Not about the money, all about the love

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JEREMY JESSLEY TAN, RFP

“The real lover is the man who can thrill you just by touching your head or smiling into your eyes—or just by staring into space.”
—Marilyn Monroe

Ah, Valentine’s Day! It’s the day when we splurge for our special someone to make him or her feel well, more special. Valentine’s Day may be the only time we buy the most beautiful flowers to honor our significant other or even our family.

I tried to recall the last time I did something special for my wife on Valentine’s Day. Embarrassingly, I couldn’t think of anything in recent years. Don’t get me wrong, I love my wife, it’s just that well, everything is expensive on this day! Flowers cost double or even triple the regular price (though my wife’s not too big on the flowers thing). Restaurants offer expensive Valentine’s Day packages, and to get there you have to deal with horrible traffic that can just break your romantic mood.

Knowing how expensive it can be to go out on dates during this day, I asked some friends from my Facebook account to share some pocket-friendly suggestions for your February 14 date.


Home is where the magic happens. Not surprisingly, a number of my friends recommended dates at home. Restaurant dinners on Valentine’s Day would usually set you back at least P1,000. Of course the advantage of having a restaurant date is that you don’t have to worry about anything other than your date. But if you are the type who doesn’t mind making preparations, you can save a lot having a romantic, candlelit, home-cooked dinner date at home with slow, soothing music in the background. You can also cap the night with wine while watching a nice movie. In case you are not the cooking type and your date is not much into a romantic setting, ordering pizza and having beer over a marathon of your favorite TV series could be a cheap but hassle-free way of spending Valentine’s.

A personal touch makes the day more special. Flower prices on Valentine’s Day are sky high. It’s usually double or even triple the regular price. You can always find a nice gift at the mall, but nothing could be more special than a do-it-yourself surprise for your special someone. Instead of real flowers, learning the art of origami and creating a bouquet of folded flowers may cost you a whole lot of effort, but it is far less expensive and your efforts could be all the more appreciated. Expressing yourself through the traditional V-day cards sent via courier to add to the surprise may also be an option.

Learning together is growing together. An interesting suggestion I got from Facebook is taking cooking classes together on Valentine’s Day. I thought it’s a great way to bond while learning new things as a couple. At the same time, you get to learn more about each other’s attitude toward new things. Price-wise it might be a bit more expensive than a dinner, but what you learn can go a long way into growing your relationship.

Celebrate early or late. Celebrating earlier or after February 14 might just save you time and money. Flowers are cheaper, restaurants still offer the same ambience for cheaper menus, and traffic won’t be as bad. Valentine’s Day may be the day that reminds us to celebrate our relationships, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate any other day like we do on Valentine’s. Surprise your special someone by making February 14 just like any other day and send her flowers a day or two after. Chances are, only she gets flowers on this day, which may make her feel all the more special.

Over the past few years I’ve learned that building and nurturing relationships is one key to a happier life. And relationships shouldn’t be built around the amount of gifts we give or receive nor the expensive experiences we share. Great relationships are built around love and care. Happy Valentine’s Day to all.

Jeremy Jessley Tan is a Registered Financial Planner of RFP Philippines. Attend the 40th RFP Program on February 25, 2017. To register, e-mail info@rfp.ph or text <name><e-mail><RFP> at 0917-9689774.

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