Washington, DC - Cupid will likely try to convince shoppers to put their good financial judgment aside this Valentine's Day, and instead don heart-shaped financial blinders when shopping for that special gift.
The National Retail Federation estimates that consumers will spend $17.6 billion during this one holiday, or $126 per person, up 8.5 percent from 2011. "This spending will certainly be a nice boost to the economy," said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). "However, consumers who are already in financial distress, or on the cusp, should not feel compelled to spend, putting their own economic well-being at further risk."
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) suggests that consumers consider the following list of what love is not as they shop for their Valentine:
- Love is not spending more than you can afford on a gift. Regardless of the motive, being overly generously when money is tight is really no gift at all, to the recipient or the giver.
- Love is not being a pretender. Honesty, including financial honesty, is key to any relationship. Don't pretend that you have money you don't by playing the big-spender role.
- Love is not making financial decisions with the heart. Even though emotional spending can give a temporary high, it can also lead to guilt and buyer's remorse.
- Love is not avoiding the financial realities. Burying your head in the financial sand and living as if there were no money problems only digs the financial hole deeper.
- Love is not giving a gift that will soon be forgotten. Most people cannot remember what they received last Valentine's Day. Making a purchase simply to have a gift in hand will be equally forgettable and a waste of money.
"Spending irresponsibly is no way to say 'I love you.' However, showing that you are financially reliable is a tangible expression of that sentiment. It's a gift that's meaningful, always in style, won't wilt or add pounds," continued Cunningham.
If you need help finding extra money in your budget, consider reaching out to an NFCC Member Agency, To locate the agency closest to you, dial (800) 388-2227, or go online to http://www.debtadvice.org/. For assistance in Spanish, call (800) 682-9832.
Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Tennessee River Valley is a member of the NFCC and services Southeast Tennessee, Northeast Alabama, and Northwest Georgia. You can contact CCCS by calling (423) 490-5620, or by email at CCCSreception@partnershipfca.com.
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), founded in 1951, is the nation's largest and longest serving national nonprofit credit counseling organization. The NFCC's mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services. NFCC Members annually help more than three million consumers through close to 800 community-based offices nationwide.