GREENVILLE, NC (WNCT) — At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many couples were in quarantine. Now, about two years later this year, Valentine’s Day is more important than ever.
In 2022, couples are expected to spend 44% more than last year on their partner. And nearly 4 in 10 couples plan a romantic date at a restaurant, based on a new LendingTree survey of nearly 2,100 Americans.
Couples who are short on cash and cannot afford gifts for loved ones are turning to credit cards. Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at Lending Tree, said: “It’s more than likely because if inflation, which makes everything more expensive – plus, since it’s a vaccinated Valentine’s Day this year, people feel more comfortable going out.”
“They’re spending on restaurant meals, entertainment and other typical Valentine’s Day trappings that they might have avoided in the last couple of years,” Schulz said.
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When it comes to who spends the most, it’s usually couples who are in one-to-two-year relationships. According to the survey, engaged couples planned to spend $322 while married couples planned to spend $219.
This year, 30% of Americans plan to rely on their credit card to pay for Valentine’s Day gifts and outings, which also means paying interest on those expenses. Among those who think they will go into debt, 43% plan to hide it from their loved one.
“Hiding debt from your partner is a bad idea,” says Schulz. “The more open and honest you are about your finances, the more you can work together to sort them out.”
He added that it’s important to know your partner and not let spending get too out of hand.
“Some people will be so dazzled by the gift that they won’t be bothered with the debt. Others might be so discouraged by the price and the debt that they couldn’t take advantage of the freebie,” Schultz said.
If money is tight, you don’t have to skip D-Day entirely. LendingTree has ways to cut your expenses without sacrificing romance. LendingTree also said that here are some of the tips for celebrating without interrupting the break:
- Celebrate, but not on the 14th
- Opt for flowers on a budget
- Choose the sentimental over the splatter
- Dine in, dessert out
- Spread some credit card love