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Financial Guidance Library

Helping others achieve financial success

Financial Guidance Library

Staying in budget for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and love is in the air. For most people, the goal is to impress the one you love and show them just how much you care. Does it matter what it costs?

Many of us are thinking about gourmet chocolate, fine dining, roses and diamonds for this special day. Others are thinking that money is just too tight right now and are not sure how we are going to make that everlasting impression.

The thing to remember is Valentine’s Day isn’t all about spending money, but showing your love.

You can be creative without having to buy a dozen roses or eating at the most expensive restaurant. Here are some cheaper ways to celebrate this special day without burning a hole in your wallet.

  • Stay at home and celebrate. Fix a romantic dinner and dine by candlelight. You can buy a bottle of inexpensive wine, bring out the fine china and turn on some soft music. If you have small children and don’t have a babysitter, wait until they go to bed and then enjoy each other’s company.
  • Go hiking. Throw some water bottles in a backpack and hit the trails. Enjoy the conversation with each other and catch up on life. Sometimes when you are so focused on children and work, you forget to keep up with each other.
  • Take a trip to the museum. Admission costs are generally low. Take a picnic with you to save money on the cost of food.
  • Download their favorite songs onto a CD for them. Give them a variety of music that they enjoy listening to or songs that are important to both of you. Capture memorable moments and write something about the songs in the case for them to read.
  • Create your own chocolate treat. Make chocolate-covered strawberries and put them in a nice container that can be used again. You also can fill a basket with their favorite cookies. They would much rather have something homemade than store bought.
  • Gift cards to the spa are expensive. Do it yourself instead. It means more to that person and can save a lot of money.
  • Do something they don’t want to do. Do the laundry, give the kids a bath and put them to bed or clean the kitchen. You can give them coupons for these services to be used later.
  • If they like to read, buy them a book and place a special note inside. Allow them to have a lazy afternoon, child- and chore-free, to sit back and enjoy their book.

Be creative and use your imagination this Valentine’s Day. Think outside of the box for a change and help keep your wallet in one piece. Remember, it’s always the thought that counts.

Jennifer Panther is a certified financial counselor. Her column, “On Balance,” runs once a month in The Herald.