With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I was inspired to write a blog, not about how frugal my wife and I intend to be or about how to cut corners to make it a cheap Valentine’s Day, but I wanted to share my experience about how much I had spent on this single day in the past.
My wife and I started dating three years ago, our first date, that’s right, Valentine’s Day!!! We had been friends for a few years, used to work for the same company, and one day we decided to go on a date. We agreed to meet up for our first date on a Saturday, since it was most convenient for both of us, neither of us realizing that Saturday is Valentine’s Day. Now of course I didn’t realize this until two days before so it was pretty difficult to make reservations but somehow I was able to pull a miracle off and get reservations at a pretty good restaurant.
Well long story short, things went pretty well and we had a second date, then a third, and so on and our relationship grew and we knew we had something special in the works.
I decided to really try and impress my girlfriend, and take her out to a very romantic restaurant, really WOW her. I picked up a dozen roses and a box of chocolate that ran close to $90, and the restaurant I took her to is in downtown Detroit, near the casinos. I thought it would be nice to go eat, then go have a few drinks at the bar in the casino, gamble a bit, and maybe stay the night at the hotel in the casino, so I booked it all. The hotel cost about $200 for the night, which wasn’t too bad considering it was Valentine’s Day.
Once again though, yours truly didn’t realize until a couple days before that Valentine’s Day stood for something else now, an anniversary. As a guy I took this seriously, because I didn’t want to look bad in front of my girlfriend, her friends or family. Freaking out I thought of all the things I can buy my girlfriend for a one year anniversary, with only a couple days left, I drove to the nearest jewelry store and spent $500 on a gold heart necklace. Please don’t misunderstand my wife is not materialistic at all, but I wanted to make her happy and back then I thought this was the way to go.
She loved the gift, and loved the roses and chocolate, and loved the plans I had made and appreciated the fact that I took the time and effort to make those plans probably more than the actual plans. We dined, wined and gambled a bit while we were at the casino. Total expenses for the night were about $1,000.
We are now engaged, and planning for a wedding and money is a bit tighter than usual but is expected when you purchase a house, get engaged and plan on getting married in the same year. We celebrated our two year Valentine’s Day anniversary with a bouquet of flowers from Krogers for $12.99 and a large pizza and bread from our local pizzeria. I made her a homemade card that hit a homerun. Total for the day $30.
Once you get married you don’t really celebrate the day you started dating anymore, we will always remember it since it is Valentine’s Day, but it’s definitely not as important as your wedding anniversary. I hate to admit this, but I’m still not sure what to do this year. I don’t need to impress her, but a part of me wants to take her out for a night on the town, while another part of me wonders if we had more fun last year just staying in and being frugal.
What is everyone planning for Valentine’s Day?