If you have a significant other, you know how stressful Valentine’s Day can be – stressful and expensive. From cards and gifts to flowers and dinners, your wallet can face a hit worse than during the holiday season. Love-struck consumers dish out billions every year, but you don’t have to go broke to make your partner happy. Check out the below tips on how to make Feb. 14 special on a budget.
1. Try Hanging In Instead of Going Out
Why do you want to spend this holiday in a crowded place with a bunch of strangers? Consider letting your relationship marinate indoors this year and bring the romance home. You can have a romantic movie marathon, make or order in your favorite food, light some candles and enjoy the specialness of a night in alone.
2. Make ‘Em Yourself
Let’s face it, you probably just bought your significant other an awesome holiday gift and are already scheming for birthday ideas. Don’t let the rush of Cupid’s day force you to spend a lot on something you haven’t been able to give much thought to or can’t afford.
It’s a good idea to break out from the normal jewelry, chocolates and flowers routine for some more thoughtful gifts. Try setting a monetary limit or make the theme DIY this year so you can really personalize what you are sharing. Start a journal of special memories and thoughtful tidbits about your significant other and your relationship. Consider a box for your relationship’s mementos, your partner’s favorite dessert or a collection of handmade certificates for your services like a massage or a promise for a night full of their favorite TV program (even if you hate it!).
3. Take a Mini-Trip Into the Madness
Instead of buying tickets, dinner or whatever else you may think you need, you can try to enjoy the romantic ambiance in a smaller way. Have coffee, drinks or dessert at a nice café, bar or restaurant so you can savor the atmosphere without emptying your wallet. Even just taking a walk in a nice neighborhood or new part of town can be the right Valentine’s adventure away from home.
4. Reflect, Then Plan Ahead
Instead of exchanging gifts, you could try both contributing money to take a trip together. Spend Valentine’s Day sharing ideas of where you could go and what you could do on this vacation. Get excited about an adventure that you can pre-pay for instead of one you will be paying interest on for months to come. You may have so much fun thinking of romantic ideas for another day, you won’t even miss Valentine’s Day!
5. Create a Tradition
Valentine’s Day should be relationship-specific so whatever you decide to do this year, make it a rule that you two share something more special than the commercial madness. Consider making a pact not to go into debt over it, especially if your debt is having a negative impact on your credit scores. (You can get a free credit report summary on Credit.com to see how your debt is affecting your scores.)
Make Valentine’s Day your own thing. Then enjoy! This year, celebrate your relationship. Don’t let retailers get the best end of the deal – or your wallet. You can’t buy love, after all.
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