This is a year of getting back up on your finances and doing your best to stay out of debt.
As the economy starts recovering, you might start to feel like you or your loved ones deserve to have a great Valentin’s day. It might have been a while since you were out on a date. The last few months have been about survival and trying to recover from the pandemic. Now that things are improving, you could be thinking about going out and finally celebrating Valentine’s Day.
But one thing to remember is that you cannot suddenly go all out with your expenses. Your finances are composed of a lot of factors you need to keep an eye out for. Losing your focus on any of them can ripple out to other areas in your finances. In turn, this can make it a lot more difficult for you to manage your money.
But, it is possible to stay out of debt but still have a great Valentine’s Day with your loved ones.
Even if USA Today shares that about 30% of millennials believe dating is expensive. You just need to be creative and find ways to celebrate without breaking the bank. Here are a few options to look into.
Go out for breakfast rather than dinner
Romantic dates are usually done over dinner where you dress up nicely and dine in a fancy restaurant. This tends to be more expensive in the end. But one thing you can do is go out for a breakfast date. This is a bit different from the usual expensive dinner dates. You get to check out new places and maybe get to go for a morning walk after.
Running errands together
It might not sound romantic but in the past months when everyone was locked down inside their homes, going out even for errands was a big deal. But now that things are starting to get back to normal, you can still have a date just y running errands together. The great thing about it is that you can leave the kids at home and have even half a day to yourself. You can even get some snacks after with just the two of you.
Run or hike together
One great way to stay out of debt but still enjoy quality time together is to go for a hike or a run together. Not only is this a healthier alternative, exercise releases endorphins which are referred to as happy hormones. It gives you the feeling of excitement and even feeling happy. Not to mention that running or hiking are inexpensive activities you can do with your loved ones.
Book an Airbnb experience
The site is not only dedicated to booking inexpensive rooms but experiences as well. There are several adventures to choose from. You can even filter your adventure by location or by interest. Airbnb experiences offer several opportunities that could cater to your hobbies. You can choose to hike, backpack to nature locations, camp, swim in hidden waterfalls, or even go scuba diving. There is a lot to choose from depending on your budget.
The virus is still there and even if Airbnb offers inexpensive adventure options, you still have to pay a considerable amount to make it happen. If your goal is to spend as little as possible to stay out of debt, staying at home is still an option.
One thing you can do is to create a home-cooked meal and choose a good movie to watch with your partner. You can choose a good movie or a series you can finish in a day. You can even make some popcorn and drinks right in your kitchen.
What to avoid if you want to stay out of debt
Now that you have some inexpensive ideas to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your partner, there are a few things you need to stay away from. You might get too carried away that you get deeper in debt than out of it.
Impulsively maxing out credit cards
In a bid to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a big way, you might be tempted to charge the expenses on your card. It is so easy to bring out your card and swipe away on frivolous expenses. You might not pay much attention to it but a few charges here and there could add up to a considerable amount at the end of the month.
Make sure that you are intentional with the way you use your credit card. If your card is meant only for groceries, stick to it. Do not use it to buy expensive gifts you cannot pay back at the end of the month. It might seem like a small monthly payment but it will add up over time.
Borrowing money from other people
One option you might be thinking about is borrowing money from other people. More than the fact that this will not help you stay out of debt, borrowing money from people could put you in a difficult situation. This is true especially if you reach out to family and friends and borrow money from them.
Borrowing money from people close to you is a big gamble. It’s because you run the risk of damaging your relationship with that person in case you fail to pay back the money. And because you know them, you could be too easy on yourself in case you cannot meet your payment date. You could end up not paying the money back on time.
Make sure that if you do borrow money from people around you, pay them back on time.
Skipping important payments
This does not only refer to money you borrow now but all your other financial obligations you incurred in the past. In a bid to pay back what you borrow now, you might think you can just simply skip payments you have been regularly making in the past. You believe this will free up some money now so you can meet your current payments. Adweek even shared that more than 1 in 3 Americans missed a Buy Now Pay Later payment.
What you are doing is delaying the inevitable. Plus, you could easily get into trouble with all the interest and fees added to your monthly bill. The longer you don’t meet your payment obligations, the higher your additional payments will become. Not to mention that it can also lower your credit score. This can give you a more difficult time getting credit in the future.
Opening new lines of credit
You need to be very careful when you open new lines of credit. If you are trying to stay out of debt, this decision is similar to a tight-rope act. You need to carefully balance the pros and cons of opening credit. There are times when it makes a lot of sense. Say you are trying to consolidate your debt by opening a 0% card. This can help you manage your patent better.
But if you are going to open a new line of credit just so you have money for Valentine’s date, you better think things through. There is a good chance that you can have a great time celebrating the event but you end up in deeper debt after. You might not even enjoy your celebration knowing that you have to pay back a huge amount after.
It is challenging to stay out of debt when there are special occasions but you can still celebrate without getting into debt.