Tag: Valentine’s Day

 

14 Budget-Friendly Valentine’s Day Date Ideas That Don’t Suck

For the first few years of our relationship, my husband and I never thought twice about going out for a five-star meal on Valentine’s Day. It was just the thing to do. After all, the average American spends more than $140 on this holiday.

Yet, here was the problem: We couldn’t afford those dinners, especially with piling up credit card charges, burdensome student loans payments and hefty car notes. So, we started celebrating Valentine’s Day on a budget and we actually enjoyed ourselves just as much (if not more) because we had to get creative.

Although we have now paid off our consumer debt, we decided to keep up our thrifty Valentine’s Day tradition. This way we can focus on our other money goals for this year and beyond.

If you’re also looking to celebrate Valentine’s Day on a budget, check out these 14 date ideas that won’t make you look like a cheapskate:

For the Romantics At Heart

Cook together.
This is a popular at-home date night recommendation but it can be stressful if you wait until the last minute to figure out your menu. Instead, consider testing out a meal delivery service or check out Instacart, which I find to be a huge time (and therefore money saver).

At-home spa night.
While you may not have the hands of a massage therapist, you can easily recreate a calming, spa-like atmosphere right in your own home. Budget-friendly tip: Shop your hall closet for candles, aromatherapy oils and other at-home spa essentials. In the end, you may only need to spend money on rose petals to turn this idea into the most romantic Valentine’s Day ever.

Create a scavenger hunt.
It’s time to put your Pinterest skills to good use with this Valentine’s Day activity. Showcase your thoughtfulness by including riddles that incorporate memories from milestone events like your first date. Your grand finale (final clue) doesn’t have to be expensive either. It can be home cooked dinner by the fireplace, picture of the two of you or a picnic lunch.

Bury a time capsule.
Fill a box with keepsakes that represent both you and your SO, write a sweet note to your future selves and bury it. Hint: You can repurpose almost anything such as a shoebox for your time capsule instead of going out and buying something new.

Scrapbook together.

Pour a glass of wine and get ready to enjoy a trip down memory lane with your person. I also love that this sweet date night idea can double as a great way to get rid of clutter and turn it into cash (not very romantic, I know, but it is a tip worth sharing).

Treat your SO to breakfast in bed.

When was the last time you made your partner breakfast in bed? Or maybe a better question is: Have you ever made your partner breakfast? Be sure to include a sweet handwritten note when you surprise your SO with this thoughtful gesture!

At-home movie night with a twist.
Borrow a projector or even use a large television screen to create a romantic outdoor or indoor movie theater experience without breaking the bank.

For the Outdoorsy Couple

Cozy bonfire date.

My husband recently spent five dollars on a fire pit at a garage sale and we can’t wait to test it out on Valentine’s Day. I already have the marshmallows and hot cocoa mix added to our grocery list!

Sledding.

If you want to have some real fun on Valentine’s Day then add this winter activity to your to-do list. Cuddle up with a warm beverage once you’re finished acting like a big kid with your favorite human.

Winter hike.

Yes, this is a thing! Just be sure to check out these safety tips before embarking on your adventure.

For the Couple Who Doesn’t Like At-Home Date Nights

Dessert-only date.

Fill up on dinner at home and save the spending for a delicious sweet treat. Scout out a nice ice cream parlor or a quaint bakery in a cute nearby town. End the night with a romantic walk.

Trivia night.

If you and your partner are competitive then this could be the perfect date night that costs less than $25. Plus, you may even win some money when all is said and done!

Choose lunch over dinner.
Eating lunch out is less expensive than dinner. Plain and simple. For instance, Money Crashers notes that at the Cheesecake Factory, “Dinner entrees range in price from $11 to $30 [while] lunch specials cost between $9 and $14.” If you skip dessert and take it easy on the beverages, you won’t have to spend more than $50.

For the Couple Who Thinks Outside of the Box

Don’t celebrate at all.

If your main reason for celebrating Valentine’s Day is that everyone else is, then it may be time to reconsider your approach. I spoke with one couple who doesn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day at all.

