Updated 23 December 2013

In love and broke?

Have you recently met the love of your life, but your finances are not what they could have been? You would like to show the new person in your life that you really care.

Have you recently met the love of your life, but your finances are not what they could have been? Has this become one of those months where there is a lot of month left at the end of the money? You would like to show the new person in your life that you really care, but a large gift and a night out on the town is simply impossible.

Don’t despair – there are many things you can do with very little money, a bit of effort and lots of imagination. Things that will make you look like a real romantic – maybe even more so than champagne, red roses and an expensive night out.

Making presents
This is a lot easier than it sounds. Don't think just because you're not a professional artist you cannot make something really beautiful.

Trinket triumph. Go to a bead shop where you can buy lovely beads with which to make a necklace or bracelet for less than R10.

Go potty. Paint an old plant pot in a bright enamel paint (Small tins of paint retail at about R18) and repot a plant from your garden.

Light up her life. Make a special candle. A packet of plain white candles costs less than R4 and everything else you need you will probably have in the house (Like string ). Look on the Internet for definite instructions on how to go about this.

Become a card carrier. Make a little set of redeemable cards on which you offer your time and effort. Write things like:

  • feeding your cat when you go on a business trip
  • giving a half hour massage, a dinner voucher (when the finances have improved)
  • running five errands
  • washing up when it is not my turn
  • sex even if I am really tired
  • inviting your parents for lunch
  • Get romantic. Write a poem yourself, or photocopy a collection of your favourite love poems and put them in a cardboard folder tied with a red ribbon.

    Plan an original evening out:

    Get moving. Drive somewhere beautiful and watch the sun set. It is still summer after all and even if you're not close to a beach, there are beautiful places all over the country.

    What's cooking? Invite your loved one for a home-cooked meal and really cook it yourself. (No Mr Delivery). You do not have to spend a fortune on ingredients. Roast chicken and vegetables will be more than adequate. Use candles and red ribbons to decorate the table.

    Go the freebie route. Find out if there are free or low-cost outside concerts anywhere. Take a picnic with you.

    Picnic pleasure. Go for a walk somewhere beautiful and take champagne and glasses with you.(And a blanket!)

    Go the romantic route. Rent a really romantic video – not a tear jerker, but a real feelgooder.

    Sandy shores. A picnic on the beach with wine, rolls and chocolate should not cost you an arm and a leg.

    Go back to your roots.Go back to the place where you met. This is always a romantic thing to do, unless you met on a factory floor or a queue at the traffic department.

    Most people prefer a gift or an evening that took time, effort and careful planning rather than wilted overpriced roses, a rushed dinner in an overcrowded restaurant – both of which were organized by the secretary. You should not have to spend a fortune to make someone feel special. If this is expected of you, maybe you should rethink the relationship. Do you really want to be in a relationship with someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing? – (Susan Erasmus, Health24)

    Read more:
    Avoid these on a first date
    Any questions? Ask our sexologist


    Read Health24’s Comments Policy

    Comment on this story
    Comments have been closed for this article.

    Live healthier

    Looking younger »

    Can maple leaves help you look younger?

    New research has found that maple leaf extract can help you look years younger.

    Killer foods »

    Wild mushrooms a 'silent killer'

    Health practitioners are warning people to stay away from wild mushrooms.