lifestyle n

Valentine’s Day is coming up. Try as we might, it’s hard not to acknowledge its existence when it has become so hyped-up over the years. But demonstrations of love don’t have to cost the earth.

The truth is, most people don’t need or want to be showered with expensive presents to feel loved. And there’s just no need to rack up more credit card debt, especially this time of year when many of us are still paying off the credit card bill from Christmas.

If you do want to do something special for your Valentine on the 14th, there are plenty of ways to do so without blowing your budget. Try some of these ideas on for size:

  • Have a romantic picnic – it’s cheap, and you don’t have to make a booking with a snooty maître d. If the weather’s not great, try having an indoor picnic with all the same props – picnic blanket, finger food etc. – plus maybe a little more wine and better music.
  • Fill a nice-looking jar, like a mason jar, with lots of small love notes. Your partner can pick one out whenever he/she misses you or needs a boost.
  • Make a series of framed photos showing the story of your relationship, from when you first met to the present day.
  • Create a personalised playlist of songs that remind them of your time together, or songs you think they’ll like.
  • Book in to take a one-off class together. It can be something romantic, like salsa dancing or couples’ massage, or something practical and fun. Have a look at Laneway Learning or your local adult education institution for ideas.
  • If the weather’s right, get out and enjoy nature. Take a trip to the beach, try a new walking trail, or conquer a hiking challenge.
  • Can’t afford a full-on dinner at a fancy restaurant? For a budget-friendly alternative, head for drinks at a trendy bar, or even head out for dessert after dinner, and have the main event at home.
  • Florist prices can be high, especially on Valentine’s Day. Try visiting the flower seller at your local produce market instead. Or even better, pick wildflowers or ask to raid a friend or neighbour’s garden.
  • Recreate your very first date. Chances are, it was something fun and inexpensive, and going to those same old haunts can be super romantic.
  • Skip the long queues and packed cinemas – create a movie experience at home using subscription services like Netflix. Dim the lighting, microwave your popcorn and other favourite movie snacks and roll out the doona.

There’s no time like the present to save money so don’t forget to put away the money you save. You can even start a salary sacrifice from your pay, or create a direct debit from your bank account. That extra little bit will help, and with compounded interest you could see a big result by the time you’re ready to retire.

For more information on how show your superannuation account a little bit of love, go to visionsuper.com.au/super/grow-my-super or contact us on 1300 300 820 for information on how to start.

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