Saturday, February 2, 2013

Budget 101: Valentine's Day

It’s finally February, the month of love… my favorite month! Here’s the thing, I have this weird thing for Valentine’s Day since I was young. Come college (a.k.a. bigger allowance), I managed to convince my friends to have a “Valentine’s Barter Day” where we each buy something such flowers, chocolates, heart shaped balloons and the like and give it to everyone in our group. It was actually fun and we all felt that we all had dates that day. But once you enter the realm of the “real world” or what people usually call as corporate life, sending gifts is a bit more expensive (okay, a lot more!). So here are some tips to avoid spending waaaay to much.

1.)    Buy flowers months in advance.
Prices of flowers go wild on the 14th and hey, those are still flowers and do not sing like the ones in Plants vs. Zombies. Save extra bucks and call that flower shop now if you plan on giving your special someone flowers. (Plus, I heard on TV that there might be shortage in flowers this year.)

2.)    Why not make some homemade chocolates?
Yes, it might not look like a perfect heart or the “Will you be my Valentine?” lettering will look like a hundred year old man did it. But guess what? This is still way sweeter compared to store bought ones. (Well, maybe a huge box of Ferrero is also a good idea. *slaps glutton self*)

3.)    The no gift gift
Ever heard of serenade? Yes, that still works. Want to make it extra special? Sing an original. Even if you are tone deaf, the effort will surely make her (or him) smile. [Group of friends? Visit the nearest KTV and sing your heart out! And I~~~ will always love you~~~~]

4.)    Cook a meal for your special someone or friends
Instead of the usual dinners outside, why not whip up a dish at home? With a budget of PHP500, you’ll have a decent meal for a group of 4.

5.)    Celebrate the day after
I heard someone say, if you love someone, everyday should be Valentine’s Day. Good point. And nothing’s sweeter than giving flowers or whatnot on a regular day. Talk about surprises. (And flowers will be cheaper again too!)

6.)    Write a letter
Okay, I’ll be very biased here. I just LOVE letters. From palancas with the required “positive and negative traits” to birthday cards, to yes, even Christmas cards with simple one liner notes, I keep them all. With internet making things so easy, a handwritten letter seems so rare and way more meaningful and hardworking. 

7.)    Why stop with a letter when you can make a poem
Poems are harder to compose compared to letters and I personally do not like writing “serious” poems. Well, even when I try, it always ends up comedic. 

8.)    Make a video recreating how you two met or have a rundown of your best memories
It’ll be fun and all you need would be creative juices, editing skills and PHP10 for a CD.

9.)    Buy flower balloons instead of flowers
It’s different and it lasts longer! There are also stores selling arranged paper flowers.
10.)  Give out coupons
I visited this store a few months back selling a lot of interesting finds. The one that I loved the most was the coupon booklet. The coupons allow the holder to get favors from the giver of the coupons. The favors are as simple as “hug” to “breakfast in bed”. Make your own and give it to your “Valentine”.

If all these are still too expensive or strenuous, then I’m telling you now that Valentine’s Day is not for you.

P.S.:  Loveless? Valentine’s Day could still be fun. Here are 10 inexpensive ways.

Images from: (block of chocolates) and (paper flowers)

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