As many people try to recover financially from Christmas and New Year expenses, others are now preparing for the next holiday; Valentine's Day. In February 2012, the National Retail Federation published the results of a survey that showed Americans were projected to spend $17.6 billion on the lover's holiday. With the average person spending $126.03 on gifts.
My husband and I have always celebrated Valentine's Day, and this year will be no different. I started shopping early because I'm working on a tight budget. Here are some of the ways I'm going to celebrate Valentine's Day in 2013.
Gift for my husband
After looking over our finances, my husband and I decided to set a spending limit for Valentine's Day gifts. In the end, we decided it was best if we both spent $40 or less. Since I started shopping right after the new year, I was able to get a good deal on a gift I know he will love. He is an avid hunter, so I got him a gun vice for his workbench, which will help him maintain and clean his weapons. The vice was originally priced at $60, but I got it on sale for $30, which is a 50% discount. The best part is it was under our spending limit.
Gift for our dog
According to the National Retail Federation's survery, the average person was projected to spend $4.52 on their pets for Valentine's Day in 2012. While I don't remember what I spent on my dog last year, I'm sure it was more than $4.52. This year I plan to purchase a new red leash and collar set for $11, a toy for $3, and one of her favorite sausage link treats for $1. In all I will have spent around $15 on my dog's Valentine's Day gifts.
Since Valentine's Day falls on a Thursday in 2013, I know it'll be up to me to fix us our holiday dinner. This year I'm keeping it simple with a pasta, chicken, and alfredo sauce dish. The pasta will cost me $1 for two pounds, the chicken chunks will cost me $6, and the alfredo sauce will cost $2 for a 12 ounce jar. That means we will have a nice dinner for just $9.
All told, I will spend $54 on Valentine's Day this year, which means I'm spending around $72 less than what average Americans were projected to spend in 2012.
*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.More from this contributor: First Person: The 4 Things That Bust My Budget
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