Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Valentine's Day on a Budget

Brett and I are both in graduate school right now and are both living exclusively off a graduate assistant's salary*. Needless to say, big date nights are few and far between as we are typically spending our money on bills, food, and gas. Special occasions like Valentine's day are unfortunately not an exception to the rule at this point in our lives, but luckily we don't mind all that much! We are just happy to be making time in our crazy schedules to be spending time together, and have actually made it a tradition to order our Brett & Riley Special** every Valentine's Day.

Just because you're rocking a tight budget like Brett and I, doesn't mean you have to forego this fun holiday as a couple all together! In the spirit of the holiday, I thought I would share a post with some ideas on how to have a special February 14th with your sweetheart without emptying your wallet!

1. Handmade Valentines

Throw it back to elementary school and make each other Valentine's Day cards! I like to do this because I love to draw and be creative, but I realize that's not everyone's cup of tea. Try writing a letter to your loved one or even just coming up with a list of things you like about them in your head and telling them that list, item by item, periodically throughout the day. It's sweet and thoughtful and something that will be one of a kind from you to them. PLUS, it's usually free! :)

2. Take Out & a DVD

This is usually Brett & I's go to Valentine's plan - getting our traditional pizza order to-go and watching a DVD of some sort. Our first year together, Brett was just introducing me to Game of Thrones and we spent the evening watching the first season on DVD, and then last year I believe we had Wreck-It Ralph from Netflix. It's always nice to get out of your own little world and watch the same thing together while enjoying something delicious!

3. Get Outside

Fun fact: most outdoor activities are free! We New Englanders are currently under several feet of snow*** so Brett and I will likely be remaining indoors this weekend, but it doesn't mean you have to! Take a walk, build a snowman, or visit a park and challenge yourself to not use any electronic devices. Make it a moment for just you and your Valentine to share!

4. Start Something Fun Together and Make it "Just Yours"

Whether it's a new show that neither of you have seen before, a 1,000 piece puzzle you've been meaning to conquer, or a book you're both interested in reading, start something for just you and your Valentine to share! One of my favorite things Brett and I have done recently is listen to the Serial podcast together. I had heard about it from my supervisor and thought we could give it a go on a recent road trip. We fell in love with it because a. it was awesome and b. it was something that we were doing together. Anything you and your Valentine do this February 14th will be special as long as you're doing it together!

I hope this post was helpful in finding the perfect
Valentine's plan without breaking the bank!
Have a lovely Valentine's Day, everyone!

*For those of you who may be unfamiliar with a GA's salary, it varies between institutions and positions, but it is usually not a whole lot higher than the minimum wage ($9/hour where we live) and assistantships usually have hourly restrictions in place of about 20-30 hours a week, though we often work much more than that (especially him!).

**Half cheese, half bacon pizza!

***Not an exaggeration.

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