This Friday is Valentine’s Day. It’s a day to show our love to those that are most dear to us. But what if funds are tight? How do you balance the desire to do something nice for your loved one with the practical need to pay off debt or put food on the table?
1. Revisit a meaningful place
Where did you first meet? Did you have a favorite place you used to go to? Recreate a favorite memory.
2. Write something special
Are you a creative person? Write a poem or a song expressing what your sweetheart means to you. Or if you aren’t quite that creative write a letter telling them specific reasons why you love them.
3. Create an “I love you jar”
Write some short love notes. Offers to do something special like a back rub. Coupons to do a particular household chore that your spouse normally does. Get creative. Mix them up and put them in the jar. Then let you spouse pull one out a week for a special year long valentine treat.
4. Game night
Pull out some board games and have a game night.
5. Have a picnic
If you live in a warmer climate pack up a basket and have a picnic. If weather doesn’t permit, spread a blanket out on the living room floor and have a special picnic there.
6. Take a trip down memory lane
Spend the evening looking through some old photo albums or watching some old home movies and reminisce. Pull out your wedding pictures or pictures from your honeymoon.
7. Go out for dessert
Instead of going out for a full meal at your favorite restaurant, just go for dessert. (It’s the best part anyway, right?)
8. Dinner and a movie (at home)
Get a movie from Redbox or Netflix and have dinner and a movie at home. Make it special by watching the first movie you ever attended as you were dating or a movie that was a special favorite when you first started seeing your spouse.
9. Take advantage of coupon sites
Sites like Restaurant.com or Groupon and other daily deal type sites offer great deals for local restaurants. Use one to enjoy a nice evening out. Or better yet go out for lunch since lunch menus are often considerably less expensive than dinner menus.
10. Know your spouse
Is there a particular chore your spouse really hates? Do it for them. Some household task they have been asking you to do and you never quite get around to it? Today is the day.
11. Meaningful music
Create a CD or a playlist for their iPod with music that was meaningful to you as you were dating or music that was played during your wedding or perhaps music that reminds you what you love about your spouse.
12. Go for a walk
If weather permits where you live take a long walk together and share some dreams.
13. Flowers that last
What is Valentine’s Day without flowers? But cut flowers fade and are gone in a few days. Consider a potted flower instead that your loved one can plant come spring and enjoy for months.
14. Enjoy some culture
Many museums and art galleries are free or have very inexpensive admissions. Checkout a museum that you have never attended.
Volunteer at a local charity that is meaningful to you and you can enjoy an evening together while making life better for someone less fortunate.
16. Take in a matinee.
If you still want the experience of going to the movies, go to a matinee and save.
17. Create a treasure hunt
Plan a scavenger hunt but include a note with a reason why you love your spouse at each stop along the way.
18. Ice cream
Take your loved one to your favorite ice cream parlor and share a treat.
19. Visit a nursing home
Visit a nursing home and spend some quality time with someone that may be missing their “Valentine”.
20. Show respect
Make a list of 10 things you admire or respect about your spouse.
Be creative in finding inexpensive ways to celebrate Valentines Day
Often times we let too many days go by without letting our loved ones know how much we care about them. Valentines Day is a great reminder to do what we should be doing each day. Showing you care though doesn’t have to imply spending a lot of money. If money is tight or you have important financial goals that you are trying to achieve be creative and find ways to celebrate the day without breaking the bank. Many times the most memorable gifts are ones that cost very little money anyway.
What ideas have you used to show your love without spending a great deal of money? Post them in the comments.