Celebrating Valentine’s Day on a College Budget

By Victoria Robertson on February 7, 2018

It’s already February, and that means it’s time for one of the most anticipated/dreaded holidays of the year: Valentine’s Day. As college students, we may vary in how we feel about this holiday, but we can all agree that if we’re joining in the festivities, then we’re celebrating on a budget.

I know, how unromantic right? Well, celebrating Valentine’s Day on a college budget can actually be a lot of fun, so long as you put some time and effort into planning it right. So whether you’re spending the day with your roomies or a significant other, here are six ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day on a College Budget.

Photo Via: Pixabay.com

1. Movie Marathon

My personal favorite, hosting a movie marathon on Valentine’s Day is fitting to any budget and gives you the freedom to be as sappy (or not) as you want. I have friends that host a marathon where everyone brings their favorite rom-com, and others that host a scary movie marathon every Valentine’s Day.

No matter your personal preferences/attitude towards the holiday, a movie marathon is the perfect way for you to get together with friends, loved ones, or enjoy your own company this Valentine’s Day.

2. Fondue Dinner

If you’re looking to be a little more celebratory this Valentine’s Day, you can always host a fondue dinner. If you’re doing this, each person in attendance can bring over a favorite snack to dip and you can supply the chocolate (or cheese, or oil, depending on what kind of fondue you’re interested in having).

This can be a great idea for a group or a romantic night in with your significant other. No matter your plans, fondue is always a winning idea. So plan ahead, shop those sales and don’t break the bank!

3. Gift Exchange

While this is something typically used around Christmas time, gift exchanges can be a great way to make sure that no one feels left out on Valentine’s Day. If you have a group of single friends, have them over, drink some wine (if you’re of age, of course!) and do a secret-Santa type gift exchange for Valentine’s Day.

Based on your budget, you can set a price limit on gifts and each person brings a gift for someone specific or for a grab-bag exchange. You can go the extra mile and use themed gifts (humor, candy, etc.) to make the party exactly how you want it.

4. Relaxed Night In

There is something extremely underrated about a night in on Valentine’s Day. For one thing, it’s on a Wednesday this year. Literally mid-week. So, if you aren’t big on the holiday to begin with, this makes it much harder to get excited about it.

So, rather than making this big deal, plan a relaxed night-in with your closest friends where you can do whatever you want. You can play some board games, watch some TV, listen to music and gossip – whatever you want.

Sure, it’s the sweetheart holiday, but there’s nothing wrong with staying in and enjoying it with the friends that you’re closest to.

5. Day-After Sale

I know a few people that don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day until February 15th, also known as “half off chocolate day.” That’s right, by this point, stores are typically putting those sweet treats on sale since the holiday has passed, so it’s the perfect time for college students on a budget to stock up.

If this is your type of party, wait until the day after, grab all your favorites and pig out! It may not be “traditional,” but I can promise you’re going to have a blast! And you definitely won’t break the bank on this one.

6. Free, Local Options

Finally, many students forget to take advantage of those local options that don’t cost you a dime. When you’re on a college campus especially, there are plenty of free shows and events that you can attend on Valentine’s Day.

Maybe your college is putting on a play or musical, or maybe there’s this local bar with live bands that you can check out. The bottom line is, take a look at the events going on around you, because there is bound to be one on Valentine’s Day that you should take advantage of. So run a quick google search and I’m sure you’ll find something that’s low cost and piques your interest!

Just because you are on a college budget doesn’t mean that you have to skimp when it comes to your Valentine’s Day plans. Use one of these six ideas, a combination of all of them or let them inspire you to create your own.

A budget isn’t the end of the world, and your Valentine’s Day will be just fine with a little pre-planning.

So get started on your planning and Happy Valentine’s Day! Enjoy those candy hearts!

Victoria is a dedicated writer who graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She currently writes freelance pieces for various sites and works in Marketing for Myndbee Inc., promoting their current mobile app, Picpal.

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