The KISS Principle

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(Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/Getty Images)

420x316-grad-lee Dee Lee
Dee Lee is a Certified Financial Planner who received a diploma in...
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BOSTON (CBS) – I thought it was time again to do a week on being a cheap cupid. Certainly more fun than tax preparation or the federal deficit.

Valentine’s Day is next Thursday the 14th! Just thought I would remind you in case you’ve been in a cave for the last 6 weeks.

The Valentine candy, cards, and decorations have been in the stores since the day after Christmas. There are ads everywhere, on the TV, radio, and the Internet and many of them want you to splurge on big-ticket items like diamonds!

Many folks out there profusely proclaim a dislike for this holiday. And I do understand why. Valentine’s Day, once upon a time, was a simple holiday. Came between Christmas and Easter and was not too commercial. All that was expected was a simple gift or card for the person you fell in love with. Not anymore. Retailers and the card industry have seen fit to create a major holiday with lots of spending.

And now it is not just your one true love; it’s your kids, little sister, grandmother, your mom, dad, the dog, the cat, the next-door neighbor, the out-laws and your best friend. I’m surprised the card industry hasn’t found a way to include your ex.

You can give your love freely but most Valentine gifts do cost money. I think Valentine’s Day should be a fun day to celebrate love without a huge price tag, especially if you are still paying off Christmas gifts.

According to the National Retail Federation, the average consumer spent $125 on Valentine’s Day last year. Men spend more money on gifts than women by almost 2 to 1. Maybe they are just trying to make up for that flat screen TV they bought to watch the Super Bowl.

With over 60% of consumers planning to celebrate the holiday this year, the total 2013 Valentine’s Day spending is expected to be over $18 billion. Jewelry will account for over $4 billion. And over $1 billion will be spent on greeting cards. Every kid in the first grade will receive a card from every other kid in the first grade. The rule is to include everyone.

And the old standbys of flowers and candy, over $3 billion. Chocolate and flowers are not a bad start but I thought that we could come up with some more creative ideas. Ideas that will fit your budget. You can do it really cheap and still let everyone know they are loved!

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