10 ways to show you’re committed on Valentine’s Day

The National Retail Foundation just announced Valentine’s Day spending is projected to reach more than $20 billion this year. You can show you’re committed to your significant other without spending a dime. Here are 10 ways from MyBankTracker.com , a financial comparison site.

1. Unite Your Expenses
Living with and sharing the same space with your Valentine isn’t for everyone, but outside of actually walking down the aisle, it’s a significant indication of commitment. Cohabitation can be a smart financial move for both parties to split expenses.

2. Create a Living-Together Agreement
Make sure you have an agreement regarding expenses and expectations. Even if it isn’t anything “official”, it’s smart to ensure everyone is on the same page and knows what to expect rather than just moving in together.

3. Share Expenses with Joint Checking Accounts
This is one of the most substantial signs of commitment in a relationship. Even if you aren’t planning marriage, you may already share a home together or other expenses. Opening a bank account together allows you to share in joint spending/earning and requires a great deal of trust. Because it’s the beginning of the year, many banks offer special deals for new accounts.

4. Save for Your Future with a Joint Savings Account
Many banks offer promotions for new savings accounts. A joint account allows you both to contribute to your future plans, whether it’s saving for the wedding or a trip to the Caribbean. Saving now for these types of events together can eliminate some of the stress in the future.

5. Create a Budget Together
Because couples participate in similar activities and may share expenses like eating out, it’s smart to create a budget. It’s much easier to turn down extra lattes when you both have something at stake. If you prefer to keep your finances separate, help with individual budgets.

6. Work on Improving Credit
If you plan on getting married or buying a home together in the future, address your credit now. Waiting until you need a decent credit rating to begin improvements could result in increased stress when you seek a mortgage loan. Your credit rating can mean the difference between a lower or higher interest rate that costs thousands of dollars more.

7. Plan a Great Beginning and Pay Down Debt
When you examine your credit reports, you might realize you have a significant amount of debt. If you make a plan to pay off the accounts, you can contribute a cleaner, healthier financial outlook.

8. Discuss Your Financial Plans for the Future
You don’t necessarily have to propose to your Valentine to show him or her that you’re all in. Show your commitment by being completely open about your financial situation and the plans you have for the future. This can be difficult, but you can avoid issues in the future.

9. Make an Investment or Join an Investment Club Together
Making investments that benefit your family in the future can be overwhelming. You can join a club online If you aren’t sure of the investments that are best for you like Better Investing. These groups provide a great deal of info that you can both benefit from, even if you don’t end up in holy matrimony.

10. Share Your Financial Dreams with Your Partner
With $20B of expected spending this Valentine’s Day, it’s clear that it’s a holiday many take seriously. Nothing shows your commitment more than sharing your dreams for the future. This can mean sharing a new career path, discussing whether you are your partner plan to stay home with children, or explaining that your vision includes him or her.