Love may be in the air, but with a bank account at rock bottom, many college sweethearts are planning to spend less this Valentine’s Day.
“I’m trying to find ways to spend less because of the economy,” sophomore Danielle Annon said. “I’m spending about 90 percent less than usual. My boyfriend and I talked about it; it’s our plan to go picnicking.”
This Valentines Day, consumers plan to spend an average of $102.50 on gifts and merchandise, down from last year’s $122.98 per person, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2009 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey. Total Valentine’s Day spending is expected to reach $14.7 billion, down from about $17 billion for each of the past two years.
“As you saw in our survey, 18 to 25-year-olds are expected to spend less this year compared to last year as this is the first time many college students have experienced a recession,” wrote Kathy Grannis, manager of the Media Relations unit of the National Retail Federation, in an e-mail to The Miami Hurricane. “Creative and unique gifts will be popular this year with people really taking the ‘it’s the thought that counts’ mantra into account. Some people will opt for quiet dinners at home instead of expensive dinners out or choose a gold bracelet instead of a diamond necklace as trading down makes more financial sense this year.”
Some University of Miami students, such as graduate student Simon Gomez, do not expect a change in the amount of spending this Valentine’s Day. Alex White, a senior, said that he’ll spend the same amount on flowers and candy as he did last year.
While a pricey gift could make sparks fly for some couples, others argue that money can’t buy love.
“I like gifts that require thought, not money,” senior Elaine Fenna said. “It’s more about creativity, coming up with things to make the person happy. Spending a lot of money creates pressure.”
Love Don’t Cost A Thing: How To Spend Less This Valentine’s Day
“Surface up some feelings that you wouldn’t on another day. Ask what [he or she]would want to do instead of thinking about yourself.” –Ahmed Nazer, junior
“Write a letter.” –Simon Gomez, graduate student
“Cook dinner; go to Whole Foods and get chocolate soufflé! Or take your girlfriend to the Miami Metro Zoo.” –Joe Buffa, senior
“Picnics, handmade things, boxes of candy.” –Danielle Annon, sophomore