Roses are red, violets are blue. A gift other than flowers for you?
And one that will help you and your significant other save money? Yes, please!
According to the National Retail Federation nearly three quarters of Americans felt that celebrating Valentine’s Day was important in 2021, which means most of us will probably be making a plan for 2022’s heart holiday as well. We know you want to give the perfect gift (as we all do) so this year, why not consider one that will show your love AND help you save money together — all the while enjoying the happiness of the holiday.
Here’s a roundup of some of our favorite gift ideas that will do just that.
Plant a Garden Together
“If you have the space, even a small plot of dirt, then there is no better way to spend time together and save on your food budget than planting a garden together,” says Tabby Duncan, CEO of Growing Greene Accounting. Growing your own food is such a healthy way to help you save on your food budget and spend quality time together. In the long run you will have vegetables, fruits, or herbs to cook along with exercising your green thumbs. If you don’t have the space or even a green thumb for that matter, consider Click and Grow, a self-watering garden. It’s perfect for small spaces and can easily fit on your kitchen countertop.
Give a Costco Membership (+ stock up on wine)
Especially for wine lovers, a Costco Membership can help you save a bundle on wine and other items bought in bulk, says Duncan. A basic yearly membership begins at $60. “With one wine case purchase at Costco, I made back the amount I spent on my membership in price discounts vs. purchasing wine from a grocery store,” says Duncan. “My husband and I love to sit by our fire pit and share a bottle of wine together,” she says. After a long work week, catching up with each other and sipping a glass of something delicious makes for an effortless and economical date night — no expensive trip to the wine store necessary. And in the long run, not only will a Costco membership save you money on future date nights, it’s also fun to just peruse the aisles together, checking out what’s new. (Just maybe avoid that sparkly case of diamonds if you’re trying to save $$$.)
Give Camping Gear
If you and your partner are outdoorsy, or just up for a little adventure, the gift of camping gear can ensure you’re able to take some quality vacations together without ever needing to pay for a night in a hotel. “You will have to front an initial investment for the appropriate gear needed such as a tent, sleeping bags, heaters, utensils, lanterns, and hiking boots,” says Duncan, “but the return of paying for a campsite for a few nights will cost a fraction of the cost of a hotel.”
Once you’ve got the gear, you’ll have U.S. state parks at your disposable, which are known for their reasonable campsite costs, and for most, you don’t even need to make a reservation. For more outdoor travel adventures, consider the U.S. Park Pass, which will run you $80 for the year, and will cover the entrance and day-use fees to over 2,000 federal recreation sites across the country. There’s certainly no cheaper and better place than the great outdoors to disconnect from tech, connect with your loved one, and enjoy the canopy of the constellations in the night sky.
A Pair of Electric Bikes
An electric bicycle can be the perfect gift for a loved one who loves adventure and exercise. “If you can front the initial cost of an electric bike or two, riding around town is such a fun and free activity to do together,” says Duncan. Why not cancel the gym membership this year and embark on fun new adventures with electric bikes? Another plus is that if you’re tired after a long ride, just hit the throttle, and power yourself home, she says. If you can also forgo the four wheels of a car if your commute isn’t too far, saving you thousands each month on gas, car payments, and insurance.
Give the Gift of Meeting with a Financial Advisor
“A gift that will help your loved one save the most money in the long run is the gift of meeting with a financial advisor,” says Elizabeth Bishop, Practice Leader for Women’s Wealth Connection for WA Asset Management. A financial planner can help you look at everything from retirement plans to college savings plans to investments and beyond, helping you nail down money-saving goals and helping you reach them, says Bishop. “The initial investment of meeting with a financial planner is negligible and well worth it considering the money you will save in the long run,” she says. Many clients, especially women, have expressed the feeling of freedom of having a plan of action with their money goals after the initial meeting, she says. “Setting up the meeting and giving your time to go with your partner is really romantic when you are thinking about your futures together,” she says. The gift of a financial plan is a gift that continues to give.
Opening (or contributing to) a 529 College Savings Plan
Another great gift that you can both appreciate is a donation to a child’s 529 plan. “In my household, we ask the grandparents to spend half of what they had planned on a toy for the kids and donate the other half to our kids’ college savings plans,” says Bishop. The benefit of giving to a child’s college plan is that for anyone who contributes to this plan, their gift is tax deductible, which is a nice little bonus for the giver. Not only would this be a great gift to grandchildren, it’s also a gift to parents who are hoping to save more for their kids’ education. Typically, it’s as easy as sending a link via email for others to donate, she says. Just beware that once you make a contribution, it becomes the account owner’s money, and can only be used for school-related expenses such as tuition and room and board.
Give a Money Book
Valentine’s Day (and any holiday for that matter) is the perfect time to give a good book. What better than a money book. Here are our personal favorites. And if you’re looking for the latest money book coming to a bookstore near you soon, then consider a pre-order of Jean and Kathryn’s new book, How to Money, Your Ultimate Visual Guide to the Basics of Finance. It will ship in May of 2022.
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