How much should you spend on Valentine’s Day?

Valentine's Day

While Jennifer Lopez famously said that love didn’t cost a thing, we often feel pressure to splash the cash on Valentine’s Day. We show you how you can enjoy Valentine’s Day on every kind of budget. Because love shouldn’t break the bank.

Every year on February 14, restaurants are full of bookings and flower shops are overrun with orders. What was an opportunity to tell our partner we love them can end up costing way more that you realistically afford.

Love shouldn’t end up tipping you into debt. However, Instagram influencer culture and social media can make it seem like you need to create the ‘perfect’ Valentine’s day, whether it be the perfect gift or date as a way of proving how much you love someone.

The answer to how much you should spend on Valentine’s Day is however much you are comfortable with based on your budget.

Here’s how to enjoy Valentine’s Day on every budget from $0 to $200.

Budget: $0

  • Why: Valentine’s Day is just one day out of 365 days a year. If you’re lucky to have a partner to share your life with, you should show them that you love them every day through your actions.
  • Date: Head to a free art gallery exhibition. Enjoy a walk by the lake or ocean. Watch the sunset together. Check out the free dates and activities available to take full advantage of the city you live in.
  • Gift: Make your loved one a card they can keep and let them know how much you appreciate them.

Budget: $50

  • Why: For students or new couples, you may want to spend the day with your love interest but not go too crazy with spending money.
  • Date: A home cooked meal followed by watching a romantic movie on your streaming subscription service that you already pay for. A cheeky Nandos date because who doesn’t love a trip to Nandos. If you are tempted to take them to the movies, bring snacks from home so that you avoid paying way too much for popcorn at the movie theatre.
  • Gift: A single red rose should do the trick – a cute gesture and not too much of a financial commitment.

Budget: $100

  • Why: If you’ve been together for a few years, you may want to spend more on the day to acknowledge the person you’re with and spend at least one Valentine’s Day enjoying a romantic dinner.
  • Date: Embrace the stereotype and head out for a romantic dinner with the person you love. Have at least one Valentine’s Day where you fully embrace the cheesiness of it all.
  • Gift: Most restaurant catered slap up meals on Valentine’s Day will take up the majority of your $100 budget. If needed, take a leaf from the student budget and give the single red rose which you should be able to pick up for under $10.

Budget: $200

  • Why: If you’re an established couple, you’re likely comfortable sharing purchases and can pool your individual budget to spend more on Valentine’s Day.
  • Date: You might want to do something special if you have the budget to really enjoy the day whether it’s the stereotypical Valentine’s Day dinner or a trip away to the country for a few hours.
  • Gift: For couples who live in the same household, one of the best advantages you have is pooling your resources. Couples in established relationships can combine their individual budgets to buy each a shared gift. This gives you twice the buying power if you pool your resources and buy something you both want and will use year round.

It can be tempting to see couples looking loved up on Valentine’s Day social media posts and want to replicate their perfect date or feel envy when you see their Tiffany blue box gifts.

However, I believe that J.Lo was on the money when she said love didn’t cost a thing.

Whatever your budget, Valentine’s Day is about telling and showing someone that you love them. And if you want extra brownie points, show up for your partner every day and create a partnership that’s stronger than any Tiffany box.

Read More: Learn how to Budget in 10 minutes

Kate Crowhurst

Written by Kate Crowhurst

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