Cheap Date Not So Cheap

Deutsche Bank has created a Cheap Date Index (okay sure, rolling with it), wherein they measure the cost of burgers and a movie in different cities across the world. Included in the cost are cab rides, McDonald’s burgers (the great international unifier, apparently), soft drinks, two movie tickets, and ‘a couple of beers.’ NBC News is on it:

London is by far the most expensive place for a simple night on the town, while Mumbai is the cheapest.

In London, this basket of items would cost $121, compared with just $23 in Mumbai.

U.S. cities don’t even break the top 10. The closest is New York, which comes in at No. 11 at $93, just under Auckland’s $96.

Ninety-three dollars! Listen I live in New York and that is not what I would call a cheap date. Granted, this is all very subjective, but when I hear “cheap” I think, “Okay, $20 or less.” Anything above $20 is no longer cheap to me. It has now registered as a significant expense. An acceptable one! But significant.

I think the biggest red flag here is the idea that a cheap date involves a cab ride. Cab rides are for people who work in advertising. Or people with a company card, going to a meeting. Or people who are out too late and are wishing to be teleported home and willing to pay any price not to sit on the subway platform for three hours, waiting for a train. “Cab” and “cheap” do not belong in the same Date Index. And actually, neither do movies! A movie is a NIGHT ON THE TOWN. You buy two tickets to a movie and sigh a little when you swipe your card.

A cheap date is falafel or pizza, ice cream from the corner store, watching something on Netflix, and maybe having sex before you fall asleep.

Metro card: $2.50
Pizza for two: $10, tops
Ice cream, let’s say you get the absurdly expensive kind: $7
Netflix: stolen from family member

Boom, $20.

Photo: via Wikimedia Commons

---
---
---
---
---

11 Comments / Post A Comment

Yes to all of this. Also, let us not forget the best New York cheap summer date ever, the Staten Island Ferry, WHICH IS A FREE BOAT RIDE IN NEW YORK HARBOR where you can totally drink booze out of a brown paper bag and eat cookies. People who don’t think that is romantic are people who don’t deserve romance.

Nibbler (#5,331)

@Josh Michtom@facebook Or my favorite: grab some beers from a bodega, bike to a park. Drink beers in park, bike home. $7 or less.

garli (#4,150)

@Josh Michtom@facebook All bike riding dates are great dates. Especially when you have a basket so you can ride around with cheap Mexican food and beers.

andnowlights (#2,902)

Oooh ice cream, absurdly expensive or not, is my downfall. I think the Chinatown Ice Cream factory is my one true love, even in the face of Jeni’s here in the south/midwest.

@fo (#839)

“A cheap date is falafel or pizza, ice cream from the corner store, watching something on Netflix, and maybe having sex before you fall asleep.

Metro card: $2.50
Pizza for two: $10, tops
Ice cream, let’s say you get the absurdly expensive kind: $7
Netflix: stolen from family member

Boom, $20.”

Forgot the condom, BOOM!: $400k to raise that kid.

DebtOrAlive (#5,233)

@@fo Condoms. FREE in NYC. Still a $20 date. BOOM…inside the rubber then down the toilet those pre-babies go.

cryptolect (#1,135)

@DebtOrAlive Please don’t flush condoms down the toilet! Our plumbing system is set up to handle (I just read this, was it on the Billfold?) the three P’s: pee, poop and (toilet) paper. Anything else, including condoms, tampons and “flushable” wipes, will cause problems.

readyornot (#816)

I love truly cheap date ideas! In LA you can have a walk on the beach at sunset for FREE.

On the other hand, I think what Meaghan stuck on is the problem with which all inflation/price analysts struggle: how do you establish a market basket? In New York City, taxis are expensive, so you would substitute away from them, but internet is cheap, so you would substitute toward streaming a movie. In other places, Indonesia, maybe, taxis are cheap and internet is expensive, so it’s the reverse. But to be comparable, they had to establish the same date goods & services across all these different places. And they found that expensive places are expensive! I, for one, am stunned.

It’s all relative, but indices by design have to compare the same basket of stuff.

Singapore version:
Metro card (subway rides): $2 apiece so $4 for two
Pizza for two: about $20(HAHAHA sorry mate no such thing as pizza for $10)
Ice cream, let’s say you get the absurdly expensive kind: $15 for a pint of Ben & Jerry’s which is a luxury brand here
Netflix: stolen from family member
Total: $37

Actual cheap date in Singapore:
Go downstairs and walk to nearest hawker centre – 15-30 minutes of rather sweaty stroll
Hawker centre takeaway meal for two – $10
Bubble tea for two – $5 to $8
Movie downloaded under dubious circumstances – free

ellenbw (#6,653)

And that $2.50 for the subway ride assumes that you’re not a subway commuter with a monthly pass. Down to $17, HA!

DarlingMagpie (#1,695)

Who would take somebody to McDonalds for dinner, and then splurge on a cab? I’d be livid.

Post a Comment