Love is in the air! Are you ready to celebrate the season in style and show your sweetie how much you care? Whatever your plans, you need a Valentine's Day budget! Don't have one? Keep on reading!
The cards, the candy, the dates, the fun treats, the colors, it's all so romantic! But playing cupid isn't always the cheapest. If you love Valentine's Day, then you'll LOVE this post! We'll teach you how to celebrate in style and save a TON of cash.
*Note: When you click the links in this post, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
That's right! You can go all out on holidays without going over budget. Spoiler alert: you do NOT have to spend lots of money to show someone how much you care. Skeptical? We've got practical tips that will make you a believer!
SET A VALENTINE'S DAY BUDGET
We bet you set a budget for Christmas, but what about other holidays like Valentine's Day? There's no time like the present to start a new habit, and this one could pay off big time! Here's how we do it:
- Stick to Your Monthly Budget – Enough said. No matter what, stay within your budget for the month! Holidays aren't an excuse to overspend, so plan for them. Whether it's paying for dinner, babysitting, or gifts, we stick to our budget.
- Divide and Conquer – We approach finances a little differently around here, but it works! You can read all about our super easy budget method here, but we'll give you a quick spoiler for now. You should have a monthly budget, and your husband should have another. Decide who pays for what and use that as your guide! For example, maybe your husband will cover babysitting and date nights, and you'll cover groceries and gifts. Whatever works for your family!
- Set a Gift Limit – Our rule is simple. Anything over $100 requires a discussion! There are plenty of ways to spoil the ones you love for under $100, so get creative.
These tips have worked well for us, and they apply to all holidays! Think about how you can use these rules when you're planning for birthdays, Easter, etc. It works! Ready for more practical advice? Let's talk about our unconventional approach to planning for Valentine's Day and paying babysitters!
TRADE-OFF ON THE PLANNING (AND THE BABYSITTING!)
Want to know the secret to avoiding fights on Valentine's Day or your anniversary? We take turns planning! And we enlist the help of our friends! Here's how it works:
- One Person Plans the Valentine's Day Date – We take turns, and every other year one of us plans the Valentine's Day date while the other is off the hook. The designated planner is responsible for booking a sitter, making a reservation, and arranging any other date night activities.
- The Other Person Plans the Anniversary Date – The person who isn't planning for Valentine's Day takes charge of the anniversary plans that year. Being in charge of just once each year is a gift in itself! It doesn't just stop arguments and unneeded stress; it can also save money. No need to duplicate efforts, right? And remember, whatever you're planning, stick to that budget.
- Trade Babysitting – Another way we save big bucks? We trade babysitting with friends! Instead of paying a babysitter for your Valentine's Day date, find another family who's willing to pitch in and save some money. One couple can have their date on Friday night and the other on Saturday. Use the money you would have spent on babysitting to enjoy a nice dinner!
And there you have it! Those small steps save us a ton of stress and a little money along the way! That's a win in our book. Now, ready for the part that trips most people up? Let's talk about gifts!
KEEP VALENTINE'S DAY GIFTS LOW-KEY
Unpopular opinion alert! We think flowers are a waste of money. Sure, they're pretty, but they die so dang quickly. It's like throwing money down the drain. If you like giving flowers, try a lovely plant instead. They last for years! It's a gift that keeps on giving. Looking for other lowkey, homemade gift ideas? Here are a few we love:
- Breakfast in Bed – Is your love into acts of service? Treat them to breakfast in bed with heart-shaped pancakes!
- Scrapbook – We bet you have at least 1,000 selfies on your phone. Print a few of your faves and put together a fun scrapbook of your favorite memories or just put them together in a cute album. Most drugstores offer one-hour photo printing for just a few cents per pic!
- Playlist – Hop on Spotify and make a customer playlist for your sweetie! Include your first dance song and any other tunes that bring back great memories. You can even go vintage and make a CD if you'd like!
- “52 Things I Love About You” – Grab a deck of cards, some construction paper, glue, and markers, and get crafty! Write out 52 reasons why you love your honey. This is the perfect gift for someone whose love language is words of affirmation!
- Gift Basket of Goodies – Think of this like the Valentine's Day version of stocking stuffers! Fill the basket with favorite snacks, baked goods, and other fun trinkets or gift cards.
There are seriously a million more ways you can put together a heartfelt gift that costs virtually nothing! Put on that thinking cap and have some fun with it. And while we're on the topic of creativity, let's move right along to our final tip!
DON'T PAY FULL-PRICE: GET CREATIVE
Our final piece of advice? Don't feel like you have to pay full price to show your love some love! Remember, Valentine's Day is about making memories and spending time together. It's NOT about spending tons of money. Here are a few quick ideas:
- Check Last Minute Travel Deals – Planning an overnight stay? Look for last-minute travel bargains on sites like Expedia, Trivago, Priceline, or Hotels Tonight. VRBO.com is also a great place to find condos and houses to rent for affordable prices.
- Use Daily Deal Sites – Search sites like Groupon for deals on dinner, massages, tickets to events, hotel stays, gifts, etc.
- GO DIY – Love chocolate-covered strawberries? They are so dang expensive at the store, but they're easy to make at home!
- Buy Your Cards Early or Make Them – When did greeting cards become so expensive? Phew! $6.99 for a card? No way! We stock up early or make our own. Buy your Valentine's Day card for next year on February 15th. You'll be glad you planned ahead!
And there you have it! Dozens of ways we save money on Valentine's Day and still have a great time. See? You really can have fun and live a frugal lifestyle!
With a little careful planning and commitment to stick to these Valentine's Day budget tips, you can save yourself SO much stress and even more cash! A little extra effort goes a long way.
Please tell us what you think! We'd love to hear from you. Drop a note below and let us know how you save money on Valentine's Day.
Looking for more Valentine's Day ideas?
- Take a peek at these FREE Valentine's Day ideas that will make your honey swoon!
- Plan a killer party without breaking your bank! You will LOVE these Valentine's Day party ideas.
- Want to spoil the kiddos, too? Here are 26 free Valentine's Day ideas for kids.
Sending you lots of love!