Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and if you are in a relationship or married, showing your partner love during this time can be very expensive. There is no doubt that the Valentine’s Day tradition starts young. My children exchanged Valentine’s Day cards and candies from as young as preschool age. In elementary school, my son has a party and gets to pay to send lollipop grams. Granted, the lollipop grams go for a good cause, as a fund raiser for leukemia, but still, he is learning that Valentine’s Day means spending money.
What is the Cost of a Standard Valentine’s Day?
If you and your significant other are planning a “typical” Valentine’s Day, you could be out over $100 by the end of the day. Consider the following:
-one dozen roses – $15 to $20
-a box of chocolates – $10 to $20
-a card – $5
-one nice dinner out – $50 to $100
-a babysitter, if you have children – $30 to $60, depending on the number of children and the hours you are out
Already, your Valentine’s Day date is $105 to $200. Keep in mind that many people also buy jewelry for their loved ones on Valentine’s Day. However, even if we keep jewelry out of the equation, if you take part in the stereotypical Valentine’s Day celebration, you have spent $105 to $200 on consumable items. In other words, on February 20th, you will probably have no residual reminder of your Valentine’s Day celebration. True, you may have a memory of your dinner out, but my guess is that the memory will just blend in to the many other times you have gone out to eat.
Alternatives to the Standard Valentine’s Day Celebration
I dislike Valentine’s Day because it seems to be a day to pressure people to spend money on consumable items. Instead, do something better with your money. I agree that it is important to show your loved one that you care, but why do we think that roses and a meal out are the only way to do so?
If you would have spent $105 to $200 on consumables, why not instead celebrate a different, more memorable way.
Plan a nearby overnight stay to relax and unwind with your partner. See if a family member can watch the kids for the night and take the time to talk with your partner and spend a romantic evening together. Most importantly, don’t plan this weekend around Valentine’s Day.
Plan a family day out and become tourists in your own town. Visit a landmark that you have always wanted to see but haven’t made the time to visit yet. Afterward, take the kids to the park and then go out for a bite to eat. Chances are the kids will remember this day as will you. Unfortunately, we are all so busy that we rarely make time to all go out together.
Make a romantic meal together. Spend the money you would have spent going out to eat and instead buy ingredients to make a gourmet meal together at home. You don’t have to fight the crowds, and you can spend time side-by-side making the meal and talking. If you are like most Americans, you are so busy that it is hard to find time to just talk with your spouse. This gives you the perfect opportunity.
Go to a place you used to frequent when you were dating. When my husband and I were dating, we had no money, but we were lucky enough to live by a beautiful little waterfall. We went there several times a week to talk and listen to the relaxing sound of the water. After you have been together for quite some time, it can be fun to revisit your past and spend some time together in a place you used to frequent.
Showing your love on Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be through the gifts that companies and marketers make you feel you have to buy. Instead of using your hard-earned money on consumables that will be gone in just a few days, choose a different activity that will help you create a memory. Ultimately, memories are much more valuable than a box of chocolates.