Picture: Pixel2013 / Pixabay

Durban - It's just one more sleep to the most romantic day on earth and if you haven't sorted your plans just yet, here are five tips that won't leave you out of budget while you wine and dine your Valentine. 

“We enjoy spoiling our loved ones and there is nothing wrong with doing that. But we should not spend money that we did not budget for or use credit to buy gifts. You can still enjoy this special day by keeping it simple and there are many creative ways to spoil your loved ones, said Dhashni Naidoo, Programme Manager at FNB.

Plan ahead - Valentine’s Day comes around year after year, one of the great things you could do is to plan and save for it ahead of time. This may also help you purchase your gifts with a clear conscience   knowing you aren’t over extending yourself financially. 

Use your rewards programmes - In these tough times, different companies are helping customers to make their money go further by offering rewards programmes. If you are a member of a reward programme and have points that can be used to purchase gifts or vouchers, rather do that, than using credit for presents. 

Look for specials - During this period, different companies are offering discounts for their in demand products and services.

Consider eating in - Instead of going to a restaurant, why not spoil your partner or family with a home cooked meal, trying new recipes or getting the family involved by doing a cook-off.

Be creative with gifts - We often feel pressure to buy extravagant and expensive gifts. However, in these difficult times, we need to curb expenses on non essential items. Try to make something or find a less expensive activity that you can do with your loved ones, like a picnic. We need to try and avoid buying presents that we cannot afford.      

Naidoo said to stay financially afloat, consumers should pay attention on where their money is going. 

"If  you are one of the people that celebrate Valentine’s Day, it is highly recommended that you plan for this months in advance and save so that you can enjoy the day, without the financial stress, remember it is the thought that counts,” he said. 

The Mercury