Tips & advice on getting your finances back on track.
It’s about spending time together to create an experience you can look back on. The COVID pandemic has led to spending a fair amount of time watching Netflix and Hulu. Break the habit this February 14th and try one of these projects with your favorite partner-in-crime.
1 Time capsule: Tear yourself away from Netflix and create a time capsule together. Record your life and how you’re feeling about the past year, or make predictions about your future. Print hard copies of photos to include. Take photos of cars, pets and your home as well as people who are special to you. Include articles of important events that happened recently and write a love letter to your Valentine. Store your items in a safe box like this one. Now for the hard part, don’t open the box for at least 10 years! You’ll have the fun of assembling the time capsule now and the pleasure of opening it later.
2 Bucket list: Make a pot of coffee and warm up some breakfast pastries. Relax over breakfast together and start a list of everything you want to try during your life. Really let your imagination go and jot down experiences even if they seem far-fetched at the moment. Fancy a hot air balloon ride, visiting Gibraltar, maybe learning to play the guitar? Write it down! Put the list somewhere safe and bring it out once a year on Valentine’s Day to check off any items you’ve experienced.
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3 Art project: Get creative together. Gather some art supplies and try creating a portrait of each other. This can be fun even if you’re not very artistic. The fun is in the process. Make it an event with some wine and cheese, for example, to nibble on as your create your masterpieces. Don’t let your partner see your work until you both do the big reveal at the end of the night.
4 Virtual run: There are lots of organizations that are creating ‘virtual’ 5k runs and walks. Find one online that you both like and sign yourselves up. Train together using an app like Couch-2-5K. Focus on encouraging each other to hit new fitness or running goals. Let this Valentine’s Day be the start of a healthier life for you both.
5 Grow a window garden: It’s still cold out there in February, but it can be a great time to start a window garden. If you fancy some herbs or maybe getting some seedlings started for a summer vegetable garden, now is the time. Find some pots and potting soil to plant some seeds. Place it in a sunny window, keep it moist and watch your seedlings grow. This can be a quick and fun project to set up together, and you’ll be reaping the rewards of your garden for the next few months.
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6 Online dance classes: Clear the floor and cut a rug! Dance studios have moved to online classes, but there are plenty of free options on YouTube for any style of dance you’d like to learn. Spend the evening brushing up on your rumba or try a hip hop routine.
7 Dessert date: Eat dessert first! You can Door Dash a dessert order just for the two of you. This is much cheaper than ordering an entire meal, and everyone knows that dessert is the best part of the meal.
8 Limited dollar gift: Set a budget of $10 – $20 dollars and scour the internet to find a gift that you’re sure will make you partner laugh. Set a theme if you like, perhaps something red or heart shaped. Try to find something that is unusual and that you wouldn’t normally purchase as a gift. Have some fun within your limited budget.
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9 Volunteer together: There are still volunteer opportunities during the pandemic. Spend a Saturday afternoon together volunteering at your local food pantry, or start a collection drive for gently used sporting equipment for a community recreation center. Choose a cause that means something to you both and embrace it as a project for the month of February and beyond.
10 Get cooking: Chose a special recipe and make it together. Never made macarons or a hot chocolate bomb? Give it a try and enjoy the fruits of your labor afterwards. If you’d like a traditional romantic meal, then plan the menu together and splurge on some more expensive ingredients to make yourselves. It’s always easier on the budget if you cook your own meals rather than an expensive restaurant on Valentine’s Day. Make cooking together part of the experience and not just the eating of the meal.
However you plan to spend your Valentine’s Day, remember it’s your time together that’s important, not the amount of money you spend.
Lori Stratford is the Digital Media Manager at Navicore Solutions. She promotes the reach of Navicore’s financial education to the public through social media and blog content.