The cost of love: a lot!

Jerice Banola, Staff Writer

Love is considered priceless. Love has no specific way, shape, or form; it is all encompassing. However, on Valentine’s Day, many Americans show their affection through consumerism.

According to the National Retail Federation, about 55 percent of Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day. Of those, the majority will spend an average of $146.84, up from last year’s average of $142.31.

“I try not to spend too much on Valentine’s day,” freshman Edward Row said. “But I do make sure my girl knows I care for her.”

What exactly do Americans buy to show their love? Around half of consumers reported that a box of chocolates, the usual Valentine’s Day gift, is their top choice, while four in 10 consumers plan to spend time with their significant other.

“My wife and I usually go on a nice night out at a restaurant and a walk afterwards on Valentine’s Day . . . nothing too flashy,” math teacher Eric Vallecillo said.

Aside from the typical box of chocolates, greeting cards haul in $1.1 billion nationally, while necklace spending is predicted to be around $4.4 billion—with the projected total spending on Valentine’s Day at $19.7 billion according to the National Retail Federation. The biggest spending comes from dates, bringing in $4.5 billion.

“When I think of Valentine’s Day I think of all the money spent on giant teddy bears, chocolate, and roses,” senior Jeron Lee said.

However, the spending on Valentine’s Day is meager compared to spending during the winter holidays, which brings in a whopping $626.1 billion. Valentine’s Day is currently the fourth-most consumer heavy holiday—behind Christmas, Back-to-School season, and Mother’s Day in that order.

“My wallet is still recovering from the spending during the holiday season, so I tend to save my money during the beginning of the new year,” senior Mi Ho said.

Regardless, when love is in the equation, money is the ever-diminishing constant.

“Seeing the smile on my girl’s face always makes my day, no matter how much I spend,” senior John Gitthens said. “How much money I spend isn’t on my mind when it’s being spent on someone I care about.”

The theory that love has no cost is contradicted when Valentine’s Day is examined. In reality, love can be costly, but worth every penny.