Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day ≠ Spend Money Day

{Joe's Dollar by Thomas Hawk}
Perusing through my Facebook feed I stumbled across a tip advising that Valentine's Day is a great time to use your credit card due to numerous rewards options [FULL STOP!!!]  Wait what??  I believe I am currently living in a recession economy, let's look at the weight of this decision and some alternatives.

Quick Facts:
According to CreditCards.com & the Federal Reserve's G19 Report, the average household is currently holding $15,799 in credit card debt totaling $793.1 billion in revolving debts.  These account are being charged slightly north of 12% average interest.

These devastatingly high numbers coupled with the 6-month-ago news release by NFCC that 64% of Americans do not have $1000 in savings to cover an emergency leads to the writing of this post.  We should be working to get our debt a low as possible while maximizing our savings and investments.  Credit cards lead us to believe we have more money than we do and your $3.49 Valentine's Day card becomes $13.63 after interest accumulates.  Now if you reside in the payment in full camp good job, but keep in mind:

Spending Money does NOT equal I Love You!

Your valentine will be more impressed and appreciate your gift, presentation, meal, massage much more when it comes from your heart and has "from me" written all over it instead of "love Hallmark" on the underside.

Some ideas for a non-credit card/low cost Valentine's Day:
  • Make breakfast & dinner vs. going out to eat.
  • Handwritten cards are not just for Mom.
  • Go ice skating / hiking / to you local animal shelter (puppy love ;-P) vs. a dinner show.
  • Snuggle up on the couch and spend some quality time with your loved one - no talking about work!
  • Search for more "Free Valentine's Day Ideas"

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