Today is my 7th wedding anniversary, and in honor of that and the approach of Valentine’s Day this weekend I’m sharing 7 ways my spouse and I have celebrated both Valentine’s Day and our anniversary in the past without breaking the budget. Yes, there are very expensive ways to celebrate (roses, diamonds, fancy dinners out) and sometimes, that may be the way to go – but Valentines on a budget can be just as fun and special, without paying for it for the next three months (or years). Here are some wishes for fun and romance from mine to yours. Incorporate a few or all of the ideas into your romantic celebration of your love for a special evening (or entire day) that won’t break the bank.
1. Homemade cards - Instead of buying a cardthis year, get some construction paper and a glue stick and make one yourself. It doesn’t matter if you are an artist or not – the effort and time put into it, with your own heartfelt words inside, will make it more special than anything you could buy.
2. Picnic lunch or dinner – You may not be a gourmet cook (I know I’m not!) but you can still make a home cooked meal for much less than eating out. Pack it in a basket with some candles and a tablecloth and it makes for a romantic gesture that doesn’t break the bank.
3. Chore cards or offers – There are chores my spouse does but doesn’t really like to do, so I make up some index cards with chore offers he can redeem at his leisure. Things like “One whole house vacuuming” or “One week of litter box duty” – any of the chores that he generally does that I could do for him instead.
4. Trade babysitting – If you have kids, and have friends with kids, trade some babysitting with them this week. You can watch their kids for an evening, and they can watch yours. that way you have have a nice, kid-free evening to implement some of these ideas.
5. Mood music – You don’t need to go to a fancy restaurant to create a mood. Put some mellow music on in the background, or better yet, some music that reminds you both of earlier points of your relationship. Back in the dark ages, I used to make mix tapes for my spouse of music we both enjoyed together. They’re fun to play now, and put us both in a happy and nostalgic mood.
6. Put thoughts to words to voice - Sometimes all you need to do is verbalize what is in your head. Tell your partner how you feel about them. Best of all, it is free!
7. Give the gift of time – Just spending time with each other, without having 14 other things going on at the same time, is sometimes gift enough. Turn off the cell phone, unplug the phone, turn off the computer, and just hang out together. Or maybe play RockBand together. That’s what we’ll be doing.
If youw ant some more ideas, here are some more cheap valentine’s day date ideas!
Have fun! Celebrate your relationship this week and keep a little money in your pocket at the same time. Or in the bank.