Valentine's Day Spending?
For most of you, there's no way you forgot. There were reminders everywhere. The stores, the ads in the newspaper, the reports on the news, that spam email from Tiger Direct (because nothing says "I love you" like a 120GB solid state drive)... seriously, everywhere.
If you did forget and your significant other was expecting something extravagant... ouch!
So what did wifey and I do for Valentine's Day?
Not much really.
Yes, we went out to a restaurant. However, it was to one of those Chinese pulled noodle restaurants so the prices were reasonable and the noodles are hard to make on your own*.
Total damage (with taxes and tip) was around $25.
Really, since we don't eat out very much, we just used Valentine's Day as the reason to eat these noodles.
Aside from that, wifey didn't get me a gift and I didn't get wifey a gift. That's right, we didn't exchange gifts.
That can't be right wouldn't wifey be angry with you?
This is something we've discussed. How many sweaters do I need? How many pieces of jewellery does she need? Wouldn't the money be better "spent" if we bought ETFs instead?
Buying stuff we don't need is just a waste of our resources.
Really, the whole point of Valentine's Day was to get you to purchase greeting cards for your significant other.
After all these years, other businesses have appropriated this Valentine's Day marketing and turned it into a $3 billion dollar industry!
Wow. No wonder we keep getting reminders about Valentine's Day. These companies aren't helping us with our love life by reminding us to get something for our SOs. They are more concerned with lining their pockets with our hard earned cash!
According to a news story I heard on the radio, the average Canadian male expected to spend $50 or so for Valentine's Day. In comparison, the average Canadian females expected to spend around $30.
Combined, that's $80 for things like chocolates, clothing, jewellery, greeting cards, flowers, stuffed bears... That's just the average Canadian couple. Since wifey and I only spent $25, that means there is a couple somewhere in Canada that spent our unspent $55 for a total of $135!
If you really enjoy spending the money on your SO, then good for you.
I'm not telling you to just go cold turkey on your SO and don't get them anything next year. Have that conversation with them. Determine if spending money on trinkets is more important that saving money for early retirement (that's why you're here, right?)
If it's important to your SO, then it's important to you too. But you won't know for certain until you have that conversation.
In addition to gifts, there are other ways you can "celebrate" Valentine's Day that won't put a dent in your budget.
Simple things like spending time together should suffice. Cooking, talking, watching the latest episode of Schitt's Creek (or whatever is available on the TV websites), taking a walk**... Granted, all those activities are things we already do on a daily basis.
To be honest, in my opinion, we shouldn't require a day to force ourselves to affirm our love for our SO.
It should be something that is second nature by now.
*I've unsuccessfully tried three times so far. Twice, I ended up making hand cut noodles and one time I ended up figuring out how Chinese people make fish balls chewy... hint: seems they use high gluten flour.
**Not advisable during an extreme cold weather alert. Brrrrr!