ING Newsroom

Singles spend $43 billion a year on dating – up four-fold in five years

Published on 19/07/2022

The growth of dating apps sees single Aussies spend $384 a month in pursuit of romance

19 July 2022: Today, new research from ING reveals the amount Aussie singles spend on dating has almost quadrupled since 2017, going from $11.7 billion a year to $42.8 billion a year in 2022.

There has been a significant and rapid adoption of dating apps, with Aussies now spending half a billion a year finding ‘the one’ online, an increase from $80.7 million a year in 2017. This is the number one factor contributing to the surge in dating costs, followed by the fact singles are now going on more dates.

According to the research the average singleton goes on three dates per month, compared to just one in 2017, with an average monthly dating spend of $384.28, compared to just $153.93 five years ago.

Singles are spending an average of $154.16 on first dates, which includes $66.53 on getting ready. The most popular pre-date expenses include: new clothes (41%), hair services (25%) and new shoes (18%).

When it comes to paying for a first date more than half (59%) of singles prefer to either split the bill or pay for their individual costs, rising to 68% of singles for a fifth date onwards. The younger generations are leading this charge, with 76% of Gen Z singles expecting to pay their way, compared to just 64% of Gen X singles.

Matt Bowen; Head of Daily Banking at ING Australia says:

“Over the past few years, the growth of dating apps has opened a new world of possibilities for singles looking to find love. 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.”

“But love doesn’t have to cost the earth and a few small changes to the way you date can help keep those 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.”

Additional key research findings:

  • Women want to split bills, but men are still paying more: women are most likely to want to split bills or pay their way on a first date (76%) however 45% of men still expect to foot the bill. As a result, men have an average first-date budget of $170.80, compared to just $139.04 for women.
  • Paying App-daters are the biggest spenders: Aussie singles who are already paying for dating apps are also more likely to spend big on their first dates, with an average budget of $208.33, over $50 more than average.
  • Millennials are most likely to splash the cash: with an average first-date cost of $178, closely followed by $174.10 for Gen X and just $131.75 for Gen Z.
  • Men are investing more in date preparation: men admit to spending slightly more money preparing for dates than women ($69.53 vs. $63.64) with gifts for their date, contraception and dental work topping the list of must-purchase items


Notes to editors

About the research

This research study was commissioned by ING and conducted online by YouGov from the 26– 29th of May 2022.

The nationally representative sample comprises 1,040 Australians aged 18 years and older distributed throughout Australia and weighted by age, gender and location to reflect the latest ABS population estimates.

Results include comparisons from the study ‘The Cost of Dating’ conducted in February 2017 which comprised of a sample of 1,000 Australians 18 years and older aged 18-64.

*Please note that the sample for the study run in 2017 was Australians 18-64 years, while the sample for this study is all Australians aged 18 years or older.

For more information contact Megan Landauro on 0413 317 225 or 

About ING

ING changed the way Australians bank 21 years ago by launching the country’s first branchless bank. ING now offers Australians home loans, transactional banking, superannuation, credit cards, personal lending, insurance and wholesale banking services.

ING is Australia’s most recommended bank according to RFi XPRT Survey, August 2021 – March 2022 (n = 32,001) when compared to customers of 20 other banks operating in Australia. It is also Australia’s fifth largest main financial institution (MFI) with 6% of market share according to RFi XPRT Survey, August 2021 – January 2022 (n=31,512). MFI is defined as the bank that the consumer says is their main financial institution.


Media Enquiries

Megan Landauro
ING Public Relations Lead
0413 317 225

Peter Gurney
Head of Stakeholder Relations
0417 633 467

60 Margaret Street
Sydney NSW 2000

© Copyright 2023 ING.
ING is a business name of ING Bank (Australia) Limited ABN 24 000 893 292 AFSL/ACL 229823.
ING’s colour orange is a trade mark of ING and the ING Group of companies.