It’s the month of love. Thank you, St. Valentine!

I’m not sure about you, but when February rolls around, my pocketbook is seriously lacking funds. With Christmas just having passed and three kids’ birthdays in early February, the week of Valentine’s Day sneaks up on us. More often than not, there are no flowers or candies or other sweet treats. Sometimes, a date is in order, but some years, we can’t swing that either.

All of this doesn’t mean that we don’t love each other or that we boycott V-Day. Nope. We get creative and find ways to say, I love you, without breaking the bank.

6 Ways to Say I love You When Your Wallet is Empty

Here are 6 Ways to Say I Love You when the budget won’t budge!

#1 — Have a movie night in.

First, get the kids fed and in bed early (or at least on time).

Turn off all the lights and snuggle on the couch to watch a movie you’ve both been wanting to see or grab your all time favorite couple movie. Pop some popcorn and enjoy the closeness of your honey!

We don’t have a TV in our bedroom, and haven’t in years, but if you do, you could move movie night to the bedroom–there are bonuses to that, too! 😉

I found this post about having a t.v. in your bedroom to be really helpful. While we still don’t have an actual t.v. in our room, the hubs figured out that we could hook the old Roku up to his work monitor. Woo-hoo!



#2 — Leave a SHMILY.

Years ago, an old evangelist came to our little country church. He told a story about how he and his wife SHMILYed one another. He explained that it stood for “See how much I love you.”

The gist of SHMILYing one another is that you leave a SHMILY for the one another to discover. I’ve found SHMILYs in my coffee cup, my sock drawer, my Bible, my shoes, just to name a few. I’ve left SHMILYs for my hubs in the condensation on the bathroom mirror, in his suitcase, in his t-shirt drawer, and by his razor. It really doesn’t matter how life is going or how frustrated you may be at one another, a SHMILY always, always brings a smile and a warm fuzzy!

SHMILY - 6 Ways to Say I Love You
An actual SHMILY from the hubby!

We’ve been SHMILYing one another for years, but I never realized that there was an actual story behind SHMILY. Out of curiosity, I did a Google search and found Laura’s story about her grandparents. I was delighted to find and read the original SHMILY story! Check it out, and start SHMILYing one another–today!

#3 — Give massages.

I’m not an expert, but massages are definitely a way to connect with your spouse at a deeper level. Check out Sheila’s post HERE on the how and why to make massage part of your married life!

#4 — Splurge for some chocolate and cheap wine or sparkling grape juice.

After you get the kids settled, find a quiet, romantic place and share your favorite chocolate and wine or grape juice. Break out the wine glasses even if you opt for the grape juice. There’s just something about drinking out of fancy glasses. 😉 My personal chocolate choice would be either Dove Dark chocolate or Ghirardelli 86% dark.



#5 — Have a Dinner Date.

After you get the kids settled, have a dinner for two.

Be sure to prepare his favorite meal. Make it fancy by using your wedding china that you never use. Dress up and be beautiful for your love! Take time to enjoy your dinner without interruptions (if you have big kids, put them on guard to ward off any interruptions.) Sit and laugh and feel free to linger just a bit!

**For more date night in ideas, check out this post from Frugal Confessions and this post from Pint-Sized Treasures!

#6 — Make A Card.

Some years we have bought one another actual Valentine cards, but the most memorable ones are the ones we have created ourselves. From Chris, usually, it’s a poem or a note about how much he treasures me. From me, it’s usually a card I’ve created just for him. The beauty in this is that it’s free, and it always reflects your heart.



It doesn’t have to be expensive and grand.

The truth is, there’s lots of hype concerning Valentine’s Day, and we feel the pressure to buy something amazing, to make it the special-ist of all. It’s a lot of pressure. And if I’m not careful, I let the commercialism and the things I see others getting make me resentful that we can’t do all of those things.

In truth, it’s not about all the grand things. It’s about how devoted I am to my husband. It’s about showing him that I love him and that I’d rather be with him than anyone else on this earth. Proving those things don’t take lots of money. They do take time and thought, but they do not have to drive us to overdrafting the checking account or maxing out credit cards.

If you are in a season of frugalness or being broke, take heart, you can still say I love you even when your wallet is empty!

6 Ways to Say I Love You When Your Wallet is Empty

Wishing you the happiest Valentine’s Day!


Brina Lynn

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