Woman Uses Dates for $1,200 per Month of Free Food

Libby Kane

Every girl loves free food.

But not every girl maintains a spreadsheet of men who will buy it for her. A 23-year-old New York City woman did just that—living on a $45,000 salary in Manhattan, she found that she was unable to pay both her $1,475 rent every month as well as her credit card bills and other living expenses. So she turned to Match.com for free food; by playing the online dating scene, she lined up men to buy her dinner every night of the week.

Previously, she was spending $500 per month on dinner alone, which she couldn’t afford. Business Insider estimates that, after starting her dating adventure, she “made” about $1,200 per month because the men bought her even more expensive food than she would have bought for herself.

It’s the perfect viral storm of judgment (young woman, scheming, men being manipulated, New York City, online dating). At this point, her name has been changed on the original story and the comments have been disabled due to particularly violent commenters.

And Now, Plan B:

Her methods might spark internet ire, but let’s look at it from a financial angle: What could she have done instead?

We know she had a salary of $45,000. After taxes, let’s say she takes home about $2,765 per month, assuming she doesn’t contribute to a 401(k). We recommend that rent take up no more than 35% of your income, but she’s actually spending over 50%. So be it. After rent, she has $1,290 left for other expenses.

For those, she could have set up a budget—we even have a handy tool she could have used—and perhaps dialed down the $500 per month she was spending on dinners alone by trying out cheap, delicious recipes. (Look! We have those, too.)

Any leftover money should have gone toward establishing her emergency fund, eliminating any bad debt (our bootcamp can help with that), and contributing to her retirement account.

Although her plan may be morally gray, we have to give her a tip of the hat for finding her way around a financial problem with creativity, confidence and a whole lot of pizzazz.

Readers, what do you think of her plan? Was it manipulative, or genius?

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  • http://kylieofiu.com Kylie Ofiu

    Interesting. I think she could have budgeted better. I don’t think what she did was ethical, but it was smart. I mean, she found a way to solve a problem of hers, not a good way, but a way.

    I like your suggestions as to what she could have done.

  • Awalker

    Very manipulative, women should be independent and manage their budget. Live within your means or work to improve your means if you aspire to greater benefits! I’m a woman and I hate that men are often targets for womanly wiles!

  • http://senseofcents.blogspot.com Michelle

    I think she was being very manipulative. Because I read somewhere that she would limit each man to 5 dates. So if I was a guy and she stopped talking to me after the 5th date after I probably spent around $1,000 on food on her, I would be pretty mad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Jayne.Urbane Janette Lockett

    Love it. Its not her job to protect every schmo that walks across her path. And she had to put up with them the whole dinner, who says thats not work! No one ever said she hurt anyone with anything but the truth. Anyone who is angry is a big baby! ;)

  • Michellarson

    It’s fair I guess. Although the food is free. Her time and energy is probably worth more than the food. Also, looking pretty for a date cost money too.

  • Phoenix

    Isn’t Match.com a paid dating site?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=651323976 Kellie Blair Alexander

    Idk if I would have done such a thing, but who cares? It’s her life! I say go girl!

    I also agree with everything you say here about budgeting and living within your means. It really isn’t that difficult. :)

  • Kelly

    I don’t think she did anything more wrong than what men and women in the dating scene have done for decades.  I don’t think it’s much of a story, we should move on to more important issues.

  • Jocy

    Wow, she’s a genius, and double thumbs up to her if she didn’t sleep with any of them, she sounds like a smart and interesting lady, and great conversationlist. 

    • http://twitter.com/foxmatrix25 Cesar Ortegon

      are u crazy??? using a date site to plan out to gain food and possible gifts and making a man feel he will gain a relatioinship from this??  thats a scam in my book and a tease thats just as close as u can get to paying a stripper or escort using a social tool. There should be a ban and comment structure to stop these practices,,

  • CleoBarker

    I personally think its morally wrong. I would either seek budgeting help or move the hell out of New York. I mean these guys are more often then not looking for a relationship and trying to invest in a relationship by paying for a nice dinner- when she’s really just looking for a handout. That feels dishonest and shameful in my gut, and it never steers me wrong. Although I can admire the time and energy she most likely needs to put in to go on dates AND keep all the guys straight in her head, but it doesn’t make it right or commendable whatsoever.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AshleyVictoriaBurton Ashley Burton

    All I can say is WOW! And to think I volunteer in exchange for food and go to free events at my college to cut down on my eating expenses! But than my rent is only $400 in Pensacola, FL and will only increase to $450 when I move in two weeks!

  • Dorie

    The only men I have talked to on a dating site are manipulators and liars so far.  Seem to only want one thing… Thinking there aren’t many real men out there anymore. They p;ay games with the woman who has a real heart. So If she stays out of bed and gets to eat … more power to her..

