Naomi Fryers offers some top tips for tackling Valentine’s Day on a minimalistic budget!
So, your heart is full of love and/or hope (or both,) but your financial restrictions are weighing heavily on your mind leading up to Valentine’s Day? Ah, I feel your pain! Friend, I want you to breathe easy. From one Valentine’s Day veteran who has been there before – believe me when I say, I’ve got your back.
On the big day when Cupid draws back his arrow, I’m going to help make your meager pennies count. To this end, before you go out and spend the kids’ college fund or a chunk of your mortgage repayment or rent, heed my advice. There is absolutely no need for grand over-priced and under-valued presents from here on in.
The key to happy hearts on Valentine’s Day is feeling the love, and who exactly doesn’t love being made to feel ‘special?’ Your mission, therefore, is clear. You must let your other half know you are thinking of them. It need not be extravagant but the message must be consistent, from dawn to dusk and hopefully into the future – stay thoughtful.
This information is vital because even if you present your love with Tiffany jewelry on February 14, if you haven’t told her you care or kissed her goodbye, there’s every chance you’ll be in the dog house. Mark. My. Words.
Here are some tips that will keep you out of the doghouse and in your lover’s arms.
** Let your planning speak for itself. Be sure to leave a small but thoughtful card proclaiming your love. Do not comment on her “nice jugs” with a novelty card, or you’ll be winning more than the proverbial boobie prize in her books. And yes, this applies across the board. (No, we don’t care if you met while working at Hooters.)
** Bonus brownie points, however, will go to anyone offering to make breakfast and cutting the toast into a lovely heart shape. It’s a simple gesture but it’s cute and shows you are thinking of your partner. It will no doubt go down as a treat. But also, think of their respective 3000 plus Instagram followers. Who knows when such public support comes in handy?
** Send an e-card (many of which are free) to your lover’s work email address. Personalize it with a photograph of a special memory of the two of you, or something that they love.
** Now, here’s two words more keywords for no cost; fresh flowers. They come from the garden and are hand- picked with love. And for apartment dwellers who are plant-less, scope out a neighbors patch and ask them nicely to assist in your kind gesture of love. Assure them that karma will repay them, and Cupid will in turn, grant them luckiness in love or lust (whatever they so choose.)
** Previous suggestions not quite up your alley? Plan a picnic. You will have to spend money on food anyway, right? Give it a theme. Fill up that basket with pink lemonade, buy some red tumblers and before you know it you may as well be Cupid himself. Tie it up with a couple of love-themed helium balloons that can be invested in for under a dollar and “gorgeous” may as well be your middle name. Add a few favorite foods; you’re backing a winner here!
Now, you’re going to have to trust me when I say these pennies spent are a better investment than they would be in an oversized, plush teddy bear. Unless of course your partner has a stuffed toy fetish, in which case you may proceed via an alternate route. Oh and good luck with that particular brand of crazy.
** Haven’t been together long? In the weeks leading up to the big day, pick up on habits. Is there a favorite food, maybe a chocolate bar or Chinese takeaway you can surprise your lover with? Combine this with some of the tips above and you’re in the clear in terms of gift-giving.
** If you do go out on a limb, though, and go down the gift route, use the KISS acronym and ‘Keep It Simply Simple.’ When I say simple, I mean ‘useful’ and ‘thoughtful.’ Though realistically as much as your partner “just loves” cleaning up after you, products like vacuum cleaners and detergents are no-no’s. Likewise, irons and toasters are on the do not buy list! Be careful what message your gift sends.
I probably don’t need to tell you that if you love your partner for their domestic skills, you have bigger issues than how to spend your pennies on Valentine’s Day,
** A book, DVD or coffee voucher, on the other hand, would no doubt be much more appreciated. If it has a romantic or sentimental attachment like a concert you’ve seen together or a classic you’ve discussed, the answer is Yes, Yes, and Yes!
If these gestures aren’t grand enough and you want to shout your love to the masses stay tuned.
** Skywriting and fireworks may be effective but, unless you’re Donald Trump, they may also be out of your price bracket. Instead, you may want to put a sign out front for when she gets home. Ask your local real estate agent for an old picket one and paint it up all pretty. If she likes bold statements, you’ve got this.
** A poem in the local newspaper could be ok and reasonably inexpensive, just be sure not to embarrass anyone by divulging any sensitive information like the fact that her naughty bedroom nickname is Kitten. And don’t start it with roses are red. Those clichés are a real mood killer.
Use a common sense approach and adapt these instructions as you see fit. This is not rocket science and you know your other half better than most. As long as you act from the heart with kindness and sincerity, and in practical terms, you won’t go wrong.
The exception to this rule, of course, is if your lover discovers on Valentine’s Day that you’re a cheater with two mobile phones, or a friend of hers stumbles across your ‘other’ Tinder profile, in which case, you’re screwed. (Sorry to bring that up, but it’s been known to happen!)
I wish you lots of luck in lust and love for a loved up, hits-you-where-it feels-good, kind of day. May it be the start or continuation of something special. I now pronounce you, ready for love!