For Love and Money
For many couples, the month of February not only signifies a time for celebrating that special someone in your life but also a time to stress about finding that perfect something that will signify your affection. Having to pick the perfect gift but also planning the perfect evening is enough to send even the most sensible person into panic mode. Yet, with some planning and thinking outside the box, the holiday can be magical.
Valentine’s Day is a retail holiday for all the major stores. All one needs to do is walk into your local mall and see the multitude of red hearts and items that would appeal to your sweetheart. Last year, the NRF (National Retail Federation) estimated that American’s would spend on average $143.56 on celebrating the holidays. They reported that the 3 top spending categories were jewelry, an evening out and flowers.
All of the expectations created around a most magical evening with your loved one has led many to feel stressed about financing the day. The pressure of needing to create something unforgettable, that in some cases, out does events of previous years, can feel overwhelming. Given that money and debt tend to be a major reason for divorce in the United States, Valentine’s day could be great time for couples to explore how each handles money and spending, especially if you’re considering marriage.
Couples that have been seeing each other for a long time should sit down and plan the holiday. This could be a great time to set a budget and see how each other does sticking to it. It’s also a great time to think outside the box to create a magical evening given budgetary constraints. Take this moment to see how your partner handles being constrained by spending limits and, perhaps how having a simpler holiday then that spent by others causes them to react.
If something extravagant is definitely the way you want to go, then consider a savings plan starting months ahead. Planning can allow you to estimate the expenses and allow you to account for that expense in your budget for the year. By planning for it months in advance, you can relax and enjoy yourself without the nagging worry of incurring debt.
Valentine’s Day should be a special day for all those in love. Remember that at day’s end, those that truly care about each other don’t need unaffordable extravagance that will lead to worry. Think back to the great Beatles hit and don’t forget that “All you Need is Love”