Spoil Your Special Someone Not Your Budget

Walk into any store before February 14, and you’re bombarded by red, white, and pink. It can only mean one thing: the holidays are over, and Valentine’s Day is on its way. From store signage reminding you of your sweetie to that aisle full of heart-themed candies, it’s hard to escape the big day without feeling like you have to open your wallet and spoil your special someone. Your heart’s all for it, and it’s pounding with the need to shower your partner with all the gifts money can buy. Your bank account, on the other hand, isn’t as enthused. You don’t need to be a financial advisor to know what a big fat zero blinking in your account means.

Valentine’s Day can be difficult when you’re on a budget, but it’s not impossible. You and your honey can enjoy the holiday on a budget as long as you check in with these tips to make V-day a little easier.

Give the gift of communication

You don’t have to be mysterious to be romantic, so don’t hide anything from your special someone. Talk to your Valentine about the day, and be honest about your financial situation. You don’t have to get into details, but make it clear that you’ll have limitations this year. It’s also a great way to gauge their expectations surrounding the holiday. They may not want to do anything big on the 14th, but you won’t know unless you ask. If you don’t, it’s far too easy to assume they expect the world.

It may be hard to bring up money but stick with it.Most people understand why you can’t afford a diamond ring, and your partner will mostly likely know the circumstances surrounding your finances.

This tête-a-tête doesn’t mean you can’t surprise your Valentine. Far from it! You can discuss the budget without revealing your big plans for the night. If you live in a city like Toronto, you’ll have a ton of free (or nearly free) options. From skating at Nathan Philips Square to walking through the Light Fest, there’s always something to do in the city. With a little creative thinking, you can organize a low-key yet thoughtful Valentine’s that doesn’t threaten your budget.

Plan ahead

You budget for your summer vacation, and you plan for the holidays, so why do you let Valentine’s Day blindside you every year? It’s time you start planning for the love-themed festivities like you do any big event.

The holiday always falls on February 14, so there should be no confusion about the date. Treat it like any other bill with a strict due date and start putting aside cash as soon as possible. When you start early, you don’t have to make huge changes to your budget to accommodate Valentine’s Day. It could be as simple as reducing your twice-weekly takeout to just once a week.Don’t wait too long, though. The later you wait, the more spending you’ll have to cut out at once to create sufficient savings.

If the thought of a budget snuffs out any romantic feelings you have for the holiday, don’t let your inexperience stop you from making the leap. Check out guides that outline how to make your first-time go as smoothly as possible. You can even download money management apps like these ones to automate your budget.

Find a deal

In a world where we equate the price of an item with its quality, it’s easy to believe that you need to buy the biggest and most expensive gift for your bae. Not only do you want to give them the best present possible, but you want to prove to your honey that you’re willing to spend the big bucks on them. With this mindset, you might think using coupons on Valentine’s Day is less than cute.

It’s time to get over your hang-ups! Dropping a fortune on a fancy gift or dinner experience is only sexy when you can afford it. Everything else is irresponsible. Using a coupon, on the other hand, lets you spoil your partner at only fraction of the cost. It also demonstrates creativity and accountability—two characteristics every mate should have.

Head to websites like Groupon, Yipit, or Woot to find these deals. You might just be able to find an amazing discount on the perfect outing, meal, or present.

Know how to fix things

This article isn’t unrealistic. You know as well as anyone else how easy it is to crumble under pressure and spend when you shouldn’t. If cupid’s arrow pierced your sense of financial proprietyon its way to your heart, don’t panic. Sometimes you’ll overspend. Whether it’s with a thoughtful gesture of your love or an unavoidable household repair, these purchases can jeopardize your budget in equal measure. The important part is how you go about fixing it.

If the 15th comes around with a new bill or repair, and you’ve spent all your savings on the night before, make sure you understand your options when borrowing money. See what comes up when youtype something like, “payday loans Toronto” into Google for help and compare a payday advance to a line of credit and other financial products. Sort out which kind of assistance is ideal for minor financial slip-ups like splurging on Valentine’s Day, so you can get out of debt fast.It’s important that you take some time to research before you jump in as there are a lot of choices to make, and they all have an impact on your finances.

The bottom line?

Your bank account might not be able to express your true feelings for your special someone, but that shouldn’t stop you from spending a beautiful Valentine’s Day together. Try out these tips to help cut down on the cost of your special day, and see how you can spoil your partner and not your budget.

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