Why ‘stingy’ couples cut back Valentine’s Day costs
Loved-up couples will be cautious about how much money they shell out this Valentine's Day, and many admit their other half is stingy.
But the old adage - it's the thought that counts - certainly rings true: 84 per cent of couples say this is the most important thing on February 14, not the amount of money spent.
Valentine's Day arrives this Friday and fewer couples are choosing to celebrate it this year - 49 per cent will be doing something special compared to 56 per cent last year.
New research from financial institution ME found the main reasons lovebirds will be giving it the flick in 2020 include it being a waste of money or the belief it's simply a way for florists and card companies to cash in.
Melanie Campbell, 25, and her long-term partner Drew Quinton, 26, met at high school and are hoping to celebrate with a special night out on the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel while tucking into champagne and cheese.
She said they had set a budget of about $200 to celebrate the evening.
"We have a good understanding of how much we can spend and we'll pay for it out of our joint everyday spending account," Ms Campbell said.
The ME research, which surveyed 1000 people, found couples will be cautious when funding Valentine's Day expenses - 71 per cent will use debit to pay, 35 per cent will use credit and 11 per cent will use buy now, pay later services.
The average amount they are prepared to splash is $150, up from $113 last year.
ME spokesman Matthew Read said many people "don't want to look cheap".
"There's probably hidden pressure to spend an appropriate amount," he said.
"There's plenty of ways to demonstrate ways you feel without spending money such as making someone dinner or taking somewhere them special, even writing them something."
Consumer finance expert Lisa Montgomery said Valentine's Day was "more about moments than it is about money".
"Because we can have whatever we want whenever we want, a special night like Valentine's Day is not as special anymore," she said.
"We are a society that has instant gratification and consumes. We can go out whenever we want."
Ms Montgomery said simple gifts including "a special card with special words in it will mean more than going out and spending a fortune on roses and flowers".