If you’re lucky enough to have love in your life (or at least a really intense feeling of like), but unlucky enough to also have student loans, you may be stressing over the big romantic holiday this week. Friday is Valentine’s Day and if you’re a guy, you are seriously under the gun to offer some romance to your lady love. If student loans are eating up a ton of your disposable income, you may be wondering how you can survive this holiday without fouling up your finances.
Here are seven ways to do Valentine’s Day on a dime…
#1 Opt for a break up and make up
Okay – this suggestion is pretty cynical, but if your relationship is already on the rocks or you don’t think it’s going to work out in the long term, why not save yourself a bundle of cash and go ahead and make the split permanent this week before the requisite gift giving holiday rolls around? If you rue the end of your romance later, you can always get back together over the weekend (when flower prices drop and chocolates are on clearance)…
#2 Picnic with a chick flick
Consider staying in for V-Day this year and indulge your GF in all the stuff she loves so long as it’s cheap. Order or make low cost fave foods – spaghetti is practically free to make. Grab a cheap bottle of wine (Two-Buck Chuck anyone?), one single rose and indulge in a chick flick film fest. If you’re a glutton for punishment, you can do a Twilight marathon (your library likely has most of these), but if you want to watch a decent one that bros can deal with too, try out Love Actually (available now on Netflix).
#3 Piggy-back on your parents
Has your lady been bugging you to meet your folks (or you to meet hers)? Agree to meet them for dinner on Valentine’s Day. Most parents will pick up the check, so you can kill two birds with one frugal stone. You’ll seem uber-committed without bankrupting your bank account. And if it’s your folks you go out with, you can openly plead poverty and they’ll hopefully be understanding. If you’ve got really good parents, they may even spring for a movie with popcorn.
#4 Dig into the past – and your future
Borrow old home videos and photos from your GF’s parents and yours and spend the evening comparing how cute you two were when you were babies. If you’re really into her and are planning on making the relationship permanent, you can even Photoshop some combined photos to see what beautiful babies you’ll make together someday (or use MakeMeBabies.com). Pair this with your favorite pizza and a bottle of vino and you’ve got a night to remember for next to no money.
#5 Get some sand in your craw
If you live in the commuting area of a beach, load up an old blanket and a stash of candles and head to the sandy shores. You can have dinner at home before you go or grab drive thru and eat at the beach. Stare at the stars, light the candles (maybe even a bonfire) and cuddle to the sounds of the waves crashing. Break out your Beats Pill and play some Lorde or John Mayer (or whatever smooth sounds that trip your GF’s trigger) and you’ll be gold.
#6 Scavenge up some fun
Lead your babe on an after-work scavenger hunt to places that have meaning to your relationship. End up with her coming back to your place where you’ve got candles, soft music and chocolates on the roof, patio or balcony. Dance her around and feed her some sweets – she’ll probably be starving after you send her all over town… Finish up with a romatic bubble bath and a massage (for her) and you can’t be accused of skimping on romance.
#7 Service with a smile
You know all that stuff you get nagged about all the time? Take the day off Friday and catch up on all of it. Wash her laundry, clean the bathroom, fluff the sofa pillows, vacuum, wash the dog – do ALL of the chores she usually gets stuck with because you shirk. Cap it off with a simple homemade dinner that won’t trash the freshly cleaned kitchen. Think grilled chicken caesar or a frozen lasagna. Let her control the remote for the evening while you do the dishes!
Also for Valentine’s Day – if you’ve got someone begging to give you a gift – that over-eager Aunt that always smushes your face and insists on a smooch, for instance – ask them to give you the gift of student loan assistance with a Tuition.io gift – read more here. Sign up for our free student loan tool to track and optimize your debt and be sure to read our blog regularly for other awesome money-saving tips and student loan news.