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think she did anything wrong. Just because she didn’t necessarily want a romantic relationship, that doesn’t mean that she wasn’t sincere in her conversation. We go out with friends and on dates and events, trying to meet new people. I don’t see anything wrong with meeting new people and getting some food in the process. 

    • Blahblah

      But do your friends buy you food every time?
      No. So you argument is irrelevant.

    • Bigrich79

      Then see should treat some of these men too especially if she doesn’t want a romantic relationship.  If not, then she can feed herself.  Do you think is financially practical or feasible for the average man to pay dinner for every good looking female he hangs on with?

      • Bigrich79

        Then she* should 

  • Me

    Wow I wish I had thought of this!  After being single in Chicago on a $40K budget, I started going on dates with less-than-ideal men … more out of boredom than anything else.  But when I realized that I was saving money on groceries, I kind of loved it!  I would limit the dates to no more than two if I didn’t like the guy, though.  At three the guys get kind of grabby and the stakes go higher.  But hey, I eat free and the guy gets to stare at a pretty girl for a few hours.  Everybody wins!

  • Kyle

    I love reading articles about these strong, independent women! Seems, like she still needs a man…

  • Anonymous

    Female empowerment at its best! Nothing like leading someone on under false pretenses to get what you want. Well done you smart woman, how independent you are. Of course this is why drinks is a better first date situation than dinner for a man, if you’re being scammed then it’s only a few glasses of wine not a $60 dinner. This is a classic case of someone wanting to live outside their means, she just came up a way where she doesn’t suffer any repercussions. 

    For all you women who seem to think that the guy getting to ‘stare at a pretty girl for a few hours’ is a good enough reason then put a pin in your over inflated egos. You aren’t as pretty as you think you are, especially with such an ugly attitude. The problem today is that people have less and less shame about the way they live their lives. This woman is a liar, by omission if not outright, and make no mistake a lie by omission is still a lie. I get that some women have been burnt by men and feel like this is a good revenge. But instead of taking it out on strangers take it out on those who hurt you. Otherwise all you’re doing is making nice guys hate on women. Because judging by her numbers, at least a few of the guys she did this to were nice people. Who are now probably a little less trusting because of her deception. Why add to that cycle of hate? Who does it help?

  • A realist

    Let’s call this what it really is. She’s a prostitute. Sure, she might not have slept with these men, but one of Webster’s definitions of a prostitute is “to devote to corrupt or unworthy purposes.” And if she did have sex with them, then she becomes a prostitute by the real sense of the word.

    You can say it’s “female empowerment” all you want, but in reality, she’s just a half step above someone who does this just for the cash.

  • http://twitter.com/tacitaocopa Tacita O’Copa

    You should have mentioned whether she fucks the men who feed her, or not. Is food the only thing she puts in her mouth? Evaluating her activities would have been easier if we had been told.

  • Adb4me

    A 21st century prostitute. And after her dates, you know at least ONE will expect something. I value my dignity and prefer to be broke or get another job.

  • Asoulfulaffair

    Don’t hate the player, hate the game..lol..good for her!

  • Ms. Straight forward

    oh boo who trolls. please every woman is some sort of prostitute. you bring a women on a date, buy her flowers and jewelry and more then likely you are going to get some… silly me but no where in this article does she say she did anything more then eat with them…. not everyone gives it up after dinner lol

  • http://twitter.com/tacitaocopa Tacita O’Copa

    You should have mentioned whether she fucks the men who feed her, or not. Is food the only thing she puts in her mouth? Evaluating her activities would have been easier if we had been told.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XJZ7H3TPQIHHRILNQ23BY22MII Laura

    Libby Kane writes above, “comments have been disabled due to particularly violent commenters” and then concludes, “Readers, what do you think of her plan? Was it manipulative, or genius?”

    Kane should make up her mind.

  • KLynne

    Not gonna lie, this is one of the perks of dating in the city. It’s not fair to JUST use men like that, and she probably had all sorts of drama after…but still. Free sushi is an awesome pay off for having to spend a couple hours with a ill-begotten suitor.

  • taureaulee

    But of she stays home to cook, then she’s not meeting anyone. I would do as she did, and get to know the guys better all the while, and maybe one one day he will be the one for her! Good luck smart lady

  • Solar Powered Sea Slug

    Liar, manipulative, and deceitful. She can sugar coat it any way she wants. She said that she only went out with these men for the free dinners. That’s not fair, not honest, not respectful. She sounds like she is one step away from being a gold-digger or getting a sugar daddy. Since she was only in it for the $1200 per month, she is an escort. Period.

    • JWHacket

      Even sugar babies are honest about what they do. This one is just a sneaky liar.

  • Rubifen Errex

    A liar. Plain and simple.
    Oh, then women cry their crocodile tears when a “bad boy” douche bag cuts them off for another.
    Women: the ultimate hypocrites.

  • http://twitter.com/JohnnyACE562 GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™

    So I guess women DON’T want gender equality then? {{-_-}}