Ditch the Valentine’s Day Traditions and Celebrate All Year Long

Valentine’s Day is considered one of the most romantic days of the year. It’s a tradition to buy flowers and chocolates, light candles and eat a fancy (and expensive) meal with your loved one. But why should we be confined to celebrate our love for each other only one day a year?

I think Valentine’s Day is kind of a made up holiday. A day created to bridge the gap between New Year’s and spring break, so that instead of recovering from the December spending frenzy, we jump right back into another holiday.

Believe it or not, in February of last year consumers spent an average of $73 for flowers, $24 for chocolates and candies, and up to $516 for jewelry. That’s a lot of money for a “filler” holiday. And there are many other ways to make your life partner feel loved and happy without spending money on expensive gifts or dates. Assuming that material gifts will create long-term happiness is usually a mistake, anyway.

So this year, instead of the usual traditions, why not opt to show each other affection and love all year round? Save the money you would normally spend on eating out, buying expensive jewelry, etc., and vow to try these inexpensive gift ideas anytime of year:

Note cards of love. Grab 12 note cards and write down the chores your partner does around the house. Make each card “redeemable” for one regular chore, that you will do instead. When your partner is feeling stressed or tired, you’ll be ready to: do the laundry one night, mow the lawn, wash the dishes or take the dog for a walk. Use the cards as coupons to be cashed in 1 time each month for the next year. Trading chores will not only help the other person out, but can demonstrate how much work you each do.

Go to the park, with a twist. One of the best dates I went on, was spent at a beautiful park. As we were walking around the lake, my guy turned on his phone to play our song, and started dancing with me. It was super thoughtful, very romantic and didn’t cost a thing. Spending the time to come up with a creative and romantic idea, meant more to me than any gift.

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Make breakfast in bed. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it’s also a great way to start the day in a good mood. Cook your partner’s favorite meal, add some freshly picked flowers and have breakfast in bed. This is especially great for a weekend, since you can both relax and spend quality time together.

Use Pinterest to find their favorites. Pinterest is a website for posting online “boards and pins.” Much like a bulletin board or vision board, it can contain anything you want, like inspiration, DIY ideas, recipes, crafts and lots more. It’s also a fabulous way to really get to know your partner’s interests. Find something on their list of pins, and see if you can make it happen. it’s the perfect way to show you’re paying attention and truly care.

Engrave a piece of jewelry. Women love jewelry – there’s no doubt about that. But it can get pricey very quickly. Instead of buying a new piece of jewelry this year, take your partner’s favorite piece and get it engraved. Sharing a one of a kind message with your loved one will mean a lot more than just another piece of jewelry to add to the collection. It’s a thoughtful gift that won’t break the bank.

Use Groupon Getaways. Groupon has a fairly new feature called Groupon Getaways, which offers excellent deals on vacations and hotels in a variety of locations. They have specials like weekend getaways, bed and breakfast stays, and all-inclusive resorts for a fraction of the cost. You can be spontaneous and enjoy a quick vacation for one night, even in your own city. You can also use it to find deals at local restaurants or book shows to enjoy activities together.

All of these ideas can be done anytime and celebrated all year long. Don’t just show how much you care on Valentine’s Day – do it every week and every month. Use these ideas to make a lasting impression on the person you love, and use them to extend your “holiday of love.”

This article is part of our Budgeting Tips Resource Center.  If you’re looking for additional information about budgeting tips, be sure to pay a visit!

Image by Ed Yourdon

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