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Money May Not Buy You Love, But It Sure Helps


Meriel Jane Waissman, Getty Images

A candlelit dinner, a bottle of bubbly Champagne and a beautiful date. You tear your gaze away for a second to glance at the check your waiter just gave you. Your heart skips a beat at the sight of the three-digit number. But never mind, the stunning smile across the table is worth it.


Relationships come with sweet romance and accelerating heartbeats, but money, unfortunately, is often a crucial ingredient in the mix as well. Think about it: Weekly date nights, vacations, wedding, honeymoon and even divorce ring up bills of all sorts.

Here are some fun facts on the modern economics of relationships:

  • The average cost of dating is highest in Austin, Texas, at $81.42 and lowest in Portland, Ore., at $43.53. New York comes second at $76.15 and Miami third at $73.34.

  • Over half of men spend more than $50 on a date, while women are three times more likely to spend $25 or less — but 65 percent of women spend more than $50 preparing for the date by buying new outfits or grooming.

  • For Valentine's Day this year, consumers are projected to spend an average of $146.84 on gifts, up from $142.31 last year and the most since the survey began in 2007. Candy is the top Valentine's Day gift.

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  • The average cost of a wedding in 2014 was at a record high of $31,213. But it also depends on where you live — New Yorkers' wedding bills were triple those in Kansas City, Mo. The overall wedding budget has climbed while the average number of guests has decreased.

  • The most expensive cost of throwing a wedding is booking a reception venue at an average of $14,006, followed by the engagement ring and reception band. The average prices of the groom's attire and the wedding dress are $254 and $1,357, respectively.

  • Twenty percent of annual flower sales are around Valentine's Day and 250 million roses are produced for the day.

  • According to several legal advice websites, the cost of a divorce can range from $15,000 to $20,000 (or more), depending on the type of litigation. An uncontested divorce would be cheaper than a litigated divorce.

As for relationship financial advice, maybe Destiny's Child can offer you some inspiration with Bills, Bills, Bills:

"Do you pay my automo' bills? If you did then maybe we could chill."

Or The Beatles can speak truth to you through Can't Buy Me Love:

"But what I've got I'll give to you, I don't care too much for money."

Otherwise, you can just pay for a couples' financial counselor. What is love compared to bills? That all depends on you.

Zhai Yun Tan is a digital news intern.

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