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Sweet Reality

With job losses and money tight, many will need to think outside the box this Valentine’s Day.

With America’s sweethearts planning to spend $21.8 billion on Valentine’s Day this weekend—even with COVID-19 limiting celebrations—the personal-finance website WalletHub has released its nationally representative 2021 Valentine’s Day Spending Survey. Here are some of its findings.

• Some People Want Love More Than Health: 50 percent of people would rather get shot by Cupid’s arrow than the COVID-19 vaccine.

• More Men Say V-Day Debt is Worth It: Men are nearly two times more likely than women to think a Valentine’s Day gift is worth going into credit card debt.

• Bad Credit Might Keep You Single: 47 percent of people wouldn’t marry someone with bad credit.

• Reckless Spending Ends Relationships: 47 percent of people would break up with their significant other if he or she spent irresponsibly.

• Financial Irresponsibility Isn’t Attractive: 44 percent of people say irresponsible spending is a bigger turnoff than bad breath.

• Love is Blooming for Some People: 48 percenty of people say they got richer in love since last Valentine’s Day.

 

Q&A with WalletHub Analyst Jill Gonzalez:

Do you think people on the dating scene worry about things like credit scores and financial literacy?

“People want to find partners who are financially savvy, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when money can be tight. Around 44 percent of people now say that irresponsible spending is a bigger turn-off than bad breath, and nearly half say irresponsible spending would make them break up with their significant other,” said WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez. “If you’re looking to settle down, it’s a good idea to get your credit in order, as 47 percent of people would not marry someone with bad credit. Considering the fact that bad credit can lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial losses during a lifetime, that’s unsurprising. Luckily for people with bad credit, it’s very possible to improve one’s credit score with responsible credit use and budget-planning.”

Why are men more likely to think that buying a Valentine’s Day gift is worth going into credit card debt?

“Men are nearly two times more likely than women to think that a Valentine’s Day gift is worth going into credit card debt, according to WalletHub’s new Valentine’s Day Spending Survey. Historical gender roles and societal expectations for dating likely contribute to that divide. However, even if the statistic makes sense, that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. Gifts are never worth going into debt, especially during the tough financial times brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Luckily, 98 million Americans are already expecting their partners to spend less this year, so there’s not as much pressure to buy,” said WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez. “People who are short on cash this Valentine’s Day should think outside the box for gift-giving. For example, giving a handmade gift can often be a lot more special than buying something expensive.”

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