s sure to induce sticker shock in almost any dater, regardless of how deep their pockets run. Australians reportedly spend an average of $79 on a first date, with one third of singles going on at least one first date per month, and a further 32% going on two or more first dates per month. Additionally, almost one in five (18%) have paid for dating services, an expenditure that tallies up to $80.7 million each year.

When it comes to first dates, Australians err on the side of tradition. More than half (56%) of single men are prepared to pick up the tab. Baby Boomer males (33%) are particularly committed to this classic notion of romantic chivalry, followed closely by Gen X men (27%) and Millennial men (26%).

Australian women, on the other hand, embrace a more modern approach. Though 26% expect men to cover their dates in full, 50% say they prefer to split things 50-50, and a further 23% like to cover their own costs.

But the date itself is only part of the overall expense. One in four Australians drops $100 or more on pre-date preparation, including new clothes, make-up, hair, and cosmetic treatments. The most popular items Australians spend money on in preparation for a date are:

  1. New clothes (62%)
  2. Hair (35%)
  3. New shoes (28%)
  4. Makeup (20%)
  5. Manicure (13%)
  6. Bags and accessories (12%)
  7. Waxing (11%)
  8. Dental / teeth whitening (10%)
  9. Tanning (5%)

Women (68%) are more likely than men (55%) to invest in a new outfit before a date, but overall, men spend almost as much as women when it comes to pre-date prep ($66 vs. $58). Victorians are the biggest spenders on looking good for a date ($69), compared to New South Welshmen ($67), Queenslanders ($53), and West Australians ($53). South Australians are the thriftiest daters, spending an average of just $48 in preparation for date night.

Let’s say you’re not impressed by those numbers (and your bank account isn’t, either). What’s a budget-conscious single to do?

ING Direct suggests skipping dining out in favour of getting hands-on in the kitchen. Cook a meal for your date if you want to impress, or play chef together if you’re looking to share skills and bond.

Don’t panic if you can’t tell tortellini from tagliatelle. You can always have a delicious night in courtesy of a delivery service like Uber Eats, Menulog, Deliveroo, or Foodora, or keep an eye on deals websites like Groupon or Catch of the Day for discounts at your favorite local eateries.

For dating sites and apps ideal for singles from this country, take a look at our Australian Dating Services category.