Although I’m all for demonstrating our love for one another year round, it’s also fun to celebrate holidays in our own hokey, frugal fashion.
I polled our Facebook group for your suggestions on how to celebrate in fine frugal fashion and you responded with gusto.
There were too many responses for me to include them all, but I’ve tried my best to hit the hight points below–many thanks to everyone who weighed in!
If you’re outdoorsy, it could be a stroll in the woods, artsy could mean a visit to a local museum, homebodies might find it a great day to bake something decadent.” Kara shared a cute (and free) gift idea: “My husband is an engineer and likes to play with Excel.
One year for Valentine’s Day, he wrote a macro in Excel with a bunch of buttons that I clicked on and there were different messages to pop up to tell me he loves me.” Julie has plans for a cozy V-Day: “Something yummy for dinner then watching some tv together with the doggie.” CL says: “I’m going to surprise my hubby and take him to a new BBQ concession truck and go hiking at a nearby state park and [give him] a handmade love note.
I find there’s usually a frugal analogue, or alternative, for most traditionally spendy, buying-focused events. FW and I really don’t skip any holidays or celebrations, we simply employ the art of frugal substitution and celebrate in our own way.
We are wide-eyed and aware of special occasion spending triggers!
But even I, the holiday devotee, have to admit that Valentine’s Day is a too transparent in its thinly veiled prompts to spend money on things we obviously do not need. When you’re still finding your footing in a relationship, it’s tempting to fall back on the cultural norms of chocolates, flowers, and stuffed bears. It doesn’t require you to intimately know or connect with your partner–you just click around online and voilà!
We were following the societal expectations that surround this holiday and nascent relationships in general.
The intersection of money and romantic relationships represents one of the most volatile combinations. Our culture promotes an ersatz paradigm of demonstrating emotion through material goods. Frugalwoods and I fell victim to the tropes of February 14th. Flowers arrive in their office on the prescribed date.
Furthermore, disagreements over money are a leading cause of divorce in the United States. And Valentine’s Day hits this notion at its very heart: we’re supposed to express how much we love our significant other through buying them… Beyond the expense of hewing to the expectation of store-bought gifts, it’s also impersonal.
Clearly, we have unresolved issues over not just our money, but how we spend our money in service of our relationships. It doesn’t reflect your unique relationship or your unique closeness.