Valentine’s Day, To Bee or Not to Bee… Costly

By April Lewis-Parks 

This Valentine’s Day, couples are once again eager to shower their loved ones with special gifts.  According to the National Retail Federation’s 2011 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, the average person will spend $116.21 on traditional Valentine’s Day merchandise this year, up 12.8 percent over last year’s $103.00.  As one would think, men are predicted to spend the most money on Valentine’s Day gifts for their sweetheart. The average guy plans to spend almost $160 this year which is more than twice as much as the average woman will spend on their significant other. The total holiday spending for this year is expected to reach $15.7 billion – which should be a nice boon for retailers. 

The economy and many American’s are still struggling so although Valentine’s Day holds a special place in many Americans hearts, there is no reason to go overboard and spend money you shouldn’t. Opting for a quiet night out or a home cooked meal can keep costs down and stress at a minimum. This Valentine’s Day, follow these five strategies and enjoy your day no matter what you do or who you spend it with.

  1. How to CelebrateYou should decide with your partner about how to celebrate. The two of you might have very different ideas about what to do on Valentine’s Day so why not talk about it ahead of time so you don’t end up disappointed.
  2. Stay in the MomentOften people get caught up in what they think they’re supposed to be doing on Valentine’s Day that they forget to enjoy themselves. Whatever you decide to do, have fun! Go with the flow – Valentine’s Day only comes once a year so don’t waste the day distracted by trying to make it “perfect.” It will be “perfect” as long as you can connect with someone you love.
  3. Spend Within Your Means Gestures of love don’t have a price tag. Don’t spend beyond your means just because it’s Valentine’s Day.
  4. What You Can Give, Not What You Can GetDon’t be obsessed with what you expect to get this year, but instead consider what you can give and I don’t necessarily mean gifts. You can share your love and attention just by being kind, affectionate and considerate. Do something nice for someone who may be having a hard time this Valentine’s Day. There may be an elderly person living alone or someone recently divorced or widowed who would love a call or a card from you. If you become focused on what you can give rather than what you can get, you may be pleasantly surprised by how your day turns out.
  5. Meaning of Valentine’s DayIf you are single, you can change the meaning of Valentine’s Day from romantic to a day about love. Make it a day to celebrate the love you have for people in your life.