A Frugal Guide to Valentine’s Day

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With Valentine’s Day right around the corner I’m sure some of you are stressing to find that perfect gift for your SO. Being in a LDR makes this significantly more difficult because you need to factor in shipping costs and you’re also trying to save up money for future visits or moves to be with each other. Luckily, there are ways of showing your SO you love them without ripping a hole in your wallet!

Keep it Simple. Sometimes you forget how much we can appreciate the little things in life. Try finding small (and hopefully lightweight) items that your SO would love. I’ve sent Jay packages before with some of his favorite candies, a nice deck of playing cards, and a graphic t-shirt. He also sent me a package with a small wax seal stamp, Dutch tea, and some cute stamps for imprinting baked goods. It isn’t as complicated as you might think to find the perfect lightweight and inexpensive gift. Plus, with access to financial tools like those offered by Personal Capital, it’s easy to see just how much money you can budget for Valentine’s Day!

DIY Gifts. Unleash your inner craft genius and make something personal for your SO. You can create a small photo book, personalize a picture frame, or choose songs to mix a soundtrack to your relationship. Not creative? I sometimes browse Pinterest to see what crafty things other people make. You can find some great ideas for all skill levels! Greeting cards are extremely overpriced, so plan to make your own card to go along with your gift. A handmade card is also a clever way to save some money and make something extra special for your SO.

IOU. If you plan to see your SO within a month or so of Valentine’s Day you can always bring the gift along for the visit or offer to spend a romantic day together while you’re together. Send a simple card ahead of time and have a Skype meal date on Valentine’s Day, but save the actual gifts for later. This is an easy way to avoid the cost and hassles of shipping a present…and what could be better than getting a hand-delivered Valentine’s Day gift?

Something They Actually Need. It might sound strange, but have you ever tried buying someone a gift they actually need? Everyone needs food, toiletries, and other household items. These may not seem like the most romantic gift, but at least you know they’ll be put to good use. If you know your SO needs a new set of towels, a few notebooks, or a replacement Brita filter order it online and ship it straight to his home. This is a great way to help him save a little money because it’s an item he would need to buy anyway and it shows that you really do care about him. A couple that buys each other napkins and Windex stays together!

Who ever said an inexpensive gift wasn’t worth much? Valentine’s Day doesn’t need to be costly for you. The real value of the gift isn’t on the price tag. If you’re with someone you love, they’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness. So ignore the overpriced chocolates and opt for some homemade heart-shaped cookies instead!

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