Janu-worry might be over, but for many of us our wallets and credit cards are still recovering from the expensive festive season, something that can make Valentines Day a slightly stressful celebration.
Data from the US estimates there will be a whopping increase of 32% in spend this Valentines Day, citing strong holiday sales, higher wages and, surprisingly, gifts for those who fall outside the traditional Significant Other category as contributing factors. In fact, pets alone are expected to receive 27% of the total spending. South Africa also sees an increase in consumer spending in respect of restaurants, cosmetics, flowers and other gifts during this time.
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Its easy to get swept up in the consumerism of Valentines Day, especially when we are being inundated with social-media posts, advertisements and peer pressure to outdo each other with expensive gifts, says Susan Steward from Budget Insurance.
With at least another two weeks until payday, the timing of Valentines Day is not ideal for anyones bank account, but the good news is that there are so many great ways to celebrate that wont break the bank.
Heres how you can show your love and still stick to a budget:
The Christmas-wreath spinoff
Using photos, ticket stubs, dried roses, romantic quotes or any other items that have significant and sentimental value to you and your loved one, create a timeline of your favourite moments. You can pin these to your Christmas wreath and hang it somewhere special to make your partner feel special.
Do that one chore they hate
Everyone has that one chore they hate, or simply never have the time to get to. Well, now is your opportunity to take that off their plate and do it for them. Whether its washing the dishes, taking out the rubbish or doing laundry, surprise your loved one by making their day that little bit easier.
Remind them what you love about them
People love words of affirmation, and your partner cant read your mind, so write down all the things, from the physical to the emotional, that you love about your partner on sticky notes. Then stick them on the fridge, cupboard doors, mirrors and inside their car so they get a pleasant surprise and feel extra-special!
Get cooking together!
By preparing a meal together, you get to spend quality time doing what can be a mundane activity, especially if you tackle something unique like sushi. (This is especially great for unexpected load shedding.)
Skip the (expensive) knick-knacks
What will your Valentine do with that oversized, overpriced teddy bear, mug or giant red-heart pillow? These things end up becoming unnecessary clutter anyway, so rather save that money for a good bottle of wine or delicious dessert for your stay-at-home dinner.
Find a romantic movie and snuggle up
Whether youre streaming or renting a film, this is a cost-effective option for a night in. No dressing up, no paying for parking and no dealing with crowds. Put on the popcorn, get in your PJs and enjoy a romantic flick.
And finally for the pet lovers
Give your furry friend a treat they wouldnt normally get, like some decadent pet-friendly food added to their meal, or upgrading their current ID tags with heart-shaped ones.
But dont forget, the most inexpensive and wonderful way to show someone you love them is to give them lots of hugs, praise and attention, and that is available all year round, says Steward.
Image: iStock/Weekend Images Inc.
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The post Forget expensive gifts and try these simple ways to show your love this Valentines Day appeared first on Good Housekeeping.