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It is that time of the year – golden boxes of chocolate, long-stemmed roses, red velvet cupcakes, sparkling pink champagne and diamond rings! A time for joy and laughter. A time of excitement for shoppers and shop owners alike, and I may dare say for the latter even more!

Whether happily coupled, or single and carefree, if you are looking for heart-felt and meaningful ways to make this season one to remember, here are some fun ways to make that happen, without the glare of advertising’s tempting lights!

1. Enjoy dinner and a movie night in your backyard. Try cooking together, or maybe it is time to splurge a little on takeout! If the weather permits, setup your outdoor movie theatre. All you need is your favourite movie, an overhead projector and a white sheet spread over a clothesline or balcony wall. Add soft music, lights, comfortable seating, and warm throws, and you are all set!

2. Candle lights, flowers, romantic music, and your favourite game can make the evening festive without busting your wallet. You could plan all this to be a surprise for your partner. Or, perhaps enjoy cooking and setting up together. The perfect ambience in the comfort of your own home!

3. Enjoy a game night or fun challenge with your family. Choose from inexpensive options, something you can get children involved in as well. Employ their creativity to decorate and make the place festive. Just moving furniture around, adding fresh flowers, and themed decor can brighten things up! Cherish memories as you look at family pictures, bringing back beautiful moments!

4. Why not make the entire day fun by planning a road trip or hike? Pack a fun picnic lunch, let music float as you take in the sights of the country and forest trails. Choose the perfect spot to camp, or if you like, explore the city’s cool attractions.

5. You could make the day extra special by spending time at a charity you both love. Take some time this Valentine’s Day to give to children, animals in shelters, and other lonely hearts in need of a kind word and smile!

Remember to stay safe this season, as you plan time together with loved ones and friends. Joy doesn’t have to come with a price tag, but in the time spent with those you love. This can also be the beginning of a season of smart choices financially, as you wisely balance splurging and saving for the future. As always, our team of non-profit accredited and caring counsellors are a phone call away, if you need some guidance and help in making healthy money choices. Leave us a quick note here, and we would be more than happy to be there for you!

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