This is a perfect section for you if you are interested in enhancing your knowledge about Financial Matters. A few tips and tricks about Investing, Shares, Mutual Funds and Money Saving Schemes.
There are no dearth of ways to lose money.

You could lose it in the stock market or gamble it away. Or you could get robbed or over charged. Worse still, you could get into a debt trap and watch all your savings go towards interest payments.

But when you do manage to pull yourself together, you would have emerged a little wiser (hopefully!). And would make an effort not to repeat these errors.

But there is an exception.

Fellow men, blame none other than the sweet misery in your life: your girlfriend.

But however incredible it may seem, you can still save money. Read on.

1. The dinners

Most guys would define dinner dates, as 'polite enjoyment', where you know you are supposed to be enjoying, but are not.

The plus point is that, for women, it is never about the money spent. They just expect to dine in a somewhat dignified restaurant. The problem arises because your concept of 'dignified' differs vastly from hers.

Invest time on sharpening your culinary skills. Start cooking meals for her.

Yes, it is a big step, but you can't cross a chasm in two small jumps.

A reasonable meal will earn you big brownie points and keep your notes snug in your wallet.

If there is no escaping that, avoid drinks and desserts at fancy restaurants. They are generally responsible for half your bill.

2. Get innovative!

If food is not on the agenda for both of you, schedule dates around the early evenings, basically in between meal times.

Hang out at a coffeeshop. It is far less expensive.

Make it a point to catch morning or matinee shows for movies. The popcorn and cola won't seem as bad as they usually do.

Go for long walks or sit in the park.

Go swimming together. Or meet for a game of tennis

3. It's gifting time!

It is high time you add a couple of more items to the inevitability list (which was earlier just death and taxes) -- anniversaries and birthdays. Once you remember them, you can focus on the gifts.

Start small. Sanction increasing budgets to the gifts as your relationship grows.

If you start off by gifting her expensive jewellery, you will hear a distinct sound: a nail being hammered on your coffin.

Incidentally, flowers still work, even if you consider them an expensive organic waste.

If you plan to gift her flowers, make sure the bouquet is huge. You can get away with just a chocolate to go with it.

If you do have another gift, save the cash. Just get three roses with some ferns and a lovely ribbon will do.

Focus on the presentation of your gifts. Besides neatly wrapping then, tie some ribbons and bows.

Don't believe that your girlfriend is not the type to fall for ribbons. Under that brazen exterior, they are all sweet, shy and sensitive.

4. Take me shopping!

How do you wriggle out of this one?

It is the definitive mother of all perils. Women's lib apart, you will be expected to buy her something sooner or later.

This is how you go about it.

Stay at least a 100 feet away from high brand stores. No amount of emphasis is enough. Either you leave broke or she leaves disappointed.

Patronise factory outlets and sales. What you may lose in quality you could make up for in quantity. Also, most of these outlets are branded. This is your safest bet by far.

Beware of those shopping attendants, especially the women that prop up expensive dresses against your girlfriend and go, "You look gorgeous!" These people are ruthless and don't have an ounce of pity for you.

Don't take her shopping only on occasions. Surprise her by casually taking her out for a stroll and entering an outlet that you know isn't too expensive.

By the way, don't make a habit of this. You will lose out on the surprise element and your money!

5. Let's shop for you!

This is exactly how noble intentions cause damage. Trust me, your girlfriend is more concerned about your fashion sense than you are.

Granted, shopping is an immensely boring experience. But you will get through it.

Accept that she is better informed than you are in these matters. Of the clothes she shortlists, choose the cheapest one blindly.

Make it a point to take her shopping whenever you buy clothes. That way, you wont need to purchase more than you require (because she hated your choice!).
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