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Valentine's Day On A Budget

What Will You do With Your Tax Cut?

How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Setting Financial Goals for the Year Ahead

Financing last-minute Christmas gifts

Your Credit and the Holidays

Where to go for mortgage and debt help

What You Should Know About Debt Settlement

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Back-to-School Strategies for Staying Out of Debt

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What to do if your spouse can't pay his or her bills

What to do when a family member ruins your credit

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Is a Debt Owed

Patience is the key to furnishing a new home

How to split expenses with your partner

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What to do if your account is turned over to collections

Celebrating Valentine's Day on a budget

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Understanding credit utilization

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Financing a College Education

Money, Credit and Relationships

Should you be concerned with your date's credit scores?

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How to help a relative who is always borrowing money from you

Setting New Year's goals that you can keep

Making the holidays memorable for families on a tight budget.

Skipping a Payment over the Holidays

What to do if you are overwhelmed by medical bills

Make your financial intention a financial goal you can achieve

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The difference between paying bills and managing your money

My wife and I have gone through some tough financial times, which eventually led us to file for bankruptcy.  Following this experience, I don’t ever want to use credit again, but my wife

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Valentine's Day On A Budget

Q. My husband and I are determined to reach our New Year's Resolution to reduce our spending and improve our finances this year. We talked about what we can do for Valentine's Day and do not want to use our credit cards. Any suggestions on ways to curb our expenses and not incur more debt while still celebrating?

A. Congratulations on your dedication to sticking to your resolution. So often we set a goal and at every turn we find a distraction or obstacle. Keeping focused on what you really want is crucial to be able to reach your goals.

It is important to set a budget you agree upon for the day. You can celebrate without spending any money or limit spending to a small amount.

There are ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day without spending any money. Consider exchanging hand-written notes regarding a special memory. Create homemade coupons for each other. For her, perhaps it is an afternoon all to herself without the kids. For him perhaps it is an afternoon to watch his favorite sport without interruption. Be creative and think about something the other person values.

There are also ways to celebrate with spending only small amounts of money. Consider finding a small gift to commemorate your first date or the first trip you took. Or maybe your partner has a favorite coffee or a bottle of wine. Look for a way you can say to the other, “I know you, I appreciate you, and I love you” without breaking your budget.

You don’t even have to go out for dinner to celebrate the day. Set a special menu for a dinner you both can enjoy and roll up your sleeves and make dinner together. Not everyone cooks, but anyone can help with the preparation and clean-up. Add a little romance and dine by candlelight.

It only takes a little thought and some creativity to make Valentines a special day. Keep in mind the best gifts often do not cost a lot of money, rather they reflect your appreciation of those you love.

Bonnie Spain is the executive director of the American Center for Credit Education and Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Black Hills. For more information, email

The material in this transmission is provided for personal, non-commercial, educational, and informational purposes only. ACCE makes no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this transmission and assumes no responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or any inconsistency herein. You should consult a professional where appropriate.