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Having a Memorable Valentine’s Day Without Breaking the Bank

Valentine’s Day is almost here. This is a time for romance, love, and showing those you care about how much they mean to you. However, it’s also a time where it’s very tempting to spend a lot of money. Fancy dinners, expensive flowers, and pricey jewellery can certainly add up. If you’re not careful, you could find yourself overspending at Valentine’s Day, putting yourself into a tough financial situation, and putting a significant dent in your budget.

However, the good news is you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a Happy Valentine’s Day and to show your loved ones you care. Here are some tips for a more affordable Valentine’s Day that won’t ruin your budget.

Shop Early

Waiting until the last minute almost always leads to overspending. Not only do many retailers raise prices as special occasions get closer, but you’ll also have less choice if you wait too long to shop. This could mean you’ll end up buying something more expensive than you initially wanted, since it’s the only option available.

Of course, this doesn’t work for everything. You can’t buy cut flowers or a gourmet meal far in advance, but you can get many other gifts earlier, giving you time to make a smarter purchasing decision.

Comparison Shop

Shopping early also gives you more time to compare prices and get the best deal. Once you come up with a gift idea, check several different stores to see if you can find it at a lower price. Sometimes online retailers are less expensive than bricks-and-mortar stores, but not always, so make sure you shop around.

Cook at Home

Eating out at a restaurant is a popular way to spend Valentine’s Day. However, it’s also a very costly one. Instead, why not make a special home-cooked meal? Not only is this a great way to save money, but preparing a meal together is also a very romantic way to spend the evening. Plus, you won’t have to worry about getting a reservation!

Be Creative

Think about creative gifts that you can potentially make yourself. Are you a talented artist? Paint your special someone a painting. If you’re a writer, write a poem or a short story. If you can build something, make something, or otherwise create something, go for it! Not only will it save you money, but you’ll also be giving a one-of-a-kind gift that is truly from the heart.

You can use some creativity when planning your Valentine’s Day events as well. Instead of “dinner and a movie” why not go for a hike, a romantic skate, or a scenic drive together? All of these are great ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day for less.

Use History

If you’re having trouble coming up with creative ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day on a budget, think back to the history of you and your significant other. Where did you first meet? Could you go back there for your Valentine’s Day date? It might be less expensive than a typical fancy restaurant. Was your first date a romantic walk through a park? Consider replicating this for your Valentine’s Day date.

Consider Other Options

A Valentine’s Day date doesn’t have to take place at dinner. If you can, consider going out for breakfast or lunch instead. Many restaurants offer more expensive “special” menus for Valentine’s Day dinner, which can make eating out a lot more expensive than usual, but you could save by eating out at a different time. Plus, you likely won’t have as much trouble getting a reservation and you won’t have to deal with an overcrowded restaurant either.

Celebrate Another Day

A Valentine’s Day celebration doesn’t have to happen on Valentine’s Day itself. Costs certainly go up on the actual day, so consider having a special dinner a day before or after, or even a week before or after.  This can be a great way to save money while still having a romantic date.

Don’t Be Competitive

A lot of people feel like they need to “one-up” or at least match their friends and family when it comes to Valentine’s Day. If you see that your friend gave some fancy jewellery as a gift, for example, you might be tempted to do the same. Social media makes these feelings even more common as a quick glance at Facebook or Instagram around Valentine’s Day can make it look like everyone in the world is having a fancy and expensive celebration. This can make you want to do the same yourself.

Remember that you don’t know the reality behind any of these gifts or the financial situation of those giving them. Valentine’s Day is a time to show love and appreciation, not to spend as much as possible. Try not to worry about what other people are doing.