As the saying famously goes, “Love doesn’t cost a thing.” Yet, if that’s so, why did Australians spend over $23 million on Valentine’s Day last year? It’s true. Aussies dropped money on dinner, drinks, flowers, gifts, and so much more to impress that special someone.
What this statistic doesn’t tell you is that it’s more than possible to have a romantic Valentine’s Day without spending cash. No matter the size of your budget, there are plenty of things you can do or purchase to show your significant other you care. Love isn’t measured by the amount you spend. It’s measured in how you show your love every day.
It’s fun to play cupid on this one day a year, but let’s not forget what really matters. Valentine’s Day is only one day a year, and you have so many other ways to say “I love you.” This checklist will include some traditional and out of the chocolate-heart-box ideas for sharing your passion with your loved one on this day of romance.
1. Choose Experiences Over Things
First and foremost, experiences will always be worth more than material objects. Doing something with your partner will not only create a memory that lasts a lifetime but it shows how much you value them. Don’t feel pressured by the over-the-top cookie arrangements in the grocery store or the bouquets at your local florist. Yes, those things are fun, but they’re not the only way to show you care.
Instead of spending money on each other, vow to spend time together. This might mean you have a fun day at the park with a picnic lunch, or maybe you cozy up on the couch with some romantic movies. No matter what you choose, don’t feel like you need to spend any money. Cards fade and flowers die, but the memories you make together will last forever.
2. Write a Heartfelt Card
While you might be hesitant to give card companies any more money during this commercialized time of year, there’s something to be said for the power of a heartfelt card. Maybe you tell your partner you love them every day. Maybe you show it in actions. Either way, taking a few minutes to write out those feelings, no matter how ooey or gooey, will most definitely create a touching moment for your loved one.
The best part about gifting cards is that they’re affordable. A nice card will cost you a few dollars at the store, and you can even make your own if you’re up to some crafting. No matter how much or how little you say, just make sure it comes from the heart.
3. Bake Something Sweet
Did you know Valentine’s Day has ancient origins? In fact, it’s a descendant of the ancient Roman feast of Lupercalia. During this feast which dates back to 300 BC, Romans celebrated the coming spring with a huge meal designed to increase fertility.
While we might not feast in honor of fertility, we can all agree that everyone loves food. There is no shortage of chocolates, fruits, and yummy treats to be found on store shelves during this time of year, but everything tastes better if you make it yourself. From heart-shaped biscuits to fudgy cakes, you don’t have to be a professional to pull off these easy recipes.
4. Consider an Alternative Gift
Like any holiday, you don’t have to stay within the realm of what’s popular to make an impact. Choosing something small that means something to your partner will always be better than picking up a petty trinket he or she will forget about in a week. Being smart with gift giving is one of the best ways to be wise with your money.
Here are some alternative gift ideas that are sure to woo your partner:
- Books – Is your partner a bookworm? If so, choose a book that’s been on their read list for a while now. You can choose a used book or an e-book for even more savings.
- Music – Take a hint from 80s romance movies and make your beloved a mixtape or CD. Or, go ultra-modern with a Spotify playlist.
- Love Coupons – Give your special someone coupons they’ll be excited to use, like for a backrub or a special dinner made by you.
- Poem or Craft – If you’re an artist, get to work creating something that really shows your love in a new form.
5. Get Creative with Flowers
Of course, no Valentine’s Day list would be complete without flowers. When it comes to flowers, the rose is undoubtedly the most romantic. Yet, if you’ve ever tried to pick up a bouquet of roses around Valentine’s Day, you’ve seen just how pricey they can be. If you order them online you’ll have to pay even more depending on the packaging. Luckily, a little creativity will get you a long way.
First, don’t feel like it has to be roses. While red roses are the most popular pick, carnations, for example, are equally as pretty and they last longer. Other inexpensive picks include tulips, daffodils, and chrysanthemums. Tulips, according to the infamous language of flowers, actually symbolize a declaration of love. How romantic!
If flowers are off the table, why not send a potted plant which will live long after Valentine’s Day is over. A blooming orchid or African violet looks just as pretty, and you can pick one up for under $10. Finally, you can always make paper roses with some simple origami, and these last forever.
Valentine’s Day without the Stress
As you can see, Valentine’s Day comes in all budgets and sizes. Any of the ideas above would make for an exciting way to show you care. It’s easy to fall into the excitement of the romantic holiday, but remember it’s really just about being there for your partner.
Be smart with your spending during this time of year. You can stick to your financial resolutions without compromising on fun and romance. If you need more help setting your own goals for this year’s budget, talk to an expert at Debt Busters on 1300 368 322. We have over a decade of experience helping Australians master their money. With the right help, you’ll be able to take your money further than ever.