Love on a Budget: How College Couples Spend Valentine's Day

Love may be in the air, but the money is not.

Stores are packed with teddy bears, chocolates, meaningful cards, and much more. Places like spas, restaurants, and even oil-changing stations are offering specials and deals, with hopes of attracting couples looking to spend the day together.

A to Zen, a massage therapy experience, has a Couples Salt Room special for $24, which usually goes for $50, available on Groupon. There are also destruction rooms available for couples to relieve their tension, priced at $29 per session. With all of these things available, will college couples be utilizing them? Many women will be gifted with flowers and jewelry, but for those on a budget, such as college students, how will their time and money be spent?

Thankfully, for A&T students, there are a few budget-friendly alternatives. The Student Government Association is hosting a movie night, showing the movie Love and Basketball. If students are interested in supporting Aggie businesses, many students are promoting their products and services, such as chocolate covered strawberries, flowers, personalized mixes, hair extensions, makeup sessions and more.

According to the 2018 National Retail Federation, U.S. consumers spend an average

$162 on Valentine’s Day. For college students though, they may not be able to meet that average, giving that most of their funds are going towards paying college-related expenses. So, how do college couples celebrate the day?

For some, it’s the quality time that matters most.

“I can tell you one thing, I definitely don’t spend as much money as an average person,” Julian Edwards, who has been in a relationship with his partner for eight months, laughed, “me and my girl, we’ll order some Domino’s, Netflix and chill, and call it a day,” Edwards explained. “She doesn’t care about how much something costs, she just wants me by her side the whole day.”

However, others are determined to spend a little bit of money on their partners, even if it is on a budget.

Chris Lyles, who’s been with his girlfriend for 3 years now, shared that he will go above and beyond for his partner. “She’ll get flowers, a nice dinner, chocolates, the whole nine,” Lyles stated. “Around this time of year, there are all kinds of deals going on, so there’s really no excuse to not get your partner anything. I don’t even care to get anything, but it’s the look on her face when she gets all the gifts I’ve given her that really makes me happy.”

Others aren’t able to celebrate the holiday together but still tries to plan it like they are.

Isaiah Garner and his girlfriend Ann are a few hundred miles apart as Isaiah participates in a co-op for the semester. “It’s our first Valentine’s Day and I am definitely on a budget. I try my best to know what she likes a few weeks leading into Valentine’s Day so I can get them for her, so she knows that I’m listening,” Garner said. “Since I’m really far away, I try to let her know that I appreciate her and love her from afar.”

These student couples and their Valentine’s Day plans just go to show that even without a lot of money, you can still have a lovely Valentine's Day.

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