At my neighborhood grocery store, there is a table trimmed with pink and red gauze. Hard at work are several employees, dipping strawberries in chocolate. There are also shelves loaded with various heart-shaped gifts, conveniently located near the entrance for the last-minute shoppers who will be ducking in on the 14th. I call this the "Oh shoot, it’s Valentine’s Day!" section.
I admit, I actually am a fan of Valentine’s Day. It’s fun, sweet and a little silly. But I imagine I’ll spend less than $20 to celebrate it. That’s a far cry from the average, according to a recent American Express survey. The average consumer is expected to spend $196 for Feb. 14 this year. That’s up 8 percent from 2011.
More than half of consumers will be buying gifts (mostly flowers, gift cards, jewelry and electronics, according to the survey). And nearly half will spend the evening at their favorite restaurants.
As for me, my wallet is still recovering from the holidays. And I’m too much of a procrastinator to snag a reservation at a restaurant. My significant other and I will be making it a takeout-and-Netflix night — although I don’t think I’ll be able to resist buying a box of those chocolate-covered strawberries.
With Valentine’s Day spending — and saving — in mind, here are some of the top personal finance blog posts and articles of the week.
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