Aussies are forking out the big bucks to make a good first impression, with the average person spending $154.16 on a first date.
This average sum included pre-date expenses, such as clothes, with 41 per cent of first date expenses going towards new threads.
Another 25 per cent of this figure goes towards hair-related services, an ING study revealed.
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The nationally representative survey of 1,040 Aussies over 18 found the amount singles were spending on dating had almost quadrupled since 2017, from $11.7 billion a year to $42.8 billion a year in 2022.
Men were found to be investing more in date preparation, dropping $69.53 pre-date compared to women, who spent $63.64 on average getting ready.
The biggest expenses for men in the lead-up were gifts, contraception and dental work.
The bulk of Aussies (59 per cent) prefer to split the cost of a first date evenly or to pay for their share.
Around 76 per cent of women always wanted to split the bill, however, 45 per cent of men still expected to foot the bill.
That’s why men tended to have bigger budgets for first dates, racking up $170.80 compared to $139.04 for women.
Matt Bowen, head of daily banking at ING Australia, said the rise of dating apps was driving up costs for singles.
The research found people using dating apps were spending an average of $208.33 on a first date, more than $50 above the average.
“Over the past few years, the growth of dating apps has opened a new world of possibilities for singles looking to find love,” Bowen said.
“These findings show that Aussie singles are investing more on their love lives as a result.
“Not only are we going on more dates, we’re also spending more on those less-considered costs such as app subscriptions, pre-date beauty regimes or gifts.”
Bowen said there were ways to keep dating costs down.
“From getting outdoors and enjoying everything free that nature has to offer to searching the web for restaurant deals and coupons or picking venues with happy hour deals, these are just a few handy ways which Aussie singles can reduce their dating costs.”