Valentine’s Day: celebrate your love without the expense

Do you really need to splash cash to show someone you care on Valentine’s Day? Here’s how to celebrate love without going crazy on the hip pocket.

As the great Jennifer Lopez once sang, “My love don’t cost a thing”, so why then are Valentine’s Day gift guides filled to the brim with over-the-top (and eye-wateringly expensive) ideas such as $600 candles and $8000 pendants?

Elaborate and expensive gifts are always going to be there, but a far better option would be to focus on behaviour, according to relationship coach Megan Luscombe.

“It doesn’t matter the size of the gesture, it’s the meaning, thought and consideration that went into it that counts,” Megan says.

“Things shown without money tend to be more meaningful and heart centred.”

Relationship expert and dating coach Samantha Jayne agrees, explaining acts of service, quality time, words of affirmation and being creative with the things that money can’t buy are all ways of showing love.

“Valentine’s Day should really be about the connection and celebrating the love you have for each other,” Samantha says.

“You can keep it simple and romantic, share some champers, wine, a picnic, a poem, a massage or something that is special to both of you.”

Here are some meaningful budget-friendly ways to show your love:

Pack a picnic

Picnics are a great way to roll out the romance, Megan says, and making it special need not be expensive.

“Special picnics make an impact because of their aesthetic, so make it lush,” she says.

Choose a scenic location or space that means something to you, and bring along a nice blanket, throw rugs, glassware, beautiful food, your favourite drinks, tea lights, and of course, music.

Create a romantic night in

Don’t want to jostle with every other couple out for dinner in town?

Plan a beautiful night at home, but make it special.

“Theme the room and make it inviting,” Megan says.

This might mean a candlelit dinner for two, romantic movie, and provided you’ve got the space to fit a couple, a bubble bath.

“Romance is about ambience and we create that through sight, touch, taste and smell.

“If you’re wanting a romantic home vibe on Valentine’s Day, make sure you’re meeting all the senses.”

Reminisce about your love

Samantha suggests using Valentine’s Day to bring the spark back to your relationship and reminding each other why you’re special to one another.

“Reminisce about the first moment you kissed, your first date,” she says.

“Reliving your best memories helps spark the romance.”

Heartfelt gifts

Just because you’re not maxxing out your credit card on Valentine’s Day, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to abandon gift-giving.

Samantha says gifts can be an important way of illustrating your affection – but they don’t have to be elaborate or expensive.

Glen James, creator and host of the My Millennial Money podcast suggests a homemade gift voucher such as a massage can be well-received.

Samantha says buying flowers ahead of Valentine’s Day can save money, while a favourite fragrance can be an intimate, yet relatively inexpensive gift.

Make time to enjoy each other

Put your phone away and create time to genuinely be together, says Megan.

It can just be doing simple things such as cooking together, watching a movie with popcorn, or stargazing on a rug in the backyard with your favourite bottle of wine, create small, intimate moments that mean something.

“Celebrating love is about putting in effort for someone else, it’s a verb,” she says.

“It doesn’t (necessarily) equal spending money.

“Show those you love that you love them in the things you do, words you say and how you make them feel.

“All of those things are free!”

Written by Dilvin Yasa.