Save Money, Make Memories: Budgeting Tips for Valentine’s Day

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Roses are red, violets are blue, and no amount of money can stop me from loving you? Or can it? With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it’s easy to push that monthly budget over. According to the National Retail Federations (NRF), Valentine’s Day spending is expected to reach $23.9 billion for 2022 with an average of $175.41 per person. Valentine’s Day may be a time to celebrate with that special someone, but it might not be the perfect match for your finances. Lucky for you, there are ways to enjoy a romantic evening with your partner without going into debt.

According to the NRF, candy (56%), greeting cards (40%), and flowers (37%) remains the most popular gift for Valentine’s Day. Total spending on jewelry is predicted to be at the highest in history at $6.2 billion. Instead of feeling like you need to spend a huge amount of money to make this a wonderful holiday, it’s worth remembering that sentiment matters more than the price tag and that certain meaningful gifts and gesture can help you save money while demonstrating the appreciation you have for that special someone. Here’s a few suggestion to take into consideration:

Stream instead of Cinema: If your Valentine’s Day plan include going to the movie theater, consider streaming a movie at home instead. There are several streaming options that are free with lots of movie option or you can rent a movie for a lot less than what you would spend at a movie theater on top of the best seats in the house. Enjoy with the family, or just that special someone.

Prepare your own romantic dinner for two: Instead of joining the long wait line at a fancy and expensive restaurant, enjoy each other company and pitch in the work to make a meal together. Not only do you cut down on food cost, but you also get to enjoy each other’s company. Don’t have time to cook a meal? Try grabbing something to go, laying out a blanket, and enjoy a mock picnic beneath a tree or under the stars.

If you do decided to eat out, be aware of some restaurants tricks to encourage you to spend more. Some restaurant owners will strategically place their most expensive item on the right hand corner of the menu because our eyes are naturally drawn to the right. Restaurants famously place popular dishes near ridiculously overpriced items on the menu to make diners believe they’re getting a great deal. Your weapon against this trick is to completely ignore the most expensive item on the menu. Notice the lack of dollar signs on the menu? It’s a trick to get you to spend more. Make the price real in your mind by saying it out loud.

Stick to a budget: It’s tempting to want to spend more, but remember to stick to your monthly budget. Holidays aren’t an excuse to overspend so plan for them. Try setting a gift limit so that you can really think about what you’re getting instead of paying extra. One trick if you’re looking for gifts is to shop early and shop around.

Valentine’s Day creeped up on you? Might be a hard choice to make but consider celebrating the holiday a bit later? Postponing by a day or two might help you with cost when most of the items goes on clearance. This is also a great time to stock up on your holiday materials such as cards, decorations and more. Check out last minute trips or websites like groupon for deals that may be on clearance closer to the travel date.

Remember, the holiday doesn’t have to break your bank account. Sticking to your budget and getting a little creative can go a long way this holiday.