Tips for a Valentine’s Day that Won’t Break the Bank

Whether you love it or dread it, Valentine’s Day is right around to the corner. This holiday can be especially stressful for students on a tight college budget. But try not to fret too much; there are plenty of free or low-cost alternatives that can be just as romantic, meaningful and memorable for that special someone. Here are just a few ideas:

Find a Free Event

Many college campuses offer student events that you may never have taken the time to check out. See what’s on tap either on or around the 14th that you both might enjoy such as a vocal quartet, comedy show or lecture. Consider capping off the night with low-cost dessert at your favorite ice cream parlor or local restaurant. If you can’t find something appealing on campus, look for free events in your local city by checking events calendars on local newspaper and/or city websites.

Relax at Home

Most couples would agree that nothing says “I really care about you” more than spending time with each other. If you live off-campus or have access to kitchen facilities on-campus, surprise your significant other with a homemade meal or special snack. Then maybe kick back with a classic romantic movie and you’ll be all set. Casablanca, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Dirty Dancing and Silver Linings Playbook come to mind, many of which you may find for free download or low-cost viewing on V-Day.

Celebrate Early

If you have your heart set on dinner out, consider moving your date up even one day. You may save money on less expensive menu offerings as restaurants tend to increase prices. You’ll also have better seating options and avoid the crowds.

Make Something Special

Taking the time to make something homemade, signifies to your sweetheart that they are really important to you, and that you are truly thinking about them. The possibilities are endless but here’s a fun idea. Decorate a box and fill it with some of their favorite “little things” such as a candy/energy bar or lip gloss; items that spark memories of the past (a small framed photo of the two of you) or will get them excited about creating future memories such as a sea shell or beach towel (if you are going on spring break). Wrap them individually for more fun and intrigue and, of course, make your own card.

Purchase A Useful Gift

If you have the money to purchase a gift, forget about flowers or candy and focus on an item that your significant other can really use. For guys, look for something simple like a new belt or a sweatshirt with your school’s or his favorite sports team’s logo. For girls, a pretty scarf in her favorite colors or comfy socks (with hearts) might do the trick.

Hopefully, these tips will helps reduce the stress of Valentine’s Day and help you have a day to remember.

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