Valentine’s Day Ideas to Help You Make the Most of the Occasion
They call it the “day of love”, so you wouldn’t think anyone could ruin Valentine’s Day, but you’d be wrong. There are some painfully (funny) stories of rough Valentine’s Days out there. If you’ve had the misfortune to experience one, take heart (see what we did there): you’re not alone. We want to help you not ruin Valentine’s Day; here are some guidelines that will help you bring you and your partner closer together instead of missing the mark completely. First of all, though, let’s take a moment and try to remember the real meaning of Valentine’s Day:
Is Valentine’s Day a Waste of Money?
It should go without saying that true love has nothing to do with the number on a check. Yet, starting long before the 14th, we’re bombarded with advertisements implying exactly that. It takes a conscious effort to resist this tidal wave of marketing. Let’s take a look at what some of our Facebook friends had to say on the subject of falling for overpriced Valentine’s Day ideas just because the TV tells you that you’re “supposed to”:
“We celebrate with a nice dinner the day before or after to avoid the crowds and we exchange mushy cards. Maybe we should do this on the 14th of every month as a reminder to express our feelings for each other.” – Linda S.
“Definitely over-commercialized. We should honor each other regularly throughout the year. That being said though, most do not do it without having a day made for it”. – Janine B.
“No. You don’t have to be “cliche” with it, just do what feels right for you and your loved one! I LOVE it!” – Lavender B.
Instead of looking for cheesy Valentine’s Day tips to help you spend money, maybe you should poll a few of your friends, both male and female. Chances are that they’ll agree: thoughtful, personalized Valentine’s gifts and experiences are way better than those that are merely expensive.
3 Valentine’s Day Things to Do If You Really Do Want to Ruin It
There is one major trap you need to be aware of while you’re thinking of great Valentine’s Day ideas, though. Basically, a big part of giving meaning to Valentine’s Day is showing that you care about the other person and know their likes and dislikes. In other words, you shouldn’t be thinking only of the gift, but how your partner is going to look at it. Failing to pay attention to this is most likely going to result in a pretty awkward Valentine’s Day date.
Here are some examples:
Like this guy: James was peeling potatoes during the summer and found a potato shaped like a heart. He thought it was a perfect reminder of love–their love and his love of helping her with the meals. So he put it in the freezer for months waiting to share it on Valentine’s Day. That morning he got it out and wrapped it. By the time his wife opened it, the potato smelled and was leaking goo and turning black. She said, “ I didn’t know if it was a thoughtful gift or a death threat.”
Or this girl: One boyfriend received a homemade card from his new girlfriend that said, “Good for one new set of glasses.” His girlfriend had broken his earlier in the week while they were making out. After he read the card, he guaranteed her there weren’t going to be any more make-out sessions.
Or this rocket scientist: One husband’s wife started the New Year off by saying she wanted to get healthy and lose 30 pounds. So when Valentine’s Day rolled around he got his wife a super fancy new scale with Bluetooth to her Apple watch to track her calories. You can guess how that went over. He may have thought that he was being helpful and kind. However, one of the best Valentine’s Day tips you’ll ever receive is this: never, ever give your girlfriend, spouse, or boss a scale as a gift, unless it’s meant to be used in the kitchen.
We want you to have a great day this year, so we have 3 Ways to Guarantee THIS Valentine’s Day rocks. As you’ll see, the key ideas here are to remember the meaning of Valentine’s Day rather than trying too hard to impress the other person with material things, and to opt for personalized Valentine’s gifts that really show your affection.
1. Give Gifts Based on Their Money Personalities
Be sure to think about your honey’s Money Personalities – not yours – before you buy their gift. Through our research, we’ve found every person has a primary and secondary Money Personality that really drives how he or she feels about money. If you’re dating a Saver, that’s good information to know. Because, believe it or not, diamond earrings are NOT an awesome gift for every woman. If you’re dating a Saver, it may pain her to put those pricey rocks in her ears when she thinks, “I like H&M’s trendy jewelry for $6 just as much”.
