Cupid and Your Wallet
Okay, I must forewarn you that this article may not be for those of you that love Valentine’s Day. I feel that it is the most commercialized day of the year. It is not even an official holiday and no one gets the day off work to celebrate it. I think it was a day manufactured by Hallmark to stimulate the economy. Now that I have upset some of you, here are some numbers to back-up my feelings.
Last year, the National Retail Federation polled over 6,000 people asking about their Valentine’s Day plans. The average amount they said they would spend on dinner, candy, cards and gifts was almost $134. In total, this survey estimated that Americans would spend over $17 billion celebrating love! Despite this, there are estimates that anywhere between 40-50% of marriages end in divorce.*
Some of you may be thinking that my wife must be one lucky woman (I am glad to report that, despite my feelings about Valentine’s Day, I have been happily married for over 15 years). I am all for giving gifts but just think that some of us focus too much on one, single day and not the other 364 that make up a year.
I personally know some people who are in debt yet spend hundreds of dollars on Valentine’s Day in the name of love. I feel this is the complete opposite of love! To me, the definition of love is making wise decisions to enable your cherished ones to be able to follow their dreams and pursue their passions. Going into debt does not allow this to happen. While it may put a smile on their face for one day, this smile quickly vanishes when you are still paying for it on the 4th of July.
I don’t want to sound like a Cupid-basher, but just want you to think before carelessly spending money because everyone else is. Use cash and buy something you can truly afford. Be different this Valentine’s Day and give a gift that you are not paying for months later – that is much better than an expensive dinner that will be forgotten about shortly after you leave the restaurant.