Don’t Lose Your Head When Opening Your Heart

February 8, 2019
Gregg Early

When thinking about holidays, is Valentine’s Day on your list for spending big? Well, it should be because last year, 135 million people in the US spent $30 billion on this holiday. It is important to try not to lose your head when you’re giving with your heart.

Granted, that’s easier said than done. As the infographic shows, Americans are expected to spend an average of $221 on Valentine’s Day. That’s a pretty special day.

The question is, are you prepared for it financially?

A brief 6 weeks after Christmas and New Year’s, Valentine’s Day can sneak up on people. Most people prepare for their Christmas spending - or at least brace for it. And even if Christmas goes on credit cards that will get paid down over the following months, Valentine’s Day usually catches people by surprise.

One way to prevent this ‘surprise’ spending - whether it’s a romantic day or a long weekend like Memorial Day - is to plug these events into your Personal Financial Management (PFM) budgeting feature at the beginning of the year, or every quarter.

Valentine’s Day is one of those teachable moments for secondary holidays. You know it’s there, but it doesn’t really register when you’re thinking about setting up your budget. It tends to show up and you’re scrambling at the last minute to figure out what to do with the money you have, or you lean on that credit card that is still carrying a few extra pounds since Christmas.

While you may think that this level of planning takes the romance out of these getaway weekends or special nights, the fact is, just the opposite is true. Imagine getting to February 14 and having a budget in place and money on hand to make your special night not only romantic but devoid of any financial stress. That would be pretty nice, indeed.

And the same goes for long weekends. When you book that hotel or Airbnb, drop that financial info into your PFM and start setting aside money as you’re planning the trip. Then, when that special holiday arrives, you’ll be ready to really enjoy it.

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