16 Apr 2015

Digging deep to date in the city

7:20 pm on 16 April 2015

Single life in the capital isn't for the fiscally challenged, with statistics showing it's one of the most expensive cities worldwide to go on a date - and to look good enough to get one.

Date night

Photo: 123rf

Deutsche Bank's annual survey on global prices has looked at a range of date-related activites worldwide, from the pre-date haircut and workout to the post (successful) date weekend away.

Let's start with getting the body in shape - a painful enough mission without the hit the wallet takes, at $US70.70 for an average monthly membership in a central city gym. That puts Wellington at twelfth out of 33 cities; Cape Town, at number 33 with $US31.90 a month, might be looking attractive.

At that gym cost you'd probably want to give away the ciggies - and not just because they'd hamper you on the treadmill; a packet of Marlboro cigarettes will set you back $US15.05 in Wellington - fourth out of 26 cities. Smokers may wish to consider a move to Moscow or Jakarta, where they can smoke up a storm for $US1.35 a pack but should perhaps steer clear of Melbourne, where they'll pay $US18.45.

Once the body is sorted - and the cigarettes stubbed out - a haircut could be in order. Only men's haircuts were considered, and only standard haircuts in an ex-pat area of the city. Despite those limitations, Wellington came in fourth of 33 cities, at $US25.60 for a trim. A comparable cut in India's New Delhi is a snip at $US2.40.

So what to wear? Perhaps a pair of classic Levis 501 jeans, teamed with Adidas Super Star 2 trainers. The jeans will set you back $US86.60 in Wellington (tenth out of 31) - nearly double the $US44 you'll pay in Boston - while the $US105.40 you'll pay for the trainers is more than twice Brazil's $US49.50 and puts the capital fifth of 19 countries.

Finally ready, you might want to take public transport to meet your date, paying $US1.51 for the cheapest sector in Wellington (17 out of 31 cities). New Delhi again looks attractive; there you can get around for US8c a sector.

All the expense involved in getting ready might just have wiped you out and you might opt for the cheap date option, which Deutsche Bank defines as McDonalds burgers, soft drinks, two movie tickets and a couple of beers, as well as two cab rides, all for the princely sum of $US99.60 - the fourth most expensive city to go on a "cheap" date.

But there is some good news. If you decide to save on the "cheap date" and cut the taxi rides home, instead opting for a night in a five-star hotel, you're in luck: the $US157.30 you'll pay in Wellington is the second-lowest of the 28 cities surveyed.

Whether you're splitting that $US157.30 might just depend on how well the earlier preparation went.