Friday, 13 February 2015

Here's What I'm Doing On Valentine's Day



What is Budget Babe doing for Valentine's Day tomorrow?
(or technically later, since I'm writing this past midnight.)

 Teaching GP tuition
(I like to imagine I'm a "super tutor" too by making sure my track record is untainted with every student improving at least 2 - 3 grades after I start teaching them!)

 Dance! Because I'll grow fat otherwise.

In other words, not celebrating

No, I'm not a lonely single who doesn't have anyone to celebrate with. Rather, I'm choosing not to celebrate Valentine's Day because I refuse to let profit-driven retailers pocket my hard-earned money from a overly-hyped and commercialized global holiday. My boyfriend will be busy with studying for his exams this weekend as well.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm all for celebrating love and strongly believe that the occasion provides an excellent opportunity for couples to reflect on the reasons behind their love and do something meaningful together to celebrate their union. What I don't buy into, though, is the notion that Valentine's Day should be excessively celebrated with lavish gifts and a romantic 5-course dinner at the most "atas" restaurant you can afford. 

Previously my article on whether guys spend too much money on Singaporean girls went viral and sparked off an intense online discussion, mainly about women and their expectations of their dates.


(Taken from a 2014 research survey)

So yeah, I guess a lot of boyfriends/husbands will be spending money in order to not let their women down.


But Valentine's Day was never meant to make us spend money, unlike what Hallmark and all the stores tell us. It was only in the late 18th century that the first mass-produced printed Valentine cards got popular in America. Pretty soon, February 14 became a date marked by sending cards, flowers, chocolates, lavish gifts and dinners.

Today, more than 1 billion Valentine cards will be exchanged on this single day, making it the perfect excuse to make millions of couples spend money to match up to peer pressure / shop and pamper oneself in order to make up for feelings of inadequacies among the singles. 


Look at some statistics I found on how much spending occurs on this day:


Valentine’s Day Statistics
Data
Average annual Valentine’s Day spending
$13.19 Billion
Average number of roses produced for Valentine’s Day
196 million
Percent of Valentine’s Day cards bought by women
85%
Percent of flowers bought by men
73%
Percent of women who send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day
14%
Amount the average consumer spends on Valentine’s Day
$116.21
Percent of consumers who celebrate Valentine’s Day
61.8 %
Percent of women who would end their relationship if they didn’t get something for Valentines day.
53 %
Date Published: 28 January 2015
Source: Retail Advertsing and Marketing Association, Valentine's Day Consumer Intentions and Actions

And a nice visual infographic I found (who doesn't like them?):

(Or more likely to be $150 for the men and $70 for the women in 
Singapore's context. The above results were based in the US)

Here's the good news: Valentine's Day is between two people in a relationship, not a test of your displayed affection for the whole world to see.

Or as my boyfriend has been proclaiming for the past 2 weeks, "Valentine's Day is not just one day, it is every day!" (Although I think that's because he feels guilty about not being able to celebrate with me on the actual date.)


So don't feel pressured to spend money later, and take the chance to laugh at silly young couples on the street who have just blown $60 - $100++ for a bouquet of (overpriced) roses on this day!

Are you letting the retailers earn your money? Share with me how much you spent / what you're doing for this day! I'll love to hear from you.

With love,
Budget Babe

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