“Love does not cost a thing, but it demands the most precious part of our being – the heart; easy to give but hard to get back, so give it to those worthy of it.” ~unknown
Personal spending limitations can put a damper on the best of intentions. However, love does not equal expensive jewelry or a six course meal. While these things are nice; they are not a necessity or a meaningful expression of love.
Similar to holiday season spending, it’s easy to get lost in the shopping frenzy of Valentine’s Day. Americans this year will spend a total of 18.2 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. Don’t equate love with consumption of goods; a perfect Valentine’s Day can be a date opportunity for you and your spouse – on a budget!
Here are 4 things you can do to make your spouse feel special, but without stretching your budget, and adding debt.
Utilize the internet The world is at our fingertips. The internet makes it easier to research inexpensive (and sometimes free) entertainment in your area. Whether you are staying in for dinner or not, inexpensive restaurants are easy to look up, and many times you can find specials or coupons for your dinner. Are you using Groupon? If you aren’t, you are missing a great opportunity to save money on restaurants and fun activities.
Dine in Dining in for the evening or before going out, can save you quite a sum of money. A fun idea is picking out your most favorite restaurant dish and making it at home. I like to use the recipe database over at CopyKat. Make it a fun bonding moment between you and your spouse. Cook dinner together while listening to some music. Set a simple table with some candles and enjoy.
Make a day date Who ever said Valentine’s Day is only celebrated at night? Catch an early matinee and grab a bite to eat. Or how about doing something you both enjoyed while dating? It can be bowling, shooting some pool or a game of miniature golf. It reminds you of all the fun you had while dating, yet keeping it simple, lighthearted and inexpensive.
Don’t go bankrupt buying flowers According to the National Retail Federation, Americans spend nearly $2 billion on flowers for Valentine’s Day. Since Valentine’s Day is not just an American holiday (meaning it is the same day for everyone across the globe), you can expect to pay more for roses than any other day of the year, due to the high demand. If your spouse loves flowers, consider choosing another color of flower other than red. If you don’t want to ditch the red roses completely, include a few roses in a bouquet, instead of splurging on the whole dozen. Don’t forget to ask what is on sale – you may end up with a nicer bouquet than the traditional roses, and save money. Also, don’t forget that USAA members save 25% off when ordering through FTD.
How do you spend Valentine’s Day? Have any money saving tips to share? Share with us in the comments below.
About the blogger: Angela Caban is an Army National Guard spouse, freelance writer, published author and branding expert. Her husband was one of the many soldiers impacted by the unprecedented activation of the National Guard in 2008. In 2010, she founded the Homefront United Network, a military spouse and family support blog created to assist spouses who do not live near an installation, but also focusing on bridging the gap between National Guard, Reserve and Active Duty spouses. She is also co-founder of SpouseTalks. As a branding and digital influencer, she has created content for A&E, Lifetime Network and PBS. She has an extensive background in Human Resources and Communications, with her Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Human Resources. Angela resides in the beautiful Garden State of New Jersey with her husband and two children.
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