Do you think Valentine’s Day is just another Hallmark holiday? Are you stressed about blowing your budget on things that don’t really matter? It’s easy to get caught up in all the marketing hype that fills the airways each February. A survey by Rakuten.com found that, on average, engaged couples spend $154 on Valentine’s Day, married couples spend $136, and dating couples spend $118. Altogether, Americans are expected to spend $18.9 billion on the romantic holiday this year! The truth is, the amount of money you spend does not correlate with the amount of love you have for your Valentine. I know it may be hard to see your Facebook feed filled with gobs of pictures of roses, chocolates, diamonds and more, but you can make a person feel special without breaking the bank.
Discuss it with your Valentine
In order to make this decision, you need to let your significant other know your motives and agree on the plans for the day. This will help you avoid disappointing your date, and eliminate any misunderstanding that could occur. Make the rule that you will not compare your plans with other couples and instead will focus on making the most out of your plans with each other within the budget you decide on.
Focus on what Matters
Focus on what really matters to each of you. Maybe you thrive on quality time, so focus on making the day special by doing something together. Go for a hike, walk around a local museum or park, plan a road trip, play a board game or prepare a meal together. Along with saving you money, this will eliminate some of the hassle that comes with celebrating the day like everyone else. Be sure to check out our post on the top 5 cheap date ideas.
If you decide gifts are important to you, discuss and agree on how much you will spend. Some choose to make their own gifts or give meaningful frugal gifts, such as a framed picture, to save money.
Babysitter cost too much?
If you have kids, you can save money by sharing a babysitter with another family or by setting up a trade with a family like yours. You can offer to watch their kids for them in return of them watching your kids. This gives your kids a treat because they get to play with their friends, and creates less stress on you financially. You could even just plan your activities around the kids’ naptime or plan a date at home after the kids go to bed.
Love and Money
Money is one of the hot topics in a lot of relationships. It is at the top of the list of things couples argue about and has been known to break relationships apart. This Valentine’s Day, vow to communicate with your partner and not let the day be just about how much you spend on each other. Instead, focus on how special you make each other feel. Love doesn’t have to cost a thing!
Speaking of love and money, be sure to check out Penny Bags a Buck, an entertaining web series that follows a hapless bachelorette as she searches for a financially compatible partner. And if you and your partner want more help setting up a budget that includes holiday spending, check out our Build a Budget Calculator or sign up for a free budget review in our credit counseling program. Our counselors are ready and willing to help you! Remember, Cupid will be shooting arrows, but they don’t have to put a hole in your pocket!