For some millennials, the sky’s the limit when it comes to spending on dates.
Asmyth Toh draws a monthly salary of $600 as a National Serviceman.
Despite his modest income, the 21-year-old had no qualms spending big bucks on his significant other.
On 1 date, he spent a grand total of $480 on his then girlfriend of 4 months.
“It wasn’t a special occasion or anything, I just brought her out as usual,” he recalled.
“We went for a Japanese buffet lunch before heading to Suntec, where we bought (a pair of) Havaianas slippers, (and some) shirts from Superdry.
Later at night, we had dinner at a Western restaurant and a couple of drinks at a bar.”
The late millennial is a bigger spender on dates than many other Singaporeans. According to a survey by MasterCard last year, consumers in Singapore put aside an average of $263 for Valentine’s Day. In Asia Pacific, Singaporeans are outspent only by those in Hong Kong and mainland China.
Asmyth said he usually foots the bill for everything when he’s out with his ex-girlfriend. Their less extravagant dates would still cost him an average of $100.
“Looking back now, it feels like I’ve wasted my money, especially since we’re not together anymore. But I was willing (to spend) at that time, so (I have) no regrets.”
Another late millennial Jolene Gina Abelarde said she’s also spent $300 on a date and a gift for her boyfriend before.
“(On that day), we went for high tea at Bakerzin before heading to Pollen, a fine dining restaurant at Gardens By The Bay for dinner.
We just felt like treating ourselves, and it was a nice change from our usual dates,” the 19-year-old said.
That is not to say that the young couple’s out of their mind when it comes to finances. Jolene said they’ve recognized the need to be “quite cheapo” sometimes to keep their expenses down.
When asked if they usually celebrate Valentine’s Day, Jolene also replied in the negative, saying that “prices get hiked up like crazy”. The couple now prefers to “spend time with friends and family instead during these festive occasions”.
While some late millennials seem comfortable with the occasional splurges, many others are not willing to overspend on dates, according to an UrbanWire survey of 51 youths aged 16 to 26. More than ¾ of the respondents said their most expensive dates to date did not cost more than $100.
Even on Valentine’s Day, 33 respondents or 65 per cent of them said they will not spend over $100 on their significant others come Feb 14.
One of them is Michelle Lim, 18, who has a monthly allowance of $300 to $500.
“We’re (She and her boyfriend) both students and I don’t have a part-time job, so I don’t feel comfortable spending so much on dates.”
Michelle plans to keep her Valentine’s Day budget to under $50. But she’ll make her sincerity felt with a handmade card and home-baked treats for her boyfriend.