Entertainment, Health and Lifestyle

10 Ways to Say ‘I Love You’ That Don’t Cost a Dime

Long ago in my stupid days, I went nuts with credit cards. I ran up a six-figure debt over a 12-year period. I did pay all of it back plus interest and fees, and it was anything but easy. I’m still shocked and embarrassed I let it happen.

The funny thing is I didn’t make any really huge purchases. I didn’t max out a $10,000 credit limit with a single purchase or anything that extravagant. It was just a constant accumulation of smaller purchases exposed to double-digit interest rates and sloppy money management. The truth is I five- and ten-dollared myself and my family into a kind of financial death.

In love, it’s the little things that add up, too. But in a good way. Sure, the big efforts are appreciated, but quite frankly, it’s the little day-to-day things we do that make a difference.

I’m not going to discourage you from buying your beloved flowers or making his favorite meal and serving it by candlelight in the bedroom. Not me! But I do have a few suggestions for things you can do that will score big in the “Little Things Do Count” department.

No. 1: Get the kids dressed so your spouse can spend an hour in the bathroom by herself. Tell her at least a little bit ahead of time so she can enjoy the anticipation as well.

No. 2: In an uncharacteristic move, take out the trash even though you’ve received no reminder and there’s still a little room left. Repeat often.

No. 3: Clean up, fix or install whatever it is you’ve been promising but haven’t gotten around to. Write up your intention in a gift certificate indicating the estimated date of completion.

No. 4: Tuck a love note into his pocket when he’s not looking that tells him you can’t wait to see him tonight.

No. 5: While he’s in the shower, write a mushy note on the mirror with lipstick or a dry-erase marker.

No. 6: Go to a fancy card shop and read valentine messages to each other. Go for the poetry and sonnets. The more romantic, the better.

No. 7: Hand over rights to the remote control for one entire week. Put it in writing.

No. 8: Leave a recording of “your” song as a voicemail. If you don’t have a song, Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful to Me” is bound to get some attention. Hint: Slydial is a voice messaging service that connects you directly to someone’s mobile voicemail. Pretty sly, huh? It’s free in exchange to listening to a short ad. Dial 267-759-3425 from any landline or mobile phone. At the voice prompt, enter the U.S. mobile phone number of the person you want to slydial. You will be directly connected to the person’s voicemail. Leave a voicemail, then sit back and relax.

No. 9: Make arrangements with a neighbor, friends or relatives to take the kids so you can have a romantic night alone.

No. 10: Write a history of your romance and courtship in the third-person and tuck this special valentine under her pillow.

There you go — 10 ideas for how you can celebrate this season of love without breaking the bank. Don’t see anything that appeals to you? That’s OK. At least I got you thinking about it.

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Mary Hunt

Mary invites you to visit her at EverydayCheapskate.com, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/contact/, "Ask Mary." Tips can be submitted at tips.everydaycheapskate.com/ . This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."

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