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How to (sensibly) buy gifts for Valentine’s Day

happy couple holding credit card for valentines day

As Valentine’s Day approaches, the pressure mounts as to what your plans are for the 14th February 2019. Are you going to spoil your partner? Confess your undying love to someone? Avoid it altogether and remain happily single? Or, stick to your guns and not give in to the marketing pressure? The choice is yours.

But just in case you can’t contain your spending (or your love), we’ve put together some tips for those thinking of splashing out for Valentine’s Day. In short, don’t spend more than you have in your account. Since we are big believers in remaining financially enlightened, we would encourage all those thinking of spoiling their other halves to do so (but just do it sensibly).

Top tips to avoid overspending before Valentine’s Day:

Set a budget for each other

The best way of ensuring you don’t go over the top with spending is to set a sensible budget beforehand and stick to it.

If you’re already coupled up and are both keen spenders, agree with your partner how much you want to spend on each other and make sure you don’t surpass this limit. One way to do this is to draw out cash so you don’t keep putting things on your card without thinking about the total amount.

Protect your purchases with a credit card and keep receipts

In general, making gift purchases is always a risk as you might not be quite sure whether the person you’re buying for will like it! To that end, always keep your receipts or ask for a gift receipt when making a purchase.

In addition, if you spend on a credit card your purchases are further protected due to Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. This means that if items are faulty or the business you buy from shuts down and you can’t make a return, you have the option of claiming from the credit card company instead. Not got a credit card? Have a look through moneymatcher to find the perfect one for you.

Avoid last minute overspending

The worst culprit for overspending is the person that is so love-struck that they don’t know what day of the week it is. Heading to the shops at 8pm on February 13th is a recipe for disaster, where you might buy last-minute gifts that are probably expensive and possibly not even appropriate.

Instead, if you would like to spend on your loved one, try to acquire your gifts at least a few days before the big day. That means planning ahead and cutting out the chance of a pre-Valentine’s spending-spree.

If you plan to spend big, choose the right credit card

Can’t stop yourself from making a big purchase in the name of love? Once again, be sensible about it and do one of the following before heading to the shops:

  • Use a cashback credit card – if you know for sure you will be making a large amount of purchases then you may as well make some money back. A cashback card will give you a certain percentage back on whatever you spend; just make sure you do most of your spending within the introductory period
  • Use a 0% purchase credit card – if you’re planning to make one large purchase, a 0% purchase card will allow you to spread the cost during the interest-free period. Just make sure you pay off the full amount before the initial period ends

The Guru’s thoughts on… Valentine’s Day:

“I believe that another wise guru (who enjoyed table tennis and running) said: ‘life is like a box of chocolates’. Love, on the other hand, is more like a box full of overdue invoices that need to paid immediately. In other words, love isn’t cheap my friend.

It can be very tempting to lavish your other half with gifts to show them the extent of your love. However, I would encourage you to show restraint. Love doesn’t need to be purchased, it needs to be discovered through sharing moments with someone you’re surprisingly quite keen on. Perhaps someone with amazing facial hair or attractive robes.

Of course you can buy a romantic gift, but be sensible about it. Don’t buy them a car, or a yacht, or even a blimp. Just let them know they’re appreciated this Valentine’s Day.”

With these bits of advice in mind, make sure you enjoy Valentine’s Day with your partner and remember to spend sensibly. If you’re thinking of taking out a credit card for the purposes of spending sensibly in the next few weeks, try our moneymatcher tool to find the perfect match for you.

Robert Bester

Updated on 4th June 2019