With all the chocolates, hearts, and flowers floating around, Valentine's Day is the most romantic day of the year. It can also be one of the most expensive days, especially if you're committed to wining and dining your sweetheart.
But here's a little secret: Valentine's Day doesn't have to be pricey, and it doesn't have to bust your budget. There are plenty of fun, romantic, cute things you can do to celebrate the holiday with the person you love the most, without worrying about what the bill will be at the end of the date.
Cook Dinner Together
Dining out at restaurants is one of the most popular traditions on Valentine’s Day. However, the higher-than-usual volume of diners means that many restaurants are crowded and that the employees at those restaurants are pushed to their limits. Plus, the price of a restaurant meal on Valentine's Day tends to be higher than average, as many restaurants serve a prix fixe three or more course meal.
This year, skip the restaurant and save your wallet. Instead, enjoy a lovely meal for two, at home. If you both enjoy cooking, you can prep the meal together, so that you get to spend even more time with each other. If neither of you enjoys cooking, there's always the option of ordering out (most restaurants provide delivery service today). You can create a romantic mood at home by playing music that's special to you both, lighting some candles and breaking out the nice plates and silverware.
Give a Plant
Nothing says "I love you forever" like handing a person a bouquet of roses. However, they will usually begin wilting within a week. A more budget-friendly and long-lasting way to share a token of your affection is to give your beau a plant for the holiday that they can enjoy for years to come. Thanks to the shape of their leaves, some plants make perfect Valentine's Day gifts. For example, sweetheart Hoya is a succulent plant with heart-shaped leaves, as is the heart-leaf philodendron. As a bonus, both are relatively easy to care for, as long as you don't over-water them.
Celebrate on a Different Day
Although February 14th is Valentine's Day, there is no hard and fast rule that says you must celebrate the holiday then. If February 14th just doesn't work with your schedule, you can pick a different day to celebrate. For example, you might want to pick a day in February that lines up with your anniversary. If you got married on November 16th, celebrate Valentine's Day on February 16th. If you decide to skip the hustle-and-bustle of the 14th, you're likely to find that it's easier to get a reservation at the restaurant of your choice and that you're not locked into paying for the pricey set menu.
Enjoy a Cultural Activity Together
What's the one thing you and your partner love to do together the most? Maybe your first date was at a museum or you enjoy going to the movies together. You might love music, dance or theater. Pick your favorite cultural activity and buy tickets for it on or around Valentine's Day. Usually, the price of cultural programs doesn't jump up because of the holiday, so you can still find plenty of inexpensive or even free things to do.
Spend the Day Outdoors
Depending on the weather in your area around Valentine's Day, it can be the perfect opportunity for you and your love to spend the day out in nature. Lace up your boots and go for a hike in a nearby park, enjoying the scenery together. You might also pack up a picnic basket with your favorite foods and spend the day lounging on the grass in a park or even in your own backyard.
You don't have to spend a lot of money to enjoy the most romantic holiday of the year. Get creative, think of what the two of you love to do the most, and you can have a perfect day, even if you don't spend any money at all.
We’re Here to Help!
Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, Christmas, birthdays, or anniversaries, taking steps ahead of time to prepare for these special events will lessen the financial impact.
Give us a call or go online to open a separate savings account. Then make small, regular deposits throughout the year to build up your holiday spending money.
Have you celebrated Valentine's Day on a budget? Tell us your best tips in the comments!