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Valentines day on a budget
By MyBudget Editor

How to celebrate Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, you may be a bit worried about how you’re going to hit the heights of romance with limited cash.

The truth is, spending every last cent you have on your partner doesn’t necessarily make Valentine’s Day any more romantic, meaningful or even special. There are plenty of ways to show someone how much you love them without buying sparkling gems, gold rings or designer watches.

What really matters is where your heart is and how you go about showing that. Here are a few tips to celebrate Valentine’s Day on a budget.

When buying gifts, make sure you stick to your budget

It’s okay to spend on Valentine’s gifts even if money is in short supply. You just need to be careful by setting a limit on your spend. It’s extremely easy to get carried away, especially if you’re trying to impress.

Once you’ve set your limit, stick to it. Under no circumstances should you spend more than you can afford. Keep the massive mortgage, car loan or credit card debts front of mind if you’re tempted to splash out.

Another trick is to go shopping together as a couple. Pool your money for a nice Valentine’s Day gift that excites both of you.

You can even get something your home really needs — just remember to keep the gifts focused on each other to keep the romance going.

Don’t buy the gold-wrapped, ribbon-tied, themed chocolate

A lot of luxury confectionery companies produce Valentine’s Day themed chocolates. Charging for Valentine’s themed chocolates at a premium price point will see their profit margins soar sky high.

But there’s no need to buy the most expensive, luxurious, Valentine’s-themed chocolates from Haigh’s or Godiva’s. If you’re trying to save, there’s nothing wrong with regular sweets to whet the appetite.

If you’re extra creative, add a personal touch by packaging it in wrapping paper you’ve made yourself. Make your own Valentine’s Day card with personalised notes. 

A personal, heartfelt statement is far more romantic than a generic, cookie-cutter one that’s already been printed on thousands of other cards.

Buy a potted plant rather than cut flowers

Buying freshly cut flowers from a florist on any day of the year is expensive and Valentine’s Day is no exception. The thing is, cut flowers just don’t last. Before long, they’re withering and dying, even if you get them into a vase of water fast.

Buying a potted plant is a cost-effective but no less beautiful option. And depending on your partner’s tastes, a potted plant could be even more attractive.

The best part is, a potted plant can last a long, long time if you take care of it. Much like your romance.

Prepare dinner yourself and serve it by candlelight

Preparing a delicious meal takes time, effort, energy and skill. It’s the grandest of grand gestures. Who needs a restaurant serving meals at $500 per head when you’re at home making a meal with a little bit of love?

Once you’ve prepared your meal and set the table, light those candles. Dim the lights or just turn them off completely (whatever you prefer!). 

Focus on each other. 

Make sure your smartphones are off. Turn off any other beeping gadgets that try to draw you down the social media rabbit hole. Don’t talk about kids, don’t talk about work or ANYTHING that’s going to take you out of this special moment.

Stay at home for the post-dinner entertainment

Going to the theatre, a concert or even the local cinema on Valentine’s Day evening will hurt your wallet. And with everyone out to celebrate on the same night, bumping shoulders with hordes of other couples isn’t necessarily romantic either.

Spending Valentine’s Day evening at home is significantly more cost-effective and possibly more fun. Have kids? Send them to their grandparents’ place so you can have the night to yourselves. Babysitting by loving family members should be free.

With an evening free to yourselves, you can now do what you like.

If you both like music, turn on a recording of your favourite concerts and enjoy them without disruption. If you’re into movies, catch the latest streaming blockbuster. Or even put on an older romantic classic like When Harry Met Sally, Pretty Woman or The Princess Bride. Your pick. 

Don’t forget to keep the lights dimmed to keep things romantic.

Valentine’s Day isn’t about how much you spend

Remember, the key to a memorable Valentine’s Day isn’t how much you spend. It’s about how much heart you put into it. Show you care by planning and preparing, well in advance. Engage your partner in what’s meaningful to both of you.

Keep our tips in mind and you’ll have an amazingly romantic Valentine’s Day — without breaking the bank!

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