With Valentine’s Day around the corner, you may be beginning to brainstorm date possibilities and gifts ideas for your loved one. However, according to a recent study, the average person celebrating Valentine’s Day in the U.S. spends $180 on this special day. However, Millennial men ages 18-34 spend over double this amount with an average of $371 on this romantic holiday, according to Nerd Wallet.
Although a big date night and extravagant gifts may make your special someone happy, your wallet is not going to be quite as enthusiastic. As a result, we have put together simple tips and alternatives that will make your better half happy, without breaking the bank. Here are our Certified Financial Planner’s (CFP®) Valentine’s Day Savings Tips:
Credit Card Strategies
If you’re planning on paying for this special day with your credit card, take advantage of reward and partners programs. If you are going to spend the money, you might as well earn some points you can use at a later date. Research your credit card programs, as some reward programs let you earn extra points from both restaurant purchases and flight tickets.
Something to consider if you are taking your Valentine to a romantic dinner or a weekend getaway. Also, look into if your credit card company partners with any merchants. This usually happens around holidays, so you might be able to score good deals on gifts, restaurants, or flight tickets. Keep a lookout for promotional newsletters, coupons from your reward company and do some digging on their website and social media. Or, you could simply give them a call.
Flowers are another popular Valentine’s gift and are usually marked up in price holiday. If you have your heart set on buying a bouquet, make sure you purchase and transport them yourself to avoid the high delivery fees. A word of warning, be cautious of where you buy your flowers and the conditions they are stored in. For the best quality, go to a flower vendor or farmer’s market where the flowers are kept in cold storage. This is especially important for roses, as these will last much longer. Also, make sure to buy the flowers that have not fully bloomed yet. Although they might not look as vibrant right now, they will look great in a day or two. If you are in New York City, I would recommend heading to the flower market district on W. 28th Street between 6th and 7th avenue.
An alternative to flowers could be as simple as a thoughtful homemade card or gift. However, if crafts aren’t your specialty, it may be worth looking into purchasing an inexpensive and longer lasting gift. For example, “What I Love about You by Me” is less than a bouquet of flowers at $10 and can be purchased online at: UncommonGoods.
If your Valentine has a sweet tooth, a good tip would be to step away from the usual chocolate boxes and put together a nice care package of his/her favorite store candy instead. This will end up being cheaper and you get much more for your value.
If you want a great alternative to expensive candies, check out your local store’s sorbet selection. Sorbet is usually fairly cheap, and it is also not a heavy and filling treat. If you are feeling really ambitious, you could even use frozen fruit and make your own sorbet. Check out a great grapefruit sorbet recipe here.
Restaurants usually create Valentine’s Day Prix Fix Menus and increase the prices significantly. To avoid this, try to book your date a few days before or after, as the prices will be lowered, and the restaurants will be less crowded. On Valentine’s Day, consider heading to the grocery store in preparation for a romantic meal in. Pick-up a bottle of wine on your way home. If you want a great bottle of red that is affordable, check out Juan Gil. It is about $14 a bottle and goes well with most types of food. An at home date night is also a great opportunity to impress him/her with your cooking skills. For great and easy to follow recipes check out Love and Lemons.
Giving gifts after Valentine’s Day can be difficult, however, you can save big bucks if you are planning on buying jewelry. If you hold off until after February 14, demand for jewelry plummets and retailers usually offer large discounts. If you explain this to your significant other, they will more than likely understand. Make it up to them by buying a nice piece of jewelry (that’s still a bargain).
If you have any questions about these tips or other questions we can help you with, contact our Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) at: firstname.lastname@example.org.