March 28, 2017

5 Valentine’s Money Wasters: Lose the Cost, Keep the Love Courtesy of DaveRamsey.com

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Retailers love to sell love. Each year, they spend millions making sure we crave five-course dinners, pricey flower bouquets, and sparkly stud earrings. And it’s working. Americans shell out more than $13 billion annually for Valentine’s Day.
But if you can’t afford this expensive version of romance, here’s another idea — make a realistic plan for your money. And if that means you need to scale back, go right ahead. Here are five Valentine’s Day traditions you can easily ditch without any love lost.
Fixed Menus
Restaurants are notorious for beefing up their prices around Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. They know people don’t want to cook and clean on days meant for pampering, but that doesn’t mean the only alternative is an overpriced outing.
Forget tradition. Surprise your sweetie during the week, when lines aren’t as long and menus are normal. Then, when everyone else is scrambling to get a reservation and find a babysitter, you can relax, order a pizza and snuggle up on the couch.
Delivery Roses
Love isn’t limited to red roses. Believe it or not, other flowers (in other colors) can show love too. Think twice before you automatically preorder those $100 long-stemmed roses.
If she’s a stickler for bouquets, why not grab some beautiful white blooms and a single red rose to place in the bunch? If she doesn’t care for flowers, how about a nice succulent in a lovely pot, or a dozen red and pink balloons? Just make sure it’s something she’d actually appreciate.
Boxed Chocolates
Buy chocolate, please. But think outside the marked-up, heart-shaped box. For a fun spin, whip up some homemade goodies. It’s not hard to do, we promise.
Just head to the store and grab a few high-quality chocolate bars, some fruit, and a bag of pretzels. Melt the chocolate and get to dipping! Or if that’s too much work, reach for some chocolate chip cookie dough and a can of icing. Bake a giant cookie and decorate to your heart’s content!
Diamond Jewelry
Unless your wedding anniversary falls on Valentine’s Day, forget the overpriced bling. Jewelry is a great gift, but you don’t have to buy her a diamond to say “I love you.”
Scroll through websites like Etsy for one-of-a-kind gifts at a great price. Or, if your honey already has heirloom rings or earrings, why not sneak them to a reputable jeweler for a quick cleaning and repair? Your thoughtfulness will warm her heart much more than generic jewelry.
Store-Bought Greeting Cards
While this isn’t a huge expense, it’s definitely a lucrative one for retailers. That’s because Americans buy more than 180 million Valentine’s Day cards each year! But remember, there are ways to skip the cheesy, pre-made cards altogether.
If you have kids, get some glitter, crayons, and construction paper, and ask them to design a couple of special cards for you and your spouse to exchange. Then write meaningful messages inside and swap. They’ll love being involved, and you’ll love seeing what they come up with. If kiddos aren’t in the picture, design and make the card yourself. It doesn’t have to be a work of art. Chances are the more unique it is, the more your significant other will appreciate it.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Simply set a budget and get creative. There are countless ways to bless your sweetheart for less!
—Used with permission from DaveRamsey.com

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