Celebrating Valentine's Day Without Breaking the Bank
I don’t know about you, but I always sense a lot of tension starting in the middle of January leading up to Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re in a new relationship or have been married for a while, there’s always pressure surrounding what to give, when to give it and how much to spend. Regardless of your financial situation, there are plenty of economical ways to show your S.O. how much you love them. I see me, an avid DIY-er and craft addict, baking a homemade treat for my sweetie. How do you “C.U.” celebrating this year?
According to the National Retail Federation, Americans spent an average of $133.91 on Valentine’s Day dinner, candy, cards and gifts last year. AmEx reports nearly 13 million Americans are getting married on Valentine’s Day, while 6 million are proposing. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like some serious change to me.
It’s great to show your S.O. how loved he/she is, but you shouldn't have to rack up a serious credit card bill just to finance this holiday. And if you’re going to go cheap for Valentine’s Day, it’s equally important to be thoughtful. Follow this guide to the perfectly frugal holiday of love.
1. DIY: The best Valentine’s Day gift I ever received was a beautiful arrangement of white chocolate covered strawberries on stems. Immediately upon receiving it, however, I felt guilty because I could only imagine its cost. Of course not every gift has to be practical, but spending upwards of $50 on a treat is a bit excessive, especially when you can buy strawberries for $4.99, almond bark for $1.29 and faux stems for $0.99 at your local craft store. How does that phrase go? “A chocolate covered strawberry made at home still tastes as sweet?” Whoever said that was genius.
2. Exercise your creativity: It’s always nice to get roses and chocolates, but sometimes, these are a little cliche. Check out Pinterest for unique gift ideas. I recently saw a pin for a gift called a “Heartstagram,” and for $39, you can send an Instagram shot of you and your sweetie mounted and framed. That’s cheaper than chocolate and roses, and it’ll last longer! (photo) Doing a little research can make a boring tradition exciting again.
3. Don’t feel pressured to spend what you don’t have: This past week, a popular radio show host was talking about Valentine’s Day gifts on air. To prove his point that (most) partners care more about effort than money spent, he told tales of gifts he gave when he was living off only $11/week. He wrote songs and saved menus from first dates-you name it, he did it. Feeling pressured to spend more than you can afford? Think outside the flowers and candy box!
4. Be clever with timing: This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday, so obviously most can’t send flowers to their S.O.’s office on the 14th. Sending flowers before or even after Valentine’s Day makes for a great surprise, and you won’t pay a premium for Valentine’s Day delivery.
5. When in doubt, ask: While it’s safe to assume someone saying, “I don’t want anything for Valentine’s Day” is a statement you should never believe, there’s no harm in having a conversation with your S.O. about expectations. Maybe he/she has a goal to eat healthier and spend more time being active, so candy or dinner and a movie might not be the most ideal gift.
Are you planning to go all out this Valentine’s Day or keep it casual? Tell us below!