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Uploaded:2016-02-09
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Chelsea: Hi, I'm Chelsea

Lauren: And I'm Lauren

Chelsea: And we are...

Together: The Financial Diet! 

Chelsea: And today is a very special holiday episode of TFD because as some of you are probably aware, in fact I would guess all of you are probably aware, it's Valentine's Day! 

Lauren: Soon! Soon...

Chelsea: I was saying on Sunday! We at TFD hate Valentine's Day! We love love, we love romance, we love special gestures for the people we love, but the concept of Valentine's Day as an excuse to spend a lot of money you don't have on things that aren't really worth it is a terrible one. And at least speaking for us, we think pretty much everyone has at least one cringe worthy Valentine's Day story. 

Lauren: So my worst Valentine's Day ever had to have been when my significant other and I lived out in New Jersey and we decided to go into the city one night for a very expensive, exclusive Valentine's Day dinner and this restaurant with hearts all over the menu and like themed dishes and it was really *fake vomits* in retrospect, but it turns out they didn't get our reservations captures so we had to kind of just like wing it and we ended up going to this vegetarian vegan restaurant that was nearby and it was just like one of the worst meals every, but we tried to make the best of it. But it was just like a complete waste of money and a huge headache so... 

Chelsea:  And on of my Valentine's Day nightmares was when I went on a first date that happened to be on Valentine's Day with this guy on OkCupid and he brought me a giant bouquet of flowers to the date, which meant that about 12 hours I had to carry around this big bouquet of flowers to a museum, and then to a dinner at a nice restaurant, and then to a movie, and by the time I got home they were like disgusting and brown and wilted. 

Lauren: So when it comes to useless Valentine's Day spending, here at TFD we really think it comes down to 5 expenses that people tend to really waste money on.

Chelsea: So for us the 5 biggest Valentine's Day wasters are restaurants, flowers, events, jewelry, and gift cards. 

Lauren: So first off, restaurants. They should be avoided at all costs, especially the ones with the fancy, pre-fixed menus where you're guaranteed to be spending more per person and it's usually that the quality of the food suffers a bit and the service does as well because you're guaranteed that, you know, it's going to be crowded and you're just going to be tempted to spend more on a "holiday" themed night. 

Chelsea: Pretty much anyone who's ever worked in a restaurant, and this is really myself included, knows that there's really 2 nights to avoid restaurants and that is New Years and Valentine's Day. You're going to be spending more to get less. So the second one is flowers and we're talking about the big surprise bouquet, which I know a lot of people, and not to be gendered here, but I think it's usually like "What can I send this woman to make her feel special on Valentine's Day?" and you go onto any sort of flower website that might not be named and you pick out the bouquet that arrives in the vase with maybe like a teddy bear with it.

And those are just such huge wastes of money, especially when considering that when you look on the lower end of things they tend to be about $30-40 for their entry level bouquet. And then their more upscale are up to $60 to even $100 and who in the world should be spending that much money on flowers?! I think as a rule of thumb you should say don't spend more than $25 on something that's going to be dead in 4 days. And anytime you're looking for a bouquet to be delivered, go ahead and see how much that same bouquet would cost in a grocery store or flower shop. Chances are it's being sold at about a 400% markup.

Lauren: So as an alternative to fresh flowers you could pick up something like a bouquet of silk flowers at a store like TJ Maxx or Micheal's craft store and you could put those on your table and they'll last forever essentially rather than being dead in 4 days. And it doesn't have to just be flowers either you could pick up any kind of decoration that you want for a house, just something that looks pretty and feels special that you're giving significant other on Valentine's Day. 

Chelsea: The point is to just give something that beautifies their everyday life and again that could be flowers, but it also could be something like, you know, a frame, candles, anything that you might look beautiful and special. 

Lauren: So three would be cheesy couples themed events that you would normally avoid on like any other day other than Valentine's Day. So I've seen crazy, overpriced things for couples, like dinners in the dark where you sit there with your significant other and you're both blindfolded and these choreographed servers come around and feed you. I've seen, you know, couples workout classes that are really expensive and also like cupid underwear runs. All of those kinds of cheesy events should be avoided at all costs. As an alternative feel free to partake in just about any other activity that you guys would normally enjoy doing on any other day, but that's not a Valentine's Day branded because once it's branded, you can pretty much assume that the price is going to jack right up. 

Chelsea: Number 4 is jewelry. Now obviously Valentine's Day is the time when people feel really compelled to go out and spend a lot of money on jewelry, but they might not be able to afford at the time or that they might not be sure about or whatever it may be. So the thing about jewelry is if you're ready to buy it, great. But if you're not ready to buy it, don't use Valentine's Day as the time to force yourself into buying something that you can't afford. And as a general rule at TFD we think that if you're going to be investing a lot of money in something like a piece of jewelry, that's really something you should consult your partner about to make sure that their okay with spending that amount of money on it and maybe they'd like an input on what it even looks like. 

Lauren: So the fifth thing would be thoughtless gifts like gift cards, which if you're getting your significant other a gift card for Valentine's Day, you clearly have felt just obligated to purchase something, put it in a bag, and hand it to someone. 

Chelsea: Probably not even a bag, probably just like an envelope if that.

Lauren: True. So an alternative to this is just be taking your significant other out for a shopping trip and letting them pick something that you would like to buy them, but in their presence. 

Chelsea: That makes it a fun activity for both of you and, you know, an excuse to spend time together

Lauren: So the biggest issue I have personally have with Valentine's Day is not the romantic aspect because we love romance, it's the fact that everything feels forced and cramped into one day out of the year. For me, things like special dinners out, flowers, gifts, special moments for your significant other, they can be sprinkled throughout the year. They don't have to happen on one night because then it makes people feel forced to spend more than they normally would. 

Chelsea: And plus I think there's something a lot more thoughtful and special about doing something just sort of at random because you thought of the other person and not because it was like THE DAY. My parents actually call Valentine's Day Amateur Night for the this reason. And keep in mind any sort of fun, expensive thing you might wanna do at a restaurant or bar is something you can recreate at home, which then adds a built in activity of making something together. This year for example my boyfriend and I plan on just taking this board game that he got for his birthday a couple of weeks ago, heading to a low key local bar that we like and just sitting, you know, in a corner and playing a board game all day. Then maybe come home, cook something together for dinner it's really more for us about taking advantage of the fact that it's a Sunday than the fact that it's Valentine's Day. 

Lauren: So the point is, is that Valentine's Day can still be romantic and special without having to come in expensive, pre-wrapped red package.

Chelsea: We like to think of romance as something that you build everyday and not something that you buy on February 14th. And as always thank for watching and don't forget to hit the subscribe button and to go to thefinancialdiet.com for more

Together: Bye!