On the other hand, if she likes nice things then get her a NICE THING. Coupons, sales, and off-brands can be for other days of the year, but treat the special person in your life special on this day. It’s okay. You won’t go broke by spending some extra cash on Valentine’s Day.
If you don’t know your Money Personality (or his or hers yet) send them the link before the big day and save yourself the trouble. Click HERE to discover yours; this can save so much confusion and friction in any relationship. You don’t, for example, want to ruin Valentine’s Day by not knowing how they’ll feel about the money you spend on them.
2. Agree on the Amount of Money and Effort You’ll Spend, Before the Big Day
Valentine’s Day is a HUGE deal to some people and a total non-event for others. Be sure to talk about it BEFORE-hand so no one gets their feelings hurt and the night doesn’t turn into a disaster. Certain personality types really love to plan, so the concrete discussion will be the first gift they receive for the holiday. You aren’t telling them what you’re going to get them. You definitely aren’t going to ruin the surprise or spoil Valentine’s Day by tossing out a ballpark maximum number for each of you to spend on the other. Remember: destroying your budget may destroy the mood.
As a good rule of thumb, Forbes Statista reports:
- $19.7 billion spent on Valentine’s in 2016
- Men spend $133 on women
- Women spend $62 on men
- AND the average American spent $26 on their pets for Valentine’s Day.
We suggest you spend that additional money on your spouse and toss a fifty-cent Milkbone at your pet. It’s always worth investing in your relationship, and the dog won’t know the difference.
3. Ask Whether They’d Like a Practical or Fun Gift – Don’t Assume You Know
Ask which type of gift they’d like best this year. Money Personalities greatly affect someone’s appreciation of a particular gift. Risk Takers, for example, love getting something totally unexpected. The more “out there”, the better. I (Megan) got Taylor a new set of golf clubs one year and I was a total hero! He never expected it and every day that he gets to hit up the course or the driving range, it reminds him that I love him and his Risk Taker nature, even though that’s totally not how I’m wired.
Along those lines, I like practical gifts, like having my car detailed, new running shoes, or even a new appliance for the kitchen. Taylor used to think those were “boring” and would try and think of more adventurous, unexpected, personalized Valentine’s gifts for me. Once we really talked about our personal preferences, though, he saw how, even though those types of gifts don’t thrill him, he likes to buy them now because he knows that I’ll like them.
So, a good tip for all the days of the year is to think of your mate first. This applies to giving gifts…and most all other situations for a happy life. Listen and learn their likes and dislikes and give gifts or write poems or wash their car for them based on how they view money, the agreed-upon budget, and whether or not they like practical or fun gifts.
Examples of How Different Money Personalities See Valentine’s Day, Things to Do, and Gifts
We’ve just covered 3 ways to not ruin Valentine’s Day. Learning more about your significant other’s Money Personality almost guarantees your Valentine’s Day will rock. Just in case you don’t have all that much time before the date rolls around, though, here are some basic Valentine’s Day tips for different personalities.
First of all, find your two Money Personalities in the list below and see if this describes how you respond to different Valentine’s Day ideas:
- Saver: you can’t wait to show your love, but your gift won’t break the bank.
- Spender: you have no problem living it up to make your statement of love!
- Risk Taker: the wilder the better.
- Security Seeker: you dislike the element of surprise with your gift.
- Flyer: cozy up, honey! You just want to spend time together.
Here’s the bottom line: chuckle at how your Money Personalities view Valentine’s Day if you want, but give your gifts this year while keeping your spouse’s Money Personalities in mind. Here are some additional Valentine’s Day hints to do just that:
- Is a Saver really going to want a lavish gift? We know not :-).
- Is a Spender going to want the lavish gift? Absolutely!
- Is the Risk Taker going to want something “different?” Oh yes.
- Is the Security Seeker going to want a well-thought-out gift? Right on.
- And, lastly, is the Flyer just going to want to spend time with you? You got it.
Give the gift that keeps on giving by thinking about your spouse. A gift is about the “getter”, not the “giver”.
We’d love to hear from you on Facebook as we talk more about the “Day of Love” this week! Better yet, join our Facebook Community and get social with us!
Taylor & Megan
The Money Couple