How To Do Valentine's Day On A Budget

Let the Valentine’s Day planning begin. We know that if you could, you would totally buy your love a private island. Or drop hundreds of roses from a helicopter. Or abandon your throne and escape together to Paris. If only you had the cash laying around, #amiright?

As grand and utterly unforgettable as these love gestures may be, not all of us have the means or opportunity to accomplish something on that scale.

Still, you too can pull off something big on Valentine’s Day without draining your bank account. So, in the name of love, here are a few suggestions to get your creative juices flowing.

Living room picnic

Even in the doldrums of winter you can transform your living room into a beautiful romantic retreat inspired by nature. Dig out the indoor fountain, arrange the plants to make an enclave, set out fresh flowers, and make a “bonfire” with a dozen or so candles and tea lights. With thoughtfully chosen nibbles and a bottle of wine, you can both relax and bask in each other’s company.

Memory lane

If you’ve been an item for a few years, it’s always good to spend some time remembering the early days. Gather up some memories and make a big presentation, pulling out the old love notes, a special dessert, a DVD of the first movie you watched together, a song you danced to, photographs — whatever you can conjure up. Make it even more memorable and use these items to create a special scavenger hunt.

Spa night

Turn your apartment or house into a luxury spa and give your partner an unforgettable pampering session. Light the candles, bring out the fluffy robe, get the tunes playing, pour the wine, and start massaging their cares away. Follow this up by drawing a rose petal bath.


This is the time of year where everyone wants to flock someplace warm. But if you get creative and look elsewhere, you might swing a swanky getaway on the cheap. Look for meaningful destinations off the beaten path that are not at their peak tourism season. Maybe your beloved’s favorite band has a show in the Midwest. How about a cross-country ski getaway at a national park out West?

Get it in writing

In this digital age, presenting the written word on actual paper can be extra special. Write a beautiful love letter, then roll it up and cork the letter in a bottle. Or fill a decorative jar (something from a craft store with a cork top might work) with little scraps of paper, each one naming a quality you love about the other person. The label can say something like “100 things I love about you.”

Netflix and...

It's amazing what one can do with a $5 pack of glow in the dark stars, and every pillow and blanket you've got on hand. Turn your living room or bedroom into a quilted love shack. Build your fort, hang your starts, and hit play on Netflix. A cozy night in with you SO won't be forgotten, we promise.

There’s no need to burn away your dollars just to get the love-light glowing. With a little creativity and some heartfelt sentiment, you can create the most unforgettable Valentine's Day ever.

Tags: Budgeting, Seasonal Spending, Spending