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I’m Cheap. I’m Still A Good Husband.

I am cheap.  There, I said it.  I do not split two-ply toilet paper into multiple rolls, but I do save money anywhere I possibly can and try not to spend money on excessive pointless items.  Luckily, my wife knew that coming into our marriage and were ok with this lifestyle.  We save money on a lot of the small things so we can afford to spend on items/experiences we are passionate about and live in an area that is great to raise our daughter.  As a result, I have not purchased jewelry since our wedding bands seven years ago…. and yes, I am still happily married!

Jewelry commercials have it all wrong.  They show the wife/girlfriend receiving a nice piece of jewelry and then the couple embraces and seemingly lives happily ever after.  In reality, a large gift given to your spouse will get you some temporary brownie points but it takes a lot more than a once a year Christmas gift to create a happy marriage.  If you could afford to buy jewelry weekly, then your spouse would become numb to the excitement of receiving the gift and dismiss the meaning of the gesture altogether.  So instead of buying something to represent the gesture, focus on the gesture completely.  Given that, and the fact that I am cheap, I use free or next to free ways to show my love on a more frequent basis and have a very happy marriage because of it.  The next time you are considering buying something for your spouse, try one of these free and fun gestures instead:

Let your spouse know you are thinking about them with these FIVE FREE (or near free) ideas:

  • The Googles:  Take a few minutes to open 5-10 windows on your computer each containing a fun Google search.  It can be silly or romantic, just make sure to glance at the results to check for any potential get me in the dog house listings. Leave these windows open for your spouse to find later.  More Detail
  • Sticky Note Sendoff: If you travel or just want to leave a sweet reminder that you love them before you go to work, grab a stack of sticky notes and a pen!  Write and draw a bunch of fun sayings and pictures on the sticky notes and place them in random parts of the house before your spouse wakes up.  I do this when I know I will be gone before she wakes up so when she finds them she is reminded that I was thinking of her!  More Detail
  • Save Time and Do Video Text:  When you are away from your spouse and feel the need to text to check in, record a quick 10 second video instead and send that to her.  It is actually faster than texting in many cases and doing this small extra step will show just how much she means to you.  It works! More Detail (includes guide and real examples)
  • Send a Card: This one is not free, but worth way more than what it costs! When you are staying overnight away from your spouse, take a quick picture of yourself in the plane, hotel, or somewhere that shows you are away and send her a card via an app. The cards are customizable and cost only a few dollars to send. Even better is that once you hit send, the card is printed and sent without you having to do anything. Your spouse will love it! I use “Ink” on the iPad. Even if the card gets there after you return, it is still worth it.  More Detail (don’t Brett Favre it)
  • Scavenger Hunt:  This one is one of my tried and true favorites.  On a day that she is not expecting it, set up a scavenger hunt for her with a prize at the end.  Make small handwritten cards using notecards that contain clues for the next piece.  I have done them where she just walks around the house, and others where she goes across town; both were effective and fun!  This can be free, but I would suggest adding a treasure at the end that she/he will enjoy like a massage, a shopping spree, or that special item they have been wanting.  This will guarantee a lot of excitement the next time you do the hunt for them!  I do not have an additional post about this, but I did write about how I had a hilarious mishap doing it this past Valentine’s Day!  Funny Here

Other great ideas from MyDailyMark readers:

  • Ron L. says: Funday Sunday!  “We like staying in bed late on Sundays. We take turns preparing for breakfast in bed. Usually there is a movie on the tube.”  Pick a day and make it your day.  Make it a set time and day so that you both know that time is blocked out.
  • Wes B. says: Order of Operation!I always get up first, make coffee and bring her a cup in bed. Then she makes breakfast.”  Start off everyday by doing something nice for your spouse.  It’s hard to be anything but grateful for someone that brings you coffee in bed!
  • Felicia P. says: Being Sweet is Literally Sweet!  “I love to clean my husband’s car before he comes home from a trip. Sometimes I will write “I Love U” on Lifesavers (our favorite candy) and slip it in his suitcase. We light a candle when we eat together to enjoy the moment.”  Small random gestures add up in a relationship.  Never miss an opportunity to create a WOW relationship moment!

Take Action Today

Each of the ideas listed above only take a few minutes to an hour to do and will create excitement in your relationship.  Start out by sending your spouse a video text while you are away today.  It is the easiest to do and will be very impactful.  Then work on incorporating the others into your relationship.

Join the conversation!  If you do something unique and fun for your spouse, leave it in the comments below!

  • Melanie on March 22, 2015

    I absolutely love this post. Even though I have to say, my hubby could not afford athe engagement ring I picked out when we We’re getting engaged. He had one customer made that was a fraction of the cost. Our first valentine’s day as a married couple he ordered dinner in, set up candlelight dinner and proposed to me again with that ring. I think itshould about knowing your spouse. He buys me roses from time to time, not a dozen but one single rose. A lot more bug friendly.

    Like I said I loved your post in ideas on how to keep it budget friendly yet still wow your spouse.

    • Mark on March 24, 2015

      Thanks Melanie! I love the single rose idea. Budget friendly and bug free….. can’t beat that!

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