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The legend of St. Valentine

By William E. Lewis Jr.

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Feb. 13 2014 11:52 a.m. MST

Men will spend an average of $108.38 on gifts — more than twice as much as women, who will spend $49.41 on their men. Consumers will not forget their pets either, as 19 percent will buy gifts for their furry friends, spending an average of $5.51, according to the NRF.

“If I do by chance get a gift from my boyfriend, it will be something that someone at work gave him combined with dinner at the same place we go all the time,” Melissa Cockcroft of Pinellas Park told the Deseret News. “He never buys me anything because he is just too cheap, not because he doesn’t care.”

Recent studies show that 73 percent of married couples have reduced overall spending since the recession. While men account for two-thirds of Valentine’s Day gift purchases, spending has fallen by 38 percent since 2008, a trend set to continue this year.

“I’ve always hated being pigeonholed to a specific date to do something nice,” Rico Petrocelli — married 38 years to wife Camille — told the Deseret News. “It doesn’t matter what day it is. I can do something special anytime of the year without the pressure of doing on one particular day. It’s not the cost of the gift, but the thought that counts.”

So maybe the best gift you can give this Valentine’s Day is one of yourself. In a recovering economy, reducing financial stress and strain may help keep your Valentine for many years to come.

Bill Lewis is principal of William E. Lewis Jr. & Associates, a solutions-based professional consulting firm specializing in the discriminating individual, business or governmental entity.

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