Valentine’s Day is just a few days away. If you are keen to follow the tradition, you want to ensure the people or person closest to your heart know how much they mean to you.
This often comes at a financial cost if the heightened marketing by lifestyle brands is anything to go by. But it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to break the bank to make grand gestures that may hurt your wallet just a fortnight after what most people would have considered a tough month christened Njaanuary.
And definitely not at the expense of your long-term financial goals that, for the discerning budgeter, should always take precedence. Yes, dinner date nights are romantic, but I would like, today, to help inspire a bit more forethought this year, and hopefully save you some cash.
Besides, Valentine’s Day is all about love - showing your close ones that you care about them. They could be your spouse, fiancé/fiancée, family, or a best friend.
Here are some ideas to consider if you want to mark Valentine’s Day on a budget.
Buying a dozen roses might be way out of your budget this year, but this doesn’t or shouldn’t prevent you from giving your partner some flowers. Wildflowers are also beautiful! If you have a small garden or maybe there’s a park nearby, pick your partner some of those good-smelling and attractive flowers and make your bouquet.
Picking the flowers yourself makes the flowers even more special. But as you pick flowers from that park near you, be sure you are not stepping on someone’s foot. You might also want to be very careful not to pick poisonous flowers.
Spending Valentine's Day together is special on its own. A simple and cheap way to make your time even more special is by packing up some food and going outdoors.
This lunch needs not to be fancy, as long as the both of you will enjoy eating it. If your budget allows you can get some food you like from your favourite take-out joint.
Afterward, head out and find a place to enjoy your meal. This could mean under a tree or along a nearby hiking trail. Take out your lunch and enjoy it together.
How about preparing your partner’s favourite breakfast and serving it to them while they are in bed. Whether they like pancakes, sausage, bacon, toast, or all. Is there a better way to start your special day than with breakfast in bed?
If you are especially busy at work this Valentine’s Day, which happens to be a Monday, you could really show your partner how much you appreciate them by starting their day up with a romantic breakfast before heading out for the grind.
One partner can arrange to do this as a gift. But I think it could be much more fun to make your valentines photo book together. To create this book as a gift, first, buy a blank notebook along with some art supplies like markers, glitters, and stickers.
Print the photos you took right off your camera or phone. Now, what remains is for you to decorate the Photo Book with the photos, stickers, and some special words of love for your honey.
This idea could even complement a date, all you will have to do is spend the day taking more photos together and of each other. Then do the steps above together. Once you finish, you will have a special book together which you can look back and remember the special times you had.
Whether this will be your first Valentine’s Day celebration together or your 20th, try to remember one of your favourite dates and try to recreate it.
Could be going to dinner at a special restaurant or going to the cinema for a movie. You could take a trip down memory lane reminiscing about all the memorable dates you have had then plan for dates you want to have soon.
Often, the most precious moments in a relationship will typically not be the most expensive. Try to find the most inexpensive activities you did that created a strong connection between the two of you and design your Valentine’s experience around that or outright recreate them.
You may think this may not be for everyone, and with good reason. These are actually professional skills that are learned, but no is not the time to overthink if you are up for a challenge.
It is said a good massage feels like a love letter to the entire body. Giving your partner a basic at-home massage can be a great way of making them feel nurtured.
It might take a little bit of planning before deciding to go with the massage or mani- and pedicure since you do not want it to be an ungratifying experience.
If you are both down for it and have managed expectations, it can be a fun inexpensive way of spending Valentine's evening indoors with your significant other.
Find a park, lay out a cosy blanket or you can do this in your living room if your budget will not allow you to go outdoors. Pack inside a basket all of your favourite snacks, food, wine, and other treats you fancy.
While it may sound unusual for Valentine’s Day activity, volunteering can be so much fun and an awesome experience that bonds you more with your partner.
Moreover, there are many benefits that come with volunteering. Personally, I think:
Volunteering is a win-win. You save money while helping a local organisation.
Very few things are more romantic than making a meal together. One good thing is that you will spend at least half the amount you would have spent at a restaurant and you will not need to be in a hurry.
Now this can be as simple as settling on a favourite meal either one of you is really good at making or as complex as preparing a complicated meal both of you have not tried out before and enjoying the excitement of figuring things out together.
There are so many romantic comedies that have been produced over the years, but some classic love movies have aged like fine wine. Take Titanic for example.
You do not have to stick to love movies. I would say watch a movie that both of you will resonate with. That way you will spend more time together. Some snacks would be great to accompany the movie.
How about slotting an exercise on Valentine’s day? If you and your partner like fitness you can go for a walk or ride bikes.
When was the last time you two did something active together?
It doesn’t even have to be such a long walk. Maybe you and your partner seldom get time together – life gets busy, after all –this might be exactly what you require.
Plan to have a romantic walk outdoors and use the time to talk to one another while having a little fun together.
Discover your sites of attraction in your city. Spend some time of your day visiting local landmarks and museums around town. This idea can be very inexpensive with some research and if you avoid tourist traps.
There are so many places you can visit in Nairobi such as the Nairobi Safari Walk, Nairobi Museum and the Nairobi Arboretum.
You do not have to work yourself up with thoughts about where to get extra money to enable you to create a mind blowing experience for your partner. Often, the most beautiful moments in life are the simplest,
I hope the few hints I have suggested have been helpful and perhaps even triggered a few genius ideas of your own. The most important thing to remember is that the best way to make Valentine's Day special is by being with the ones you care about. Show some love to your finances also.
Whatever your relationship status is this Valentine’s Day, I hope you’ll feel special and loved. Happy Valentine’s!