Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Don’t Let Cupid Clean Out Your Wallet

(NDG Wire) The average consumer will spend $63.34 on gifts for their loved one this Valentine’s Day, according to the National Retail Federation. Coupled with the average $682.74 they spent at Christmas, many consumers will carry extra expenses over the coming months particularly if a credit card was used to pay for items.

On Valentine’s Day we like to do things for our significant other to make them feel attracted to us, said Todd Mark, vice president of education for Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Dallas (CCCS of Greater Dallas). “While buying a beautiful piece of jewelry or spending a fortune on dinner may make them feel special, creating a mound of debt in the process is very unattractive.”

For consumers still paying off holiday debt or those on a budget this Valentine’s Day, CCCS of Greater Dallas shares some ideas to create an unforgettable date without breaking the bank:

Go to dinner and a movie. You can plan a movie night from the comfort of your home. Rent each of your favorite movies or a couple you’ve wanted to see and plan a meal themed around the evening’s premiere. Don’t forget the popcorn and candy!

Hand-deliver flowers. Instead of ordering pricey flowers to be delivered at your girlfriend’s or wife’s work, show up in person with an arrangement from the grocery store or wholesale club. Add a special touch with a pretty bow and her favorite candy. You’ll spend about one-fourth of the cost, and the personal delivery will be sure to win more brownie points than a bouquet from the florist.

Frame up his favorites. If your man has a treasured baseball card or an old picture of his grandfather, have it framed so he can hang it in a special place. However, be careful not to alter the memento in any way.

Make a mix-tape.” Burn a CD of your favorite songs or those that are special to your relationship. Create a personalized cover with photographs of the two of you, and place it in a plastic CD case for presentation.

Think like a girl and get crafty. Gather photographs and other items that remind you of special times with your sweetheart. Place them in a scrapbook or shadowbox frame for a unique gift she is sure to love.

Do lunch or even brunch. Lunch at a fancy restaurant is usually half the price of dinner and a lot less crowded. Since Valentine’s Day falls on Sunday this year, brunch is also a good choice. It usually includes mimosas and other treats to make the meal feel nice at a fraction of the cost.

Make a book of coupons. The coupons could include a massage, free pass for a girls or guys night out, cooking a favorite meal or even promising a day of football without any interruptions! Recognizing things that are important to your significant other will go a long way in showing how much you care.

Trade chores for the day. Surprise your loved one by completing all of his/her chores. Clean the house for your wife or take out the trash and pick up fresh dry cleaning for your hubby. Add a special touch by leaving roses at the home or chocolates in their car. No matter how small the chore, having someone else complete it will be sure to leave a smile on your loved one’s face.

Plan a picnic. Arrange for a romantic picnic in the park. Instead of your typical day-time picnic, plan an evening picnic with lanterns and a cozy blanket along with your favorite foods.

For help in becoming debt free and making smart financial decisions in 2010, contact your local CCCS office for a free budget review and credit counseling session, as well as more information on financial education and free debt seminars, at (800) 249-2227 or visit www.cccs.net. CCCS of Greater Dallas will be providing free tax preparation in partnership with the United Way of Dallas from now until April 15. Check www.cccs.net for class locations and dates.

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