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Keeping Valentine's Day Affordable

By Cary Anderson

Ahh... Valentine’s Day. One of those great holidays we have chosen to honor as a society that revolve around gift-buying. The consequences of your failure to participate? Brutal. The love of your life will be disappointed. Valentine’s Day can be a bit of a lose-lose spot like that, but there are some ways to try to keep it as affordable as possible.

Stay Honest, Communicative and Realistic

So many of our Valentine’s Day wallet woes are basically rooted in unrealistic expectations. By failing to honestly communicate our financial concerns with the ones we love, we sabotage ourselves into spending more money than we would prefer to. This is a common problem in relationships and marriages. We attract the other person by putting our best foot forward. We don’t want to reveal the constrained nature of our finances or other “human” aspects of ourselves for fear that they will not be attracted to us! So what do we do? Well, in effect, we lie. We lie by misleading them into believing that money is not as much of a concern for us as it is. So when Valentine’s Day rolls around, there is pressure to maintain that image you have established.

These problems can all be circumvented with some open and honest communication. People generally are very receptive to honesty. It’s relieving when we hear it. Tell your loved one prior to this Valentine’s Day, “hey, so Valentine’s Day is coming up which I’m looking forward to because it’s a chance to celebrate our relationship and do something special for you. But sometimes I feel like there’s a lot or pressure surrounding the whole day to be extravagant and do something above and beyond what really makes sense for my budget and finance situation at this time. I’d love to celebrate the day with you since you’re so important to me, do you think there are ways we can do that without having to spend a bunch of money?”

Any partner worth their salt will be completely understanding and receptive to such an honest attempt at communication. And there are a lot of things you can do on Valentine’s Day that cost little but can make the day a special.

Cook Dinner Together

One of the most intimate and romantic Valentine’s Day things you can do is to cook and enjoy a wonderful meal together. It’s a great chance to go a little above and beyond without having to spend a bunch of money. Choose a special and slightly challenging meal to enjoy creating together. Maybe pick up a bottle of wine and a favorite movie to enjoy on a cozy night in together.

Reasons You Love Them

One of my favorite Valentine’s Day moves that is really affordable and makes the occasion very memorable is to buy a box of Valentine’s-themed greeting cards. You can usually get a box of 50 or so cards for something like $10. Written inside each card is a reason why you love the other person. Some are meant to make them laugh, some are serious and heart-felt. Give them a card all throughout the day. One card every 15 minutes or whatever. Another approach is to hide them strategically so they find them all throughout the day. The whole thing costs about one-third the price of a dozen roses but is 100 times more memorable and special.

Give A Plant

Another great Valentine’s Day gift idea is to give them a plant to grow and maintain. You can do a bonsai tree, a houseplant, or even a container garden to grow vegetables indoors. Plants make for great gifts that, unlike flowers, actually last. Share with your loved one that you want your relationship to last like this plant, not wither away in a week like a dozen roses will do. By caring for the plant in the future it will serve as a reminder to them for the love they have for you.


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