Ellie from EllieMondelli.com says, “It’s very simple for us — we view this holiday as yet another excuse to spend money. It doesn’t fit in with any of our goals, so we don’t celebrate it.”

This type of discipline has enabled the Mondelli’s to pay off their mortgage before she turned 30!

 

How To Budget for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Regardless of whether you spend it with your long-time love, a new acquaintance or close friends, Valentine’s Day is a holiday designed to celebrate love.

Unfortunately, this holiday comes at a high price. According to the National Retail Federation, the average American consumer spent $143.56 on Valentine’s Day celebrations last year alone. That’s a whole lot of dough.

Yet, you don’t have to spend a ton of cash to enjoy Valentine’s Day. With some wise planning, budgeting, and saving in advance, you can make this Valentine’s Day one for the books – without breaking the bank. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Set your budget

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make Valentine’s Day fun and special, but then again, it is only one day out of the year. It’s not worth going broke over.

So, determine what your budget will be, and stick to it. To figure out your budget, it’s best to plan according to the stage of your relationship. For example, if you have a significant other, you may want to do something special that may require saving money ahead of time. And, if you’re in the early stages of a relationship, there is no need to go all out for the big holiday. A  simple, quiet get-together is probably fine.

Plan your activities

Now it’s time to plan your realistic celebrations. Whether you dream about going to a fancy, romantic restaurant, cooking at home, or something else, you may need to plan for your activities.

Check out these 10 fun Valentine’s Day activities for both kids and couples by Money Crashers. They are proof that you don’t have to spend a ton in order to express your love.

Don’t forget about additional costs

Now that you have your Valentine’s Day celebration planned, the bulk of the work is finished. But don’t forget – there are often quite a few last minute costs associated with Valentine’s Day. Don’t forget to budget for them!

Whether you want to pick up some chocolates, flowers, or even just a card, these all cost money. If you plan to purchase any additional gifts, be sure to add them into your initial budget.

Tips for an affordable Valentine’s Day

No matter what your budget is, you can make your Valentine’s Day special and memorable without breaking the bank. Take a look:

1. Don’t go overboard

Valentine’s Day can be special without going completely overboard. Who says you have to go out to a fancy, expensive dinner or buy lavish gifts?

You can have a memorable Valentine’s Day by thinking outside the box. Go hiking, enjoy a picnic, or go to a museum for a day date. Think about ways to save money, avoid crowds and create a day you and your significant other will remember for years to come.

2. Celebrate after the holiday

Valentine’s Day gets busy quickly. Restaurants get full, floral shops are overrun, and even the chocolate is overpriced. So why not make it a point to celebrate after the fact, when you can both get more bang for your buck?

Not only will you have more options available after the holiday, but you will fight fewer crowds. So, see if your significant other is on board for staying in on February 14, but willing to celebrate over the next weekend. This gives you more wiggle room in your budget, plus you can avoid the Valentine’s Day rush.

3. Get creative with gifts

Who says you have to gift a dozen roses and a box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day? Walk into any store or flower shop and you can see how much these traditional Valentine’s Day gifts cost.

Instead of buying the typical Valentine’s Day gifts, try getting creative. For instance, instead of buying chocolate and flowers, buy tickets to a movie – maybe even a matinee.

To lower the cost even more, you can make your own DIY gifts.

4. Enjoy quality time together

Some of the best times are spent staying in with your loved ones.

Instead of going out for a pricey date night, cook a homemade meal together and stream a movie or play a game. You can’t get much cheaper than that!

5. Go outdoors

We get it: February isn’t the nicest month weather-wise. But if it is semi-decent outside, you can take your holiday celebrations outdoors.

Check out some of these romantic and adventurous date ideas from Two Drifters. Not only are they memorable date ideas, but most of them can be done for dirt cheap.

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day by saving in advance

No matter how you decide to spend your Valentine’s Day, you can always be prepared by saving in advance. The easiest way to start saving for Valentine’s Day is to set a little bit aside at a time into a separate savings account. So go on and enjoy your holiday guilt-free!

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