Updated: Feb 17
Valentine's Day is one special time of the year where love is being celebrated globally. This ancient celebration whose origin is believed by many to be significantly tied to love and affection is now being observed by this modern generation (especially Generation Y and X) as an annual event where sharing of expensive gifts alongside flowers and chocolates is the order of the day.
Although one shouldn't dispute the fact that these gestures are special ways of expressing love to the people we care about. However, it becomes a thing of concern when the value of presents purchased for that special someone weighs heavily on the spenders’ disposable income. This statement may spark serious controversies amongst many valentine faithful disciples, who believe no amount should be considered too big to express love and affection to someone you really care about. Financial experts however, believe otherwise.
A recent analysis conducted by Finder reveals that over US$ 50 billion is expected to be spent on Valentine’s Day gifts and activities in the US alone this year. The statistics gets even more fascinating back here at home. Nigeria -- Africa’s most populous country, was observed to be the highest spenders during last year’s celebration with over 30 billion naira (or US$ 83 million) spent on gifts and luxury items across the nation. Nigeria’s valentine day expenses has been estimated to be almost half of the total amount spent by Guinea-Bissau’s government in 2017. Recent reports of hotels being fully booked in many locations across major cities in Nigeria weeks before this memorable celebration doesn’t come as a shocker.
Here are two reasons why you should be mindful of your spending during this Valentine Celebration:
1. Other expenses matter too:
With the New Year barely spent, the need to save money for the immediate future is very important. While trying to put a big smile on the face of that special someone, it is also important to consider other necessary expenses that might arise afterwards. No one would obviously love to lodge at the fanciest hotel on the night of February 14, and then get thrown out of his apartment the next day due to his inability to pay rent. Therefore, the need to apply wisdom while spending this period is an important skill people should adopt.
2. Express love, but don’t break the bank:
Understanding the real “reason for this season” would go a long way in determining how well you can enjoy this celebration. St. Valentine’s Day is meant to be a time where we could express love to that special someone regardless of our financial status. The great misconception of having to spend beyond your means or income in the process should be debunked. Always remember, love could always be expressed without having to show your financial prowess.
3. Research shows experiences are better
A study by Dr Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University, found that money will only increase happiness to a certain point, and our happiness over new material items fades quickly. However, positive experiences that create memories is found to linger for much longer in the mind.
With these being said, you may need to reevaluate your financial options during this period.
Article Credit: Ima-Abasi Joseph Pius