Valentine’s Day comes with a price tag


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Valentine’s Day can cause financial stress for people in relationships.

Kathleen Carpio, Student Life Reporter

According to a National Retail Federation survey, people are expected to spend an average of $161.96 this coming Valentine’s Day.


Total national spending is even expected to reach $20.7 billion this year. Those are shockingly big numbers, but what do these numbers mean to those of us on campus?


Well, if you picked up this newspaper, you are most likely a college student. Mayba a broke college student at that, and for you, the average of $161.96 is most likely a pretty steep price tag.


Now, just what is adding up to that high average? If you take into account the flowers, chocolates, greeting card and a dinner date to comprise the night out these charges add up. And they add up fast.


Not too long ago we survived the holiday season procuring gifts for our loved ones. Outlets were packed and delivery services were kept busy. The holiday season may be a time for togetherness, but some would say it’s also an event of great stress.


Has Valentine’s Day become an annual stressor as well? People seem to flock to the stores for candy and flowers as if almost on schedule every year for the love themed holiday.  It is no secret that Valentine’s Day exudes this allure of letting couples in love celebrate. It is a long time tradition for people to buy gifts for a loved one.


However, what these market numbers show is that there is a connection between capitalism and Valentine’s Day. It is no coincidence that as soon as it’s January, stores soon display their wares in all of its scarlet and crimson glory. These thematic colors just scream, “Buy me!”


In most cases, people do. There are no fingers being pointed here to bring out shame in being an active consumer. When a person buys a gift for a loved one it is both an act and display of affection. However, it seems as though lately that there is a price tag that people feel pressured to reach.


It is a time honored formula to bring happiness to a partner via the gift of flowers, chocolates and a message of love. There is nothing wrong with this formula if it makes you and your partner happy every Valentine’s Day, but if you are on a budget, don’t be afraid to tweak the formula just a little. What if instead of going out to eat the big night of, you and your partner could just make a meal together?


You’ll be beside each other all night and, maybe you’ll impress your date with your cooking, or maybe you’ll give your partner food poisoning. Besides the point, the focus here is to not miss out on the joy of just having an experience together.


Capitalism may share a link with Valentine’s Day, but it doesn’t mean you and your partner have to stick with the same old expensive plans. If you’re on a budget, don’t let it limit the possibilities of your night out with that special someone this Valentine’s Day.