The best time to show your love for someone is all the time, regardless of the time of year or your financial situation. Whether you’re celebrating familial love, romantic love, platonic love, or anything in between, little acts of affection go a long way. And luckily, there are plenty of ways you can show love without spending money on things like fancy gifts and expensive dinners.
As the Beatles so aptly put it, “can’t buy me love.” Here are 10 ways to do just that:
1. Make a photo book or collage.
Print out your favorite pictures of you and your loved one and let your creative juices flow. It’s always great to open up a scrapbook or look at a collage to keep a tangible hold of good memories!
Photo by Justin Follis
2. Or go digital, and edit a video.
If you’re more of a digital creative, try editing together a fun video that shows them you care. Whether you want to star in the video or make it all about them is up to you. Free editing software abounds on the Internet, and if you need an editing crash course, you can find tutorials online as well.
3. Send them on a scavenger hunt.
Write riddles or clues on slips of paper and hide them in various locations (perhaps inside your home, or in the neighborhood you met in, or at your favorite date spot). Your loved one will have to guess the answer to each clue in order to find the next one.
4. Curate a personal playlist for them.
Are there tons of songs out there that remind you of a special someone? Or do you know that person so well that you can line up a whole playlist of songs they’ll go crazy over? Either way, curating a playlist on Spotify or Soundcloud is completely free and a wonderful way to show them you care.
5. Stay in for a cozy movie night.
Bonus points if you make a cool pillow fort. Oh — and let them pick the movie(s)!
6. Offer up a service or favor (and actually follow through).
Lift some weight off their shoulders by checking an item off their to-do list. If you want to go the extra mile, wake up early and complete that task so it’s done before they’ve even started their day. You could also consider offering a professional service for free. Can you design a logo for their website or draft a budget for their upcoming project? What might seem like a mundane skill or task for you could go a long way for someone else!
7. Take them on a romantic hike.
Pick a park and get moving! You can never go wrong with a walk through beautiful scenery.
8. Write something nice for them.
It could be a love letter, a haiku, an inside joke...just make sure to handwrite it. With a pen and paper. Now is the time to brush up on those cursive skills you haven’t used since fifth grade.
9. Do an impromptu photoshoot.
You don’t even need a fancy camera for this. A smartphone will do just fine. Take some creative pictures of your loved one and watch as their confidence skyrockets.
10. Dance together.
Turn up the music and let the good times roll. Dancing is a fantastic way to forge connections with people and to tell them you care — without using any words at all.
Cecilia is a freelance writer and contributor to Slow North. She writes largely about sustainability, especially as it applies to beauty, wellness, and the future of technology. She is a graduate of the journalism department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and is based in Los Angeles, CA.