Valentine’s Day is a day where you can really show that special person in your life exactly how you feel. With so many other financial commitments it might seem a difficult thing to achieve, but it doesn’t have to be.
Knowing your budget from the start is important, if you have a clear idea of how much you know you can afford then the options open to you should become a lot clearer.
What if I have no budget what so ever?
Having no money to spend doesn’t mean not being able to experience Valentine’s Day in style. Have a look through local papers and on the internet to find out what is happening, there may be live music at a local pub or a day of culture in an art gallery or museum.
If you want that romantic meal on a minimal budget then see what food you have available and head online. There are a number of websites that you can input your list of ingredients to find a meal that makes the most of them.
There are a number of options for gifts you can give on a minimal budget. Have a look online for a guide to putting together a home made scrapbook of you and your partner’s favourite snaps or have a parent look after the kids for the night, creating space for some well needed relaxation time.
I have a budget, but a small one.
Remember that a small budget can go a long way. Decide what it is you really want to do and prioritise this. If it’s a meal you want then focus on making the most of this within your budget. If you want to buy a gift for that special person then, once again, make this your priority.
Take a look at vouchers that will get you money off. A poll conducted by MoneySavingExpert.com suggests an increase in the acceptance of loved ones using voucher codes for romantic situations.
Vouchers readily available include two for one deals on main courses, free desserts at restaurants, or money off from shops. What you are looking for will be determined by what you’ve decided to prioritise, but they can generally be found in the same places. Use the internet wisely and make your way through the vast array of voucher websites, they may seem a daunting place at first but if you have a plan and know what you want from the voucher, then you can utilise key word searches within industry specific categories to save time.
When using vouchers or discounts, check the small print and make sure they’re valid, that they cover exactly what you’re looking for and that there are no hidden costs.
Another way of making sure you get the most out of your budget is shopping around. There might be a certain present you’ve seen in a shop that would be perfect; however, you don’t necessarily need to rush in and buy straight away. Ask at the counter whether they can reserve it for the time being and continue your shop, you might find the product cheaper elsewhere or even something different and better suited all together. Most shops are happy to help out in this way, it’s a competitive market and at the end of the day they want to give the best customer service possible.
Shop around on the internet as well; some websites will have the amount of stock available next to the item. You can always get in contact to see how popular the item is, this should give you an understanding of how fast a decision needs to be made. Be sure to investigate as many avenues as possible in order to get the best deals.
Add the personal touch
The magic about working with little or no budget is that you can give everything a personal touch. A home cooked meal can be more intimate than a busy restaurant, giving you the space and atmosphere you need to show that special someone exactly how you feel. Homemade gifts also say more than anything that can be bought in a shop. Taking the extra time to write a longer message in a card will cost nothing, write the story of how you first met, your favourite memory or even what you wish your future to hold; this could go a long way to showing how much you care, and doesn’t cost a thing.
Be cash conscious
Most importantly, use your cash wisely and try not to commit to anything that might come back to haunt you later. If you have seen a variety of ideas but your budget can’t stretch that far, why not compromise? If you can afford the necklace and not the meal, then find a recipe that shows how you feel about your partner and have it waiting for their arrival. If there is a restaurant you know will be perfect, then why not go for that and see if you can get a cheaper deal online for a present, or treat your partner to something homemade.
Above all, make sure you do not overspend, as you might incur charges from your bank at a later date which, in the long run, might leave you struggling further.
Try not to feel pressured into spending. When people are in love; gifts, fancy restaurants and holidays in the sun are very much second best to spending some quality time together.