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"Love keeps the cold out better than a cloak." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

With all of the turmoil in our nation, it's a good idea to save money wherever possible. Anything can happen.

Truth be told, of course -- I'm usually in favor of saving money no MATTER the occasion, which is part of why we're so ruthless on behalf of our clients.

With Valentine's Day coming up (Tuesday the 14th), I thought I'd help my clients and friends make some romance magic, but do it in a way that saves them cash.Yes, America -- you can still be romantic on a budget.

Of course, I should add a disclaimer: "Results not guaranteed."

So, instead of the tired old "flowers, candy and chocolate" [boring!], here are a few of my favorite modest (and occasionally tongue-in-cheek) suggestions for a sizzling Valentine's ... one that won't torch your wallet!

The Video Greeting: With all of the the video tools out there these days, it's never been simpler to create a heartfelt message of love for your sweetie. Then, post it to YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, SnapFace or whatever other platform you choose! Um, just be sure to make that video setting to "private" unless you want to share with the world your undying love for your honey (hopefully with all your clothes on).

The Hopeless Singer/Artist Method: I hear this one works well. Even if you can't sing, your valentine will give you kudos for the effort. (Ask me how I know about that one.) 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 smartphone) 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 otherwise artistically 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.

And, of course, you can COMBINE the previous two suggestions for even more romance sizzle.

The Surprise Mid-Day Outing: 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 (borrow them). 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. With snow outside, you could stomp out the message and fill in the letters with spray paint or flower petals or rocks.  Without snow, you can use sidewalk chalk to write a message to your sweetie.

Wait a minute, you say? I should stick to taxes?

Fair enough. See below, then.

Pat O'Hara
(845) 242-2151

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