When you picture a couple celebrating Valentine’s Day, do images of romantic dinners in fine restaurants and extravagant gifts come to mind?  If you’re in the process of improving your financial health, these traditional festivities might make your heart beat faster, and not in the “falling in love” kind of way.  Don’t panic! There are ways to have a meaningful Valentine’s Day that show your love, but don’t add financial stress to your life.

Ditch the Traditional Fancy Restaurant Dinner

Not only is it cliché to go out for a fancy dinner but the expense is exceedingly excessive when you consider the meal, tip, transportation, and, if you have children, a babysitter.  There are affordable options that are not only enjoyable but more intimate for you and your partner. Working together to prepare a home-cooked meal is a huge savings over dining out and is fun to plan and create together.  Not skilled in the kitchen? Consider carry-out from your favorite restaurant.  You will still save a lot of money by avoiding tips and other expenses.  Plus, eating at home means you don’t have to stress about reservations or crowds. 

Still, craving the experience dining out on Valentine’s Day? Consider going out to lunch instead of dinner, where menu prices are usually lower.

Meaningful and Affordable Gifts

There is an expectation to buy your significant other cards and gifts on Valentine’s Day.  While giving gifts is nice, there are ways to do it without going over budget. 

Greeting cards can be incredibly pricey for a piece of fancy paper with words that aren’t your own. Consider buying a box of blank cards in different colors or patterns.  You can usually get a box of 100 blank cards for the price of three greeting cards.  Use your partner’s favorite colors to write them a personal message that really tells them how you feel. Then, you will have the rest of the blank cards to use for occasions throughout the year!

This year, consider a homemade gift that expresses your love but doesn’t cost an entire paycheck.  Exercise those craft or woodworking skills to create something your partner will treasure forever.  Not skilled in the gift making department? Another alternative to traditional gifts is buying experiences.  As a couple, decide together how much you want to spend on gifts and then use that money to buy something you will both enjoy.  Perhaps it’s something relaxing like a couple’s massage or something more adventurous like rock climbing, dance lessons, or an escape room. 

Make your Valentine’s Day full of love and fun without regretting the expense the next day.  Need help figuring out how celebrations like Valentine’s Day can fit in your budget while still paying your bills? Meet with one of our financial advocates today!

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