Cards, flowers and candy: Valentine's day staples. But while they're certainly nice, these things are often just expensive substitutes for something everyone appreciates in a gift: imagination.
When it comes to gifts, using your head and your heart often means better gifts that cost a lot less. Let's start with cards.
While store-bought cards are nice, if you want a card she'll keep, make it yourself.
Here's a card I gave my wife for Christmas. Only cost a few cents to make. On the outside it says, "Is it possible to have too much fun? And on the inside, it says, "Let's find out!" And what I gave her also here on the inside is tickets to a music festival she wanted to go to. Which leads me to tip two. Give her an experience.
They're only limited by your imagination. A picnic, a play, a camp-out, a movie, a homemade dinner: it doesn't have to cost a lot. Memories last longer than flowers or candy, and they're a lot more romantic.
Then there's time. How about a gift certificate for a bubble bath while you do the laundry and the vacuuming?
Doesn't cost a dime, and wouldn't she rather have a day off than a box of candy?
And remember: homemade always trump store-bought. It doesn't have to be fancy. It could be a framed picture of the two of you, maybe it's a mix of her favorite love songs, make a scrapbook of the stuff you've done together.
Come on guys, even if you're all thumbs, you can come up with something.
Bottom line? The best gifts don't start with your money, they start with your imagination. I've got a ton more ideas waiting for you at moneytalksnews.com.
Just do a search for "Valentine's Day."
For MoneyTalksNews, I'm Stacy Johnson.