Unless you are absolutely disconnected from any internet, radio, TV, newspaper or magazine then you know that Valentine’s Day is coming.
Unlike a favorite show of ours where Winter is Coming, Valentine’s Day is nothing to lose your head about.
Valentine’s Day in The Financial Olympian’s™ opinion is the most crassly overly commercialized holiday. This has been growing steadily since the 1960’s when doing Valentine’s Day bags in elementary school for everyone to “give you” a Valentine Day card began. That was nothing more than the card industries manipulation to sell packages of cards. They were sold in packages of 25 which meant if your class had more than 25 classmates, then you had to buy two packages of cards or decide who to omit.
Today on the internet, we are besieged by emails and pop up adds that suggest that if you haven’t bought your Valentine a gift you can still do so with express overnight shipping.
If they truly want to make this work, then we need to move Valentine’s Day to the 3rd Saturday of February and just combine it with President’s Day weekend. Who wants to celebrate on a Tuesday? It is a school night and work will occur the next morning.
The Financial Olympian™ approach to Valentine’s Day requires planning and being focused. It keeps you in line with the 4th step of The Financial Olympian Creed – Live Below Your Means.
Here are six steps to a romantic and successful Valentine’s Day that won’t break the bank nor break your relationship.
Plan Ahead – Stopping off at the Kroger tent on your way home and quickly buying your significant other some Roses and Chocolate says “You are Just Not a Priority”. Get your game plan together today. You have all weekend to get the errands complete and you can be prepared for obstacles that life throws at you on Tuesday.
Flowers – Yes, there is nothing quite like an impressive presentation to your beloved at the office of a couple dozen roses. Yet at what cost. Just the simple dozen tulips that you can pick up normally for $7.99 are $19.99 for Valentine’s Day. That is a 250% markup. The Financial Olympian™ recommends you and your Valentine get dirty together. Order a seed starter set and together you can nurture your favorite flowers or tomatoes and then plant them later this Spring.
Card – The gift of a card is like VDay 101. It is required. DO NOT go to the local store on the 14th and try to pick one up. The card aisle looks like the bread and beer aisles before a hurricane comes to the Gulf Coast. What you get will give away your total lack of preparation. The Financial Olympian™ recommends that you make a card. Yes, totally childlike. There is a bonus if you have children (no matter the age) and you get them to make them with you to give to your significant other. It is sentimental and demonstrates your acknowledgment that being a parent is just as important as being your significant other. No kids, then try it anyway. Here is how you do it.
Champagne – This is a must do. Having a glass of bubbles, even if you are at home with dinner and homework is perfect. Just don’t bust the bank trying to impress. For a simple approach, try a prosecco, which you can get a great bottle of bubbles for under $20.
Dinner – Valentine’s Day dinner out is like watching the rush of bargain shoppers on Thanksgiving night storm into the Walmart. It is not pleasant or enjoyable. Rather than fight the crowds and the prices, indulge yourself and order lobsters for home delivery. They go great with champagne and they are reasonably priced.
The GIFT – I am sure that you can purchase your significant other something that you would like for them to wear (use your own imagination here) for the evening. It is the “thing” to do. Be different, get them something that they really want and will remind them of your thoughtfulness for many days to come. To support this idea and show you how The Financial Olympian™ operates, the hats in the picture are Tina’s Valentine’s Day gift. (Yes, she knows about it, I gave them to her last night). She lost her favorite hat, so I replaced it with a red and a white one to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We both win. (www.pedalchic.com)
If you have ideas that fit with the Financial Olympian’s™ thoughts, then email me and I will write about them. I always enjoy learning new ideas.
Enjoy your weekend,
Michael Tannery CPA CDFA® AIF® ● CEO