February is the month of love!
In the United States, February is the month dedicated to love and relationships. When we celebrate Valentine’s Day, we celebrate our significant others, family, friends, co-workers, teachers, and pets. We spend money on those we care about most.
How Much Do We Spend
Valentine’s Day directly impacts the economy and individuals’ finances. The top five Valentine’s gifts are candy, greeting cards, flowers, an evening out, and jewelry. The month of February is also in first place as the month when the most flowers are purchased, followed by April, May, and December.
According to Statista, since 2010 to 2022, U.S. consumers have purchased approximately $24 billion of flowers alone for Valentine’s Day. If boyfriends, husbands, and significant others are paying any attention, the amount will likely increase in 2023, 2024, and beyond.
In 2021, American consumers spent $22 billion on Valentine’s Day, an amount that increased by $2 billion in 2022. The National Retail Federation (NRF) guesstimates that American consumers will spend $25.9 billion in 2023. The NRF also expects half of Americans to celebrate Valentine’s Day and spend, on average, $192.80 per person. The figures below highlight the spending average for 2019 through 2022 and the expected amount for 2023.
In addition, according to NRF, Americans plan to spend nearly $4.4 billion on special evenings out and more than $5.5 billion on jewelry.
Love and Money
The National Financial Education Council (NFEC) designated February as Love & Money Month. In an effort to bridge the connection between love and money, the organization raises awareness about how finances can affect loved ones. They also provide resources to help couples develop more secure financial situations and healthier relationships.
In my estimation, couples should discuss their financial futures – because couples who plan together will stay together.
Three Tips for Couples and Money
1. Communication is key.
A couple practicing open communication about money can help eliminate stress and anxiety. Allowing a partner to communicate about finances in a judge-free and happy zone might open the door to endless possibilities. When discussing financial topics, respecting each other might give partners the confidence to share and be open to new ideas.
2. Share a common financial goal.
The financial goal could be as simple as saving for a sweet treat (i.e., ice cream sundae, cupcake), a favorite drink, or a date night. On the other hand, the goal can be more elaborate, such as a new appliance, furniture, vehicle, vacation, or a trip to the beach. Narrowing down a financial goal and finding common interests between each other will open the doors for ongoing accomplishments. As a couple, once the goal is achieved, repeat the process.
3. Create a budget (spending plan) together.
The couple that budgets together stays together. Spending time cheerfully, casting a vision for each other, takes time and thoughtful consideration. Take an opportunity each week to revisit the budget as a couple. Encouraging and supporting each other may be easier said than done, but finding a healthy compromise might strengthen your bond. Together, you can cast a vision for your financial future.
Save For Next Year
Start saving and budgeting for the next Valentine’s Day. Feel free to start preparing for the next Valentine’s Day by saving a small amount each month. Set up an automatic deposit in your savings account to ensure a consistent effort.
When the time comes, you will have the budget to spend on your significant other, family member, or friend. If you choose not to spend your money on a Valentine, treat yourself to a meal, a gift, a massage, and a good time.
It is a win-win situation.
Love Can be Inexpensive
We spend hundreds of dollars expressing and showing our love to others each February. However, let us remember to spend within our budget and make sound financial decisions.
If your Valentine’s budget for food, sweets, flowers, and jewelry is low, that’s OK as well. Remember, the best things in life are free – and this includes Valentine’s Day.
Give a free kiss, a free hug, or your free time… and ask your special someone, will you be mine?