1. Start putting money aside
In 2016, the National Retail Foundation reported that the 55% of Americans who celebrated Valentine’s Day spent $19.7 billion, with nearly $12 billion going towards gifts, $1.7 billion towards sweets, and $4.5 billion towards romantic dinners. Each individual shelled out an average of $146.84 last year, and under-35s splurged an average of $185. It’s not exactly chump change, which is why it’s a good idea to start saving now before you have to throw it around like a Rockefeller in two weeks.
For those who can’t say “no” to Seamless coupons or after-work happy hours, money saving apps like Digit and Unsplurge will do it for you. Digit is an automated savings account that monitors your income and spending habits, and socks away about 5.5 percent of users’ income on average. In two to three days, Digit takes anything from $2 to $17 and puts it in a separate savings account you control. If you request to withdraw $13.22 daily, you’ll hit $185 in 14 days. Save $20 a day and you’ll have a nice cushion to spend over if needed.
Unlike the automatic savings account, Unsplurge sets actual monetary goals. By setting a goal of saving $100 per week, you’ll have an additional $15 to spend on chocolate by the end of week two. Get encouragement from the app’s community coined “the Town” to help reach your goal quicker. Who knew peer pressure could be so lucrative?
2. Creep, a little, on your S.O.’s social media
If you just started dating, we strongly advise that you keep your social media stalking light; you don’t want your V-Day to turn into an upcoming episode of Law & Order: SVU. But even if you’ve been together for a year, remember that falling into a routine is equally as hazardous as not having anything planned at all -- so do due social media diligence.
Lots of outdoorsy photos and shared travel articles? Opt for something more original than making reservations at a restaurant, like a romantic picnic in the park or a day trip. If your date’s Instagram feed is filled with food porn and perfectly-lit brunch photos, find yourself an eccentric restaurant that offers a tasting menu so they can try a little bit of everything. If their Snap story is just one, long night out, plan a romantic night at a cocktail lounge with a dress code.