Valentine’s Day on a Budget

Valentine’s Day…


In modern times we celebrate this day by showing our love for one another. The original meaning of Valentine’s Day, however, was to honor Saint Valentine but the connection between that and what Valentine’s Day has become is a complete mystery. The connection is only found in folklore and legends but nothing concrete.

Deemed by many as a “Hallmark Holiday”, Valentine’s Day has exploded into a mass marketing campaign  that has been accepted by society as the romantic holiday of love. This acceptance has people buying jewelry, expensive chocolate, plush teddy bears with hearts that sing songs, and of course the popular Valentine’s Day cards.

We should appreciate the ones we love. We should let them know how much we love them.

I get that.

What I don’t get is why expensive gifts and guilt has to be a part of that.

Love can be shown in many ways 365 days a year and I don’t think we need another consumer holiday to get us to show that love. We already have anniversaries which celebrate and honor the love that has kept two people together for a specified period of time. At least that day has meaning and significance.

Before you begin thinking I’m the “hater of love” (because I’m definitely not), I don’t necessarily have a problem with Valentine’s Day. I have a problem with how this holiday guilts millions of people into spending money (and possibly going into debt) to show their “loved ones” that they care and appreciate them.

Valentine’s Day is just another day.

The only reason it is special (in the way that we celebrate it) is because we have made it special.

Even if it is truly special to you, it doesn’t have to break the bank or your budget.

Want to Show Someone How Much You Love Them Without Spending a Fortune?

If you’re breathing I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase it’s the thought that counts.

For most people that statement is true so don’t worry about chasing off the one you love by being more creative. Someone truly in it for love will cherish the cheapest of well-thought out Valentine’s Day gestures. If not — well — you know what else they say. 😉

Worried that your new approach will land you in the dog house? There are many affordable and less costly ways to show someone you care. Here are some more creative ways to win your loved ones heart on Valentine’s Day without sleeping with the dogs.

Pay Off Debt

If you spend money at all, consider paying off your debt. If you have a spouse, nothing says love like making the commitment to get out of debt together. Start the conversation and find out if the will to get out of debt trumps the material possessions that have been bought in the past. When we were getting out of debt, we skipped many “money holidays” because we liked the thought of getting out of debt sooner rather than later.

Create a Homemade Valentine

I haven’t done this for Valentine’s Day but for one of my anniversaries I created a newsletter for my wife that highlighted special moments full with pictures. It looked like a publication and she still has it to this day. I know it means more to her than a box of chocolates ever would.

Write a Love Letter or Poem

Write a love letter or a poem to your spouse or significant other. A gift might be special but it won’t relay your message of love the way your own words can. What it takes to sit down and write your feelings down says a lot about how much you love the one your efforts were aimed at.

Plan a Romantic Dinner (at home)

You don’t have to go on an expensive restaurant date to have a romantic meal. Men; make your Valentine’s date her favorite dish and spoil her with every step. Light some candles and find a cheap but tasty bottle of wine. When I proposed to Alana, I didn’t do it over an expensive dinner. I did it from my one bedroom efficiency apartment and she LOVED it. I cooked her favorite dinner, wrote a poem, and proposed to her right there. What made it more special was that she wasn’t expecting it. She still talks about what I went through to make that night happen.

P.S. If you’ve ever had a one-room efficiency apartment with no stove then you may already know. 😀

Do Something Extraordinary

This one is quite simple. One of the easiest ways to prove you love someone is by doing something you wouldn’t normally do. It could be cleaning the house, doing the dishes, detailing a vehicle or pretty much anything you know you’re loved one would appreciate. If THEY normally do it, DO IT FOR THEM. They will love you for it!

Valentine’s Day itself isn’t the problem. It’s what we’ve turned it into that bugs me. You don’t have to spend lots of money or go into debt to show you care.

Enjoy it!

Happy Valentine’s Day


On Valentines Day how do you show your loved ones you care?

(A) spend lots of money
(B) spend the day with them
(C) make something creative
(D) B and C
(E) nothing, it’s just another day



About Brad Chaffee

4 Responses to “Valentine’s Day on a Budget”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. We cut out Valentine’s Day gifts along with Mother’s Day gifts, Father’s Day gifts, and store bought cards with what we call “The Gift Reduction Act of 2010”.

    If the kids want to get us something small for mother’s and father’s day then that’s fine, but we don’t get each other gifts any more. And store bought cards… no. We make all our own cards now and they are more special anyways. We don’t miss store bought cards, what a waste of money!

  2. We spend a minimal amount of $$ (maybe $3 chocolates or we use it as an excuse to finally buy a practical “need” that we’ve been putting off) and then we cook a nice meal at home.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      Good plan Bob! I know some people that would have a heart attack if her husband even walked through the door with $3 chocolates but I say good for you and your wife. I love the idea of picking a small amount of money that both people have to stay under. That’s reasonable and kind of makes it fun. The challenge of getting the most for your $10 or $20 would become a contest in our house. My wife would win though because she loves to hunt down the bargain. In mostly lose patience and feeling in my legs. haha!

Leave a Comment...


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.