I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
– Thomas Jefferson

This Saturday, there’s a certain holiday to attend to, and I thought I’d give you a little “nudge”. But, since I am a tax professional, after all–I’m going to give you some romance tips “on a budget”! Wives can scoff at this list, and be gratified when their husbands successfully surpass it. And husbands, well I know some are skilled at romance; and others … well, here’s some help!

“Real World” Personal Strategy
Love on a Budget
A Friendly Reminder and Guide To Creating Romance When Times Are Tight!

Alright, it’s no secret that our economy is in tough shape. And whatever your particular financial situation, wouldn’t it be great to create romance “magic” without spending an arm and two legs? So, instead of the tired old “flowers, candy and chocolate” [boring–and expensive!], here’s a few modest and occasionally tongue-in-cheek suggestions for a sizzling Saturday…that won’t torch your wallet!

Be Green – Save Money and the Environment at the Same Time!

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With the economy taking its toll on virtually every industry, even the high-rollers are looking for ways to spend their cash more effectively. One Hollywood studio saved $40,000 on cards and postage by doing e-Cards and videos for all of their clients and friends.

Seem cheap?  Spin it this way – you’re being green by not using snail mail – that’s so 20th century anyway. You’re keeping with the times, utilizing powerful technology and reducing your “footprint” at the same time! What environmentally-conscious woman could resist?!

Make a Video. Reign Over Me on dvd
You can use the video setting on your digital camera, and create a heartfelt message of love for your sweetie. Then, you can post it to YouTube, or another online video-sharing site and send it on! Um, just be sure to make that YouTube setting to “private” unless you want to share with the world your dying love for your honey (hopefully with clothes on!).

Learn a Romantic Song and Sing it to Your Sweetheart.
Well, I’m no singer, so I can’t say I’ve tried this…but I hear it works well. Even better, if you can’t sing, your valentine will give you kudos for the effort! You could step it up by writing an original song and then sing it. Or, for the slightly-less courageous, you could pull a page out of John Cusack’s book in Say Anything and hold a boombox (or iPod) above your head and blare Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes”. That seemed to work.

Not a singer? More of a writer? Or artist? For the artistically and or musically inclined:

– You could pen a poem on nice paper
– or even paint it
– You can paint a picture of your honey. Just be sure it looks good.

The “Mix Tape” (or Playlist).
This is an old standby of high school kids everywhere. Except these days, the “tape” part is a bit less convenient. Instead, make a CD or mp3 playlist of Sweet Love Songs and make a cover list/ liner notes on the memories of you and your honey from the songs. And you can make a Personalized Photo Album using a service like Apple’s iBook service and iPhoto.

Romantic Picnic.

The Square Peg movie download

Surprise your love with a ‘picnic’ in the park, at the beach, or any other outdoor nature spot. If the weather isn’t ideal for outdoors, you could bring the outdoors inside -find a fake palm tree, flowers, sand, beach umbrella, radio, towels. Nothing says “I love you” like fake palm trees!

Write a Message To Be “Stumbled Upon”.

Well, perhaps not *literally* stumbled upon, but try a nice outdoor surprise. If you do have snow outside, you could stomp out the message and fill in the letters with spray paint or flower pedals or rocks.  If there’s no snow, you can use sidewalk chalk to write a message to your sweetie.

You see, anybody can go out and “buy something” – but it takes effort and thoughtfulness to make it personal…and it doesn’t require a lot of money!

Hmmm… perhaps I should limit myself to my true area of expertise–helping you keep the most money in your wallet as allowed under our current tax code! After this week, I’ll leave the romance to the other “experts” out there.

To love and low taxes!