It may be a commercial day enforced upon us by card shops trying to make a profit but there’s no denying that we all still like receiving a card on Valentine’s Day. Even those who are not soppy or romantic, the simplest gesture can make you feel appreciated.
There is no reason why we should have a day in the calendar to make us remember how much that person in our lives means to us besides the fact that we are all human. With all the best intention in the world, it can be difficult on a day-to-day basis to remember to say how much you care.
I’m sure we’ve all taken other people in our lives for granted, not intentionally, but because we have 1001 things on our to-do list. So it’s important to sometimes shift those priorities and make time for those important people in your life, not just on Valentine’s Day but throughout the year.
This doesn’t mean buying the latest Street Fighter game for PlayStation (although it’s pretty tempting) or an Omega Constellation watch from the 1950s that will cost you a month’s wages. Managing money is tough enough without having the pressure of having to give your partner an amazing gift every year.
As Napolean Hill said: “If you can’t do great things, do small things in a great way.”
So here’s are five ways to think frugal and thoughtful this Valentine’s Day based on my own personal relationship with my now fiance and partner of eight years (yep, I still can’t believe it).
Agree a budget
While we may be polar opposites when it comes to health and fitness – I love running, he loves running…to the pub – we are both on the same level when it comes to money and for the past few years, we have set our budget to…TEN WHOLE POUNDS. This is pretty much the equivalent to buying two bottles of Elderflower cider in a Central London pub. Indeed, a tenner won’t get you much these days so we both have to think creatively. Last year, I hunted down a pair of Joules PJ bottoms on their eBay outlet store for a tenner, the year before I found a Liberty print tie in a charity shop and this year I’ve….- no, he may be reading this so I’m not going to say any more. Try it between the two of you and you may be surprised at what you’ll find.
Go on an adventure
Sod poncey restaurants that inflate their prices and offer you and 30 other couples the opportunity to spend your evening with each other while scoffing on some “carefully curated” menu. Instead make a day of it and turn your gift into an experience or adventure. Whether you decide to indulge in a little culture at your local museum or hit some of the wonderful countryside trails that the UK has to offer, take time out of your busy schedule and spend the day discovering something new together. As for us, well, we’ve found the perfect compromise. A long walk in the countryside where we pop into local pubs on the way.
Make a scrapbook
Or in our case, a book of photos from your last holiday. We all take masses of photos these days of special events and holidays but how many times do you actually look back on those memories? One way to ensure that you will is by making a physical photobook of the occasion. Then you can flick back to your heart’s content at those silly faces you both pulled on that epic bus drive across Bosnia-Herzegovina or India.
Surprise him with brunch
It’s tasty, filling and absolutely anyone (even this lazy chef) can make a half-decent brunch. Go on, give him the full works including grilled tomatoes, perfectly cooked poached eggs and a slice of avocado. You could even bake your own sourdough bread, which is absolutely delicious. Freshly squeeze those oranges and set the table with a bunch of daffodils. If he’s not happy with that, then he’ll never be satisfied.
Netflix and thrill
Ha, ha, ha…nooooooo….not like that, although there are plenty of ways you can have fun without spending a penny. What I’m talking about is settling down to a good old fashioned flick that never fails to impress such as The Philadelphia Story or Brief Encounter. Throw in a bowl of popcorn and escape just the two of you to a romantic time before social media and mobile phones.