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Love is Not Spending Irresponsibly

Love is Not Spending Irresponsibly
February 14, 2012

It's Valentine's Day -- a day to tell your loved ones how you feel about them with flowers, cards, chocolates and words of affection. But some people may tend to overspend this holiday, which is no way to say, "I love you."

The National Retail Federation estimates that consumers will spend $17.6 billion this Valentine's Day, or $126 per person -- up 8.5 percent from 2011. Although this spending will be a nice boost to the economy, consumers who are already financially stressed should not feel compelled to spend and put their own economic well-being at further risk.

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling suggests that consumers consider the following list of what love is not this Valentine's Day.

  • Love is not spending more than you can afford on a gift. Honesty, including financial honesty, is key to any relationship. Don't pretend you have more money than you actually do by playing the big-spender role.
  • Love is not being a pretender. Even though emotional spending can give a temporary high, it can also lead to guilt and buyer's remorse.
  • Love is not making financial decisions with the heart. Burying your head in the financial sand and living as if there were no money problems only digs the financial hole deeper.
  • Love is not avoiding the financial realities. Most people cannot remember what they received last Valentine's Day. Making a purchase simply to have a gift in hand will be equally forgettable and a waste of money.
  • Love is not giving a gift that will soon be forgotten.
  • Regardless of the motive, being overly generous when money is tight is really no gift at all, to the recipient or the giver.

Showing you are financially reliable is a tangible expression of love. It's a gift that's meaningful, always in style and won't wilt or add pounds.

These tips are provided by the Iowa Bankers Association (IBA), representing banks and thrifts in the state. The IBA serves it members by providing legislative advocacy, training, regulatory compliance and other services designed to enhance the ability of banks to serve their communities. Learn more at