Love is Not Spending Irresponsibly
The National Retail Federation estimates that consumers will spend $17.6 billion this Valentine's Day, or $126 per person -- up 8.5 percent from 2011. Although this spending will be a nice boost to the economy, consumers who are already financially stressed should not feel compelled to spend and put their own economic well-being at further risk.
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling suggests that consumers consider the following list of what love is not this Valentine's Day.
- Love is not spending more than you can afford on a gift. Regardless of the motive, being overly generous when money is tight is really no gift at all, to the recipient or the giver.
- Love is not being a pretender. Honesty, including financial honesty, is key to any relationship. Don't pretend you have more money than you actually do by playing the big-spender role.
- Love is not making financial decisions with the heart. Even though emotional spending can give a temporary high, it can also lead to guilt and buyer's remorse.
- Love is not avoiding the financial realities. Burying your head in the financial sand and living as if there were no money problems only digs the financial hole deeper.
- Love is not giving a gift that will soon be forgotten. Most people cannot remember what they received last Valentine's Day. Making a purchase simply to have a gift in hand will be equally forgettable and a waste of money.