Money Wellness
image of paper hearts escaping from a pink box
category iconMoney Saver
calendar icon09 Feb 2023

Does Valentine’s Day get your heart racing for all the wrong reasons?

With more than £1.3bn spent on Valentine’s Day in the UK last year and the average person forking out over £35, the National Day of Love can be a costly business, stretching already-tight budgets to breaking point. Feeling obliged to splash out on expensive gifts can cause unnecessary stress, debt and worry. So, to prove it’s possible to show someone you care without breaking the bank, we’ve put together some cost-effective (but thoughtful) ideas on how to do Valentine’s Day on a budget. Afterall, it’s the thought that counts. 


Create your own vouchers

Create a set of vouchers that your loved one can ‘spend’ at any time they like. This can be anything from foot rubs to walking the dog, from massages to washing up. The vouchers won’t cost you anything but time and effort, and your partner will love them. Plus, they’re a gift that keeps giving well after Valentine’s Day has ended.


Embrace the romance of old-school notes

Leave cute notes around the house or write your partner a love letter to express how you feel about them. This is far more romantic than buying a mass-produced card.


Cook a candlelit dinner at home

How about creating a menu featuring all your partner’s favourite foods? Whether it’s a roast dinner, a more cost-effective pasta dish or a homemade spin on their favourite takeaway - nothing says ‘I love you’ like showing how well you know them with a personalised dining experience. Set the mood with candles, handwrite the menu, and that’s pretty much all you need to make date night perfect!


Take a romantic walk

Another way to spoil your significant other without breaking the bank is a romantic walk. Head out for a stroll along the canal, through woodland or around a favourite park and spend some quality time catching up. Whether you’ve been together for years, dating for a few weeks or you’re just friends, the special person in your life is bound to appreciate this cheap, simple, fun idea.


Create a home spa

Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without a spot of pampering. Spas and treatment centres can be pricey so why not offer your other half some TLC at home. The thought and effort involved certainly won’t go unnoticed. Run a bath and use products you have lying around at home, then offer your loved one a massage of their choice to set their heart aflutter.


Have a movie night

Who doesn’t love a film? A movie night is a guaranteed way to anyone’s heart. Choose one of your partner’s all-time favourite films to show you hang on their every word and you should be onto to a winner. Throw in some scrumptious treats and you won’t go far wrong. Keep that popcorn popping!


Enjoy breakfast in bed

Not much beats breakfast in bed. Why not set the alarm a bit earlier on 14 February and surprise your loved one? It doesn’t need to be elaborate or expensive. Simply put together a tray of toast and a pot of coffee or tea and you’re set. This is an easy way to spoil your partner and bring a smile to their face. If you want to go the extra mile, try heart-shaped pancakes.


And there you have it, Valentine’s Day on a budget. Try one or - if you’re really out to impress - a few of the ideas above and you should create a day to remember without going into the red.


Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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