Because many people hold firm to the idea that romance means extravagant items and sweeping gestures, it’s not unusual for budget constraints to put a serious damper on your love life. What you should know is this: even if you have all of the money in the world, it’s the little, inexpensive things that often mean the most. If you want to put the spark back into your relationship, you can accomplish the task on a dime.
Here are five ways to show your partner that you care without breaking the bank:
The next time you’re out and about with your partner, save a little memento of the day. You can save a wine cork from the bottle you shared in the park, the receipt from your lunch or even the ticket stub from the afternoon matinee. Wait for a week or two and slip the item into an envelope and include a little note detailing what a good time you had and how much the day meant to you. Slip it into her purse or bag so that she will find it during the day; you’ll score huge points for this thoughtful gesture. Ladies: This tip will work equally well for the man in your life.
A pack of Post-It Notes will cost you less than five dollars and provide you months of romantic opportunity. If you leave for work before your partner is up and moving, leave him a sticky note on the bathroom mirror. If you know your partner is working on a difficult project at work, leave a few notes of encouragement on a sticky note in her lunch bag. Your notes don’t have to be profound words of love, but a simple greeting or sentiment. Leave stickies on the bathroom mirror, the steering wheel of your partner’s car or even inside a shoe. Your colorful notes are sure to make your loved one smile.
3. A Day Off
One of the nicest things that you can do for your partner is to give him or her a day off. While it’s not as romantic as flowers or sparkling jewelry, a day off to spend lost in favorite hobbies or relaxing in bed will mean just as much, if not more, to your partner. If you are the kind of couple who has settled into a routine of jobs, give yours the day off and do his or her jobs in addition to your own. For example, if your husband spends Sunday afternoons cutting the grass, pulling weeds and cleaning gutters, do it for him. If your wife spend her Saturdays scrubbing toilets, vacuuming carpets and cooking dinner for the family, do it all for her.
4. Printed T-Shirts
Do you and your partner have a favorite saying? Do you laugh about a quirky or awkward date that you had at the beginning of your relationship? Get online and create a custom T-shirt for your partner. Better yet, create a pair of shirts that have special meaning for the two of you. Your shirts can commemorate a special occasion, illustrate an inside joke or display a loved pet. No matter what you type of wording or details you choose to include on your shirt, your partner will love that you took the time to design clothing just for him or her.
5. Solo Interests
It’s not unusual for people in relationships to have their own interests. What is unusual is for people in relationships to spend time with their partner doing something that they don’t share a passion for. If your wife has dreamed of taking cooking lessons, buy a recipe book, download a video, buy some groceries and hold your own class in the kitchen. If your husband has longed for golfing lessons, borrow some clubs from a friend, buy a box of golf balls and head to that empty field down the street. You don’t have to buy your partner expensive lessons to support his or her dreams; get creative and hold lessons of your own.
It’s not unusual for couples who’ve been in a relationship for a number of years to forget how to wine and dine each other, or to let romance slip by the wayside due to budget woes. Showing your partner that you care doesn’t have to be expensive, it just needs to be creative. If you follow the tips above, you and your partner may just fall in love with each other all over again.
Amie Gottschalk is an avid blogger. You can follow her on Twitter @amiegottschalk.