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!