How much should you spend on Valen­tine’s Day?

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - Racing - SO­PHIE ELSWORTH

LOVED-UP cou­ples need not go all out and splash their cash on Valen­tine’s Day.

Hope­less ro­man­tics say it’s the thought that counts, not the amount spent on each other, that sig­ni­fies true love.

New data from lender ME Bank – which quizzed 1000 Aus­tralians – shows about 56 per cent of lovers do cel­e­brate Valen­tine’s Day, whether it’s by din­ing out with their other half or buy­ing them flow­ers or a gift.

How­ever, what will im­press your lover more is the thought be­hind the ges­ture, 81 per cent of Aus­tralians say.

Jas­min Watts, 29, and Ben Tiv­nen, 30, have been to­gether for more than five years and have sig­nif­i­cantly cut back how much money they will shell out this Thurs­day.

“We used to go all out and spend loads, but when we got a joint bank ac­count a cou­ple of years ago, we thought, ‘what’s mine is yours’ and stopped buy­ing elab­o­rate gifts,” Ms Watts said.

“This year, we’ll prob­a­bly just have a nice bot­tle of wine at home, in­stead of spend­ing money on go­ing out when all the restau­rants are packed.”

The re­search found lovers spend, on aver­age, about $50 each on Valen­tine’s Day, but women have proved to be a bit stingier than men.

Con­sumer fi­nance ex­pert Lisa Mont­gomery said times had changed and the shine had gone off Valen­tine’s Day gift giv­ing.

In­stead, lovers pre­fer to do some­thing spe­cial to­gether.

“Peo­ple are opt­ing for an ex­pe­ri­ence, or some­thing spe­cial on the day be­tween two peo­ple, like a din­ner or a pic­nic,” Ms Mont­gomery said.

“Giv­ing some­one some­thing spe­cial on the day has lost its ap­peal.

“It’s re­ally the thought that counts, rather than how much money is spent.”

ME Bank spokesman Matthew Read said it was easy to go over­board and blow the bud­get, but this was avoid­able.

“For peo­ple in new re­la­tion­ships, it’s easy to get car­ried away,” he said.

“Set an amount that you are go­ing to spend, shop early and do your re­search.”

He also urged lovers not to “feel pres­sured to over­spend” to im­press their part­ner.

THOUGHT THAT COUNTS: Ben Tiv­nen and Jas­min Watts will save their money by stay­ing at home this Valen­tine’s Day. Pic­ture: Nicole Cleary

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