Love on a Budget
Celebrate Valentine's Day Without Going Broke
By Kennika Freeman
A tough economy does a lot of things, but it doesn't change the calendar. Just four days away, Valentine's Day, the holiday of candy, flowers and gold dipped roses. But in the midst of the economic recession, will people still be buying those gifts for their significant others?
"Yes I will...because if I don't I'll probably end up regretting it later," said Patrick Okosi, a junior at the university. "I think the world has to have blown up before I don't get her something on this Valentine's Day," says David Adams who is a freshman at BSU. And some say recession, remission. "It's Valentine's Day, and whether it's just a small card or anything, you still need to get them something", said Okosi.
The National Retail Federation's 2009 Valentine's Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey finds that consumers plan to spend, on average, $102.50 on all Valentine's gifts this year, down 16.7 percent from last year's average of $122.98 according to their website.
While it is nice to give romantic escapes, gifts of new cars and other lavish presents; not everyone is able to do so. Whether it is due to a job loss, a slow economy or a younger person without money, children and adults can create nice Valentine's Day gifts without spending lots of money. So here are some tips on how to make your sweetheart still feel special without breaking your pockets this Valentine's Day!
- 1. Write your sweetheart a love letter. Use special stationery - pick a beautiful textured, colored, and scented paper from a specialty paper store. Choose a colored pen that will go nicely on this paper. Tell her, from your heart, how much you love her and why she is the most important thing in your life. Trust me, she will cherish this gift more than anything else.
- 2. Cook her a romantic dinner. If she is into Italian, buy heart shaped pasta and cook it for her. If she likes lobster, steak, or other expensive food, instead of taking her out to a restaurant, cook it for her. You could also cook her favorite dish. You will satisfy her hunger for food and love without breaking your bank.
- 3. Frame a romantic picture of the two of you and give it to her as a gift.
- 4. Return to the scene. Another fun way to celebrate Valentine's day on a budget is to take a trip to the place where you first met, where you had your first date, where you got engaged, etc. and relive the memory!
- 5. Snuggle up in a blanket by the fire and talk. Yes, talk! Sometimes in relationships we get so caught up in events and material items that we lose focus of where our priorities should be. Celebrate this Valentine's Day on a budget by straightening those priorities out. Reconnect with your partner, their hopes, dreams, fears and the person that they really are.
- 6. Send your valentine (male or female) flowers at work. If you are on a tight budget, give just one single hand-delivered flower. Remember, it's the thought not the quantity.
- 7. Poetry is traditional for Valentine's Day. Make up your own or buy a book of love poems that you can read together.
- 8. Dedicate a favorite song to your Valentine on a radio show that he or she will be listening to.
Celebrate Valentine's Day on a budget by cherishing what you have. We too often get caught up in material wealth as opposed to the genuine wealth of love and companionship. Somewhat of a cliché here but the fact is that love is priceless. Remember that many spend their entire lives looking for what you have, and don't find it. Remind yourself that love is the most precious possession of all and that it is far better to celebrate Valentine's Day on a budget than it is to not celebrate it at all.