Money-Saving Tips for Valentine’s Day

In case you’ve forgotten, today is Valentine’s Day. It’s one of those special days of the year that can not only put you in a nice, romantic mood but also put a dent in your wallet. The National Retail Federation says consumers spent nearly $20 billion on gifts and activities last year, with over half of that coming from my household alone! Of course, I’m kidding.

I’m all about advice, though, so here are a few things you might want to consider to keep your costs down while still making it a special day for your special person.

First, try becoming your own private chef. This can really be nice! Have you seen those videos on Facebook or YouTube where they show you how to make a recipe that you’ve always wanted to try? They list all the ingredients you’ll need, and they have an overhead camera that shows you exactly how to make the meal. If you search around, you can find out how to cook just about anything. So maybe instead of going to some expensive restaurant, try making a special meal for your husband, wife, or partner. They’ll love it.

And how about flowers? Those can be expensive, especially if you go to a florist around Valentine’s Day. So here’s an idea: skip the florist and head over to your local grocery store. Almost all of them have a flower section these days, and you can actually find some of the best deals on flowers right there. If you stop by on your way home tonight, you may get an even better price!

Of course, we can’t forget about the card. Maybe you’ve noticed that greeting cards can cost $8, $9, $10 or more. But here’s a little-known secret: Trader Joe’s sells greeting cards for all occasions, and they’re all priced at $0.99. They never advertise it, and they don’t call attention to it—but they have them! Grab a card (or two or three) at Trader Joe’s, and save yourself some money!

And here’s one last tip: if you’re planning on going out for a night on the town, wait until next Monday to celebrate. Because Valentine’s Day is on a Thursday, many people will either celebrate it tonight or over the weekend. By next Monday, everyone will have cleared out, meaning restaurants will be less crowded and you’re likely to find much cheaper deals.

As a financial guy, I’m obligated to tell you to keep your costs down and not blow your budget. But as a married guy, I want to tell you to do whatever makes your significant other happy!

Information presented should not be considered specific tax, legal, or investment advice. You should always seek counsel of the appropriate advisor prior to making any investment decision. All investments are subject to risk including the loss of principal. This material was gathered from sources believed to be reliable, however, its accuracy cannot be guaranteed.

Raymond J. Lucia Jr. is chairman of Lucia Capital Group, a registered investment advisor and CEO of its affiliated broker-dealer, Lucia Securities, LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Lucia Capital Group. Securities offered through Lucia Securities, LLC. Registration with the SEC does not imply a certain level of skill or training.

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