$18.6 billion dollars later, we’re expected to complete our spending on Valentine’s Day gifts. According to the National Retail Federation, the average person plans to spend $130.97 this year, up slightly from 2012.
What if you got more creative instead of feeling this virtual obligation to spend beyond your means? We’re here to help!
MONEY TIP: Here are some ideas to kick-start your last-minute planning (all for $40 or less!):
1. Make your partner’s favorite meal for dinner, decide on a single splurge item, and build a simple but elegant meal. Plus, be sure to get imaginative with the dessert. Use the nice china and candles–either on the table or on a blanket in your living room. (Estimate= $20 groceries + $10 splurge item + $5 candles + $0 nicest china have at home= $35)
2. Go ice skating. Hold your loved ones hand and enjoy the winter air. Share a hot chocolate and laugh about how cold it is, how good (or bad) your skating is, and how much more fun this is than an expensive crowded dinner out. (Estimate= $18 skate rentals for 2 + $10 admissions to rink + $2 locker + $0 for the laughs= $30)
<– (YES, that’s my now husband Marc and I for Valentine’s 2010 at Frog Pond in Boston–it was freezing and I was holding on for dear life most of the time, but of course we laughed a lot in the process!)
3. Print out a fun picture of the two of you sharing a great memory and put it in a picture frame (a frame you have or one you can effortlessly buy). As a bonus, you can add one beautiful flower to accompany the gift. (Estimate= $2 photo + $15 frame= $17 + $3-5 flower optional)
4. Get all dressed up, order pizza, sushi, or some other more interesting take-out, and set up candles all over the house. (Have the fire extinguisher ready–just in case things get hot.) (Estimate= $30 take-out + $10 candles= $40)
5. Think back to…where you met, your first date, or a special moment. Create a gift that is super meaningful and likely won’t break the bank. For example, Marc and I had our first date at King’s (a hip Bowling alley) in downtown Boston. I bought a new bowling pin from them and wrote a fun note personalized to him on the pin. It’s his favorite gift yet–total cost of $25 bowling pin and $2 sharpie pen. If you’re not living together yet…clear out a space in your closet or a drawer–that’ll create a wow! (Estimate= $0-30, usually the less money you spend, the more creative you inspire yourself to get.)
For singles (I spent many a Valentine’s Day unattached, and often had to remind myself that I could love myself more today not less…):
1. Movie night! Invite a few friends over for popcorn and your favorite movie. Or if you’re set on a night out, and you’re a member of AAA, take advantage of their discount advance purchase movie ticket program. (Estimate= $2-12 max per person)
2. Potluck with friends or a game night. This is a chance for you to celebrate your life and the ones around you, not sulk about being single. (I’ve learned this one the hard way, believe me. Celebrating life is much more fun.) (Estimate= $10 groceries or beer/wine)
3. Love yourself up with some awesome self-care time. No need for sadness–keep becoming the person that a partner would LOVE to be in relationship with. Curl up with a good book you’ve been meaning to open or a bubble bath (Estimate= $0, but really priceless!)
Valentine’s Day does not have to be about the amount of money you spend on the gift. This year, get a little more creative and put one of the above 8 ideas into action. (And share below what creative idea you put into place for your own Valentine’s Day fun.)
Money management is all about choices. Often you may find yourself spending more money when an investment of the same time and less money will yield much better (and more FUN) results. It’s your choice.
These ideas can get you started, but you may need some more direction to really shift the momentum of your current financial life.
TODAY is your last chance to get one of my complimentary laser sessions (that need to be requested by midnight tonight), so you can get up to 30-minutes of my time to support you with clear action steps to make even better decisions with your money and your entire financial life.
Here’s the link to claim one of the remaining 2 spots now: http://ownyourmoney.com/laser.
Celebrating the good things in your life and spoiling yourself a bit can be healthy activities and smart spending, if done wisely and with some forethought. And this isn’t just true on Valentine’s Day.
Quick reminder: I’ve opened up my calendar (and am waiving the $197 fee through tonight).
Consider this my gift to you to better manage the crucial and often misunderstood relationship you have with your money. Only 2 spots left before I close down the link!
All you have to do is act quickly to request a call and gain access to my calendar:
You’ll leave feeling inspired, motivated, and with clear next steps to move yourself forward. Enjoy yourself and your loved ones more as you own your relationship with money in a whole new way.
Here’s wishing you a wonderful, wealth-preserving Valentine’s Day!