Valentine’s Day is almost here, and many of us are humming and hawing over our budgets for cupid’s holiday. Whether you’re a die-hard love-sick Valentine’s Day lover or consider the holiday a scam, chances are you have a fair idea about what a reasonable amount of money is to spend on your significant other. Regardless of your stance, we all know that Valentine’s Day can make a substantial dent in our wallets. In preparation for this holiday, it’s essential to figure out how much money is appropriate to spend or how much money is too much.
What Do Canadian’s Spend Their Money On For Valentine’s Day?
In a recent study conducted by Forum Research in 2019, 36% of Canadians expect to spend the most on a meal, 15% on chocolate or candy, 10% on flowers, 6% on jewelry, 4% on clothing, 4% on a gift card, 23% on something else. According to Mastercard’s Love Index, new data shows that Canadians especially love Valentine’s day experiences: we spent over $161 million on booking flights and trips to celebrate the occasion in 2019. Whereas paying money and buying gifts for your lover may be a no-brainer for you, it’s essential to be conscious and considerate to your credit card.
Valentine’s Day may look a little different for many lovers worldwide due to the current pandemic. Many couples may be spending Valentine’s Day this year apart or unable to partake in their usual activities. This may cause an over-compromise by sending each other more expensive gifts than usual, or by merely over-spending. But how much money is too much to spend? And how can we ensure we keep in-tune with our budget this year?
Let’s learn how we can keep track of our spending, maintain our budgets and still enjoy this year’s Valentine’s Day celebrations.
What Category Does Valentine’s Day Gifts Fall Into In Our Budgets?
When beginning a budget and striving to reach our financial goals, we often have to be strict on our spending. At times, we find ourselves splurging on holiday gifts such as Birthdays, Christmas and of course, Valentine’s Day. But how do we budget for such holidays? Gift giving is essential in life, but they are considered flexible expenses in your budget plan.
We recently discussed flexibles expenses in detail and how if we don’t plan for them correctly, they can cost us. Slipping up on your budget isn’t the end of the world, but consistently overspending on your leisure or flexible expenses will create difficulty for you.
To be sure you can afford a Valentine’s Day Gift this year, make sure your minimum debt repayments are made, or at least you have the money for them. It’s also essential to communicate with your partner and decide on a budget. It can be fun to set yourself a smaller amount to allow for creativity! Let’s say you budgeted $50; you could get a Valentine’s Day card for $5, Flowers for $20 and have another $25 to print out photographers, rent a movie online, or go to the grocery and buy your significant others favourite chips or candy. It’s important to be realistic and always consider your budget when spending money for Valentine’s Day.
If you plan to spend over $50, try to have the money saved for in advance – remember, your partner doesn’t want you to risk your credit card or loan repayments for one day of the year.
How Much Money Should I Spend On Valentine’s Day?
This can be tricky. We often want to spend all the money in the world on our loved ones, to show them we care. But this isn’t possible, so we have to be wary of our spending. When it comes to Valentine’s Day budget, each individual may have a different budget in mind, depending on their income. A good rule of thumb is to follow (or consider) following the 50/30/20 budgeting rule. This budgeting rule means to put 50% of your income towards your needs, 30% towards your wants, and 20% towards your savings. So, for Valentine’s Day, 30% of your income would be allowed for a gift.
Although you have 30% of your income allowed towards a gift, you shouldn’t spend this. Remember, whatever amount of money you spend on Valentine’s Day will also affect your spending for the rest of the month. This may make the last two weeks of February feel stressful if you overspend too soon. To help give you a good idea of how much money can go towards a gift, find 30% of your monthly income and get 10% of that.
Here’s an example:
- Calculate your allowance for leisure or flexible expenses. For example, if your monthly income is $1700: $1700 x 30% = $510.
- To give yourself an idea of how much you should spend towards a gift, get 10% of your monthly flexible expense allowance: $510 x 10% = $51.
This is an excellent place to start when trying to figure out how much you should spend on Valentine’s Day. Whatever budgeting technique you use, if you’ve allocated a certain amount of funds towards leisure, you can get 5-10% of that to use as a guideline for your Valentine’s Day gift-giving this month. However, this technique may not work for everyone, and it should be adjusted accordingly depending on your earnings.
How Can I Get Back On Track If I Overspent On Valentine’s Day?
If you plan or have already spent a lot of money for Valentine’s Day, don’t worry. There are many ways you can get back on track after a splurge or a weak moment. It’s essential to recognize that you have overspent and actively search for a solution to ensure you’re more prepared in future. To help you gain insight into how your over-spending has affected your bigger picture, you should try tracking your spending habits and trends.
There are many financial technology solutions available online to help you do this, such as the MyMarble platform. With MyMarble, you can analyze your monthly reports, look at an overview of your account, and keep up with your monthly habits and trends. The MyMarble platform allows you to visualize your spending month-to-month on a graph to track historical trends in your spending. So, if you feel you’ve spent a little too much money this month, sign-up for MyMarble to receive recommendations on how you can get back on track.
Four Ways To Celebrate Valentine’s Day Without Breaking The Bank
On Valentine’s Day, we’re always searching for ways to spend money to celebrate, but there are plenty of ways to celebrate, have fun and not burn a hole in your wallet. We recently discussed how prioritizing your financial wellness can help reduce your stress, which goes for every day of the year. To help you reduce (or even skip) the spending this year, check out our date ideas that won’t break the bank this Valentine’s Day.
The Classic Home Cooked Meal
Even though we’re at home more than ever these days, making your partner their favourite meal is thoughtful and can be made extra special by creating the right atmosphere. You could serve three courses, accompany it with their favourite drink, all costing nothing more than your weekly grocery shop. .
Zoom Call Cocktails
If you and your partner are away from each other this year due to the pandemic, it can feel important to try to make the extra effort for Valentine’s Day. Instead of sending each other costly gifts, why not celebrate together via Zoom call by creating a cocktail?
You can write a list of ingredients, instructions and teach your significant other how to make this cocktail. If the price of multiple ingredients is still a little too much, why not plan to get the same drink – maybe one you both haven’t tried before and try it for the first time, together. This can be a fun, social and still feel like a Valentine’s Day date without over-spending.
Create A Movie Theatre In Your Living Room
This one probably seems all too familiar in these times but can be magical, if executed correctly. Choose a movie you both haven’t seen before, get the buttered popcorn and soft drinks ready and even head to your local Walmart for some fairy lights to create the perfect atmosphere for a movie night. Light a few candles, maybe an incense – and your living room is transformed. It’s the little details that make a big difference.
Create A Memory Book
Most local drug stores have photo-printing booths where you can print out pictures from your smartphone. You can pick photos from your first date, first holiday, wedding, or any other significant date and glue them into a scrapbook. Your local dollar store will have a wide range of scrapbooks to choose from. This is the perfect, budget-friendly and sentimental gift to give your partner to mark the occasion.
The Bottom Line
Overall, it’s hard to know how much is “too much” to spend on your 2021 Valentine. It’s important when giving gifts to always have your budget in mind and not risk your debt or loan repayments for a gift. Remember, your partner would not like to see you suffer financially in the name of Valentine’s Day. You can always try to incorporate in the 50/30/20 budgeting rule or take a second look at your finances to see how much unallocated and disposable funds you have to spend.
This way, you can better understand how much money you can afford to spend and budget for that amount. If you have no cash left-over this month to spend on a gift, try to focus on what Valentine’s Day represents. You can celebrate by making a movie night extra special, by making your evening meal feel a bit more holiday-themed with music and atmosphere, or simply by setting aside some time for you and your partner.