Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and people across the country are willing to shell out big bucks for their loved ones: an expected $17.3 billion to be exact. According to the National Retail Federation’s 2014 Valentine’s Day spending survey, 54 percent of Americans will celebrate with their loved ones this year. Men will spend an average of $108.38 on gifts for their significant others – twice as much as women who will spend an average of $49.41 on their special someone. In addition, people will show their appreciation for family members (59.4%), friends (21.7%), teachers (20.4%) and colleagues (12.1%). All of these purchases add up to a grand total of $133.91 spent by the average person, up slightly from $130.97 last year. The biggest chunk of the $17.3 billion will be spent on jewelry ($3.9 billion) and a romantic evening out ($3.5 billion). Other common purchases are candy (48.7%), flowers (37.3%) greeting cards (51.2%), clothing (15.8%) and gift cards (14%). So, in other words, Valentine’s Day is one of the most expensive holidays of the year. Luckily BBB has a few tips on making this Valentine’s Day extra special without breaking the bank.
If you are worried about your budget, the best thing you can do this V Day is avoid equating love with consumption and $$$ price tags. Keep in mind that love isn’t about what you give in material goods; it’s about what you give by way of time, attention, and acknowledgment of the other person. Instead of going overboard at your local CVS, try giving a few of the traditional Valentine’s Day gifts along with something the person will genuinely appreciate, such as a personalized gift or a special night out focused on their unique interests. So, instead of 2 dozen roses, opt for one or two and instead of 300 chocolates, give him or her their absolute favorite sweet treat (therefore showing them you know what they actually like). At the end of the day, the most important gift is your time and affections.
This Valentine’s Day, put in some extra effort (while saving money) by doing things yourself. Some of the most special Valentine’s Day gestures are the ones that show effort and personalization. Start by making a homemade card, such as this unique deck of cards Valentine. Even if you are usually not into crafts, this shows you are willing to put in extra time to show you care. Also, anyone can make a reservation at a nice restaurant that has the usual fixed menu for the special day. Save yourself the money and make the night extra special by cooking a fabulous meal your date will love, ideally his or her favorite dish. You can either cook together or give them a wonderful surprise. Having a nice, romantic, home-cooked meal at home beats a $200 dinner date at a crowed restaurant any day. After, show your spontaneity by going out and doing something fun that you both will love, like dancing or going to see your favorite local band.
Lastly, don’t forget to do the little things that count. If you live together, make their day easier by doing chores around the house. Don’t answers calls from work or discuss the very romantic topic of paying bills. There are several easy things you can do to make sure their day is great.
BBB wishes you a Happy Valentine’s Day!