Home > 2014 > Personal Finance

Valentine’s Day: Splurge on Gifts or Save Your Cash?

Advertiser Disclosure Comments 1 Comment

Expectations are high this Valentine’s Day. Americans who expect to receive gifts think the givers will spend about $210 on them, according to Chase Blueprint’s recent Valentine’s Day survey. People in relationships think they’ll get about $240 in gifts.

Does that sound like more than you were planning to drop on someone special? You’re not alone. Men say they’ll spend an average of $98 on Valentine’s Day gifts this year, while women are budgeting an average of $71.

Your thoughts may be focused on pleasing your significant other come Feb. 14, but there’s something else to consider: Your budget. If you’re not in a relationship, you don’t have as much to worry about, but the average American still plans to spend $84 on gifts this Valentine’s Day.

How Important Are Gifts?

Not everyone is shopping for Valentine’s Day gifts, and fewer are planning to shop this year than last, according to a survey from the coupon website RetailMeNot. Of the more than 1,000 adults polled, 18% are planning to spend nothing, up from 6% in 2013. And here’s some relief for those of you who’d rather not partake in a gift exchange: 25% of people in relationships don’t anticipate that their significant other will spend money on them (last year it was 10%).

Rather than take your chances of disappointing or surprising your spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend, you should probably talk to that person about expectations. If you two aren’t into gifts, make that clear, and save yourself some money. On the other hand, if presents are desired, there’s no reason they have to be extravagant. Theoretically, you should know each other pretty well and be able to come up with ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day that are good for your relationship and your wallet.

Romance Without Financial Regret

Any gift-giving occasion comes with the temptation to splurge for the supposed perfect present. Chocolates or flowers may be stereotypical choices, but that doesn’t mean they’re not appreciated. More than half (57%) of people in relationships would rather go out than stay in on Valentine’s Day, according to RetailMeNot, but you can choose a nice restaurant and still spend a reasonable amount of money, if you plan it well. Daily deals sites are full of offers for couples right now, so try browsing for a great meal or activity you can both enjoy at a discount.

Despite those high spending averages reported in the Chase survey, more than half of people in relationships — 74% of women and 52% of men — plan to spend less than $50 on their significant other this Valentine’s Day, according to RetailMeNot.

No matter where you fall in the spectrum of spending, there’s one gesture that’s unlikely to impress your sweetheart: Going into debt for a Valentine’s Day gift. If that so-called perfect present isn’t in the budget, it’s probably not worth it. You may end up paying much more than you planned to, depending on the card’s interest rate, and if the purchase adds a lot to your debt load, you may hurt your credit utilization rate and your credit.

More Money-Saving Reads:

Image: iStock

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

  • http://www.coolhandygadgets.com/ coolhandygadgets

    It is not practical and not worth when you spent more than what you have and you end up on debt.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other articles on Credit.com News & Advice may also be offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards or products. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Our Owners

Credit.com is owned by Progrexion Holdings Inc. which is the owner and administrator of a number of business related to credit and credit repair, including CreditRepair.com, and eFolks. In addition, Progrexion also provides services to Lexington Law Firm as a third party provider. Despite being owned by Progrexion, it is not the role of the Credit.com editorial team to advocate the use of the company’s other services. In articles, reporters may mention credit repair as an option, for example, but we’ll also be sure to note the various alternatives to that service. Furthermore, you may see ads for credit repair services on Credit.com, but the editorial team isn’t responsible for the creation or implementation of those ads, anymore than reporters for the New York Times or Washington Post are responsible for the ads on their sites.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team