| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Feb 13 When it comes to romantic
screwups, missing Valentine's Day is about as bad as it gets.
But what if you miss it on purpose?
Kathryn Hauer does that every single year. Married to her
husband for 33 years, she is not hung up on the actual date.
Feb. 14 may come and go, but the post-holiday bargains are just
too good to pass up.
"For us, it’s fiscally smart," said the Aiken, South
Carolina, financial planner. "As a gal who loves the
after-holiday sales, I’m all for scooping up deals for my
Plenty of other people are following suit, according to a
new survey by financial comparison site Finder.com. Almost two
in five Americans, or 39 percent, have celebrated their love
after Valentine's Day.
What markups are they avoiding?
Americans are slated to spend $2 billion on flowers this
Valentine's Day, according to the National Retail Federation,
with 35 percent of us ponying up for a bouquet.
Florists themselves pay more for stems during the mad
scramble, and they pass the higher prices on to consumers.
Hotel rooms cost an average of 25 percent more on
Valentine's Day than the same day a week prior, according to a
study by travel site Hipmunk.com. In popular spots like New York
City, rates are more like 70 percent higher.
And when it comes to that romantic dinner for two, 71
percent of Americans plan to go out on Valentine's Day, and 44
percent order pricier menu selections than they normally would,
according to a survey by reservation website OpenTable.com. On
that day, reservations skyrocket by 520 percent, compared with a
more typical day on the calendar.
Younger Americans in particular are more amenable to a
delayed Valentine's Day, according to the Finder.com survey.
Almost half of millennials (46 percent) have done so, compared
with 36 percent of Generation X and 32 percent of baby boomers.
Just beware that a postponed Valentine's Day can be
emotionally dangerous territory. A few tips on saving a few
dollars while keeping your significant other:
* Bring the idea up early
Waiting until Feb. 13 to suggest a delay can seem
thoughtless. If you mention the idea relatively early, then you
are demonstrating that you are thinking about your partner and
are putting some effort into logistics and planning. "Otherwise
you could get yourself into some real trouble," said Fred
Schebesta, Finder.com's founder and CEO.
* Gauge your partner's reaction
Holidays mean different things to different people. If your
partner likes to celebrate on Valentine's Day itself, then drop
the idea altogether. But if you sense flexibility and interest
in saving some money, then bring up the option and offer veto
power over it.
* Take the length of the relationship into account
"The newer the relationship, the less tolerance there is to
celebrate love the day after," advises Angel Melgoza, a
financial planner in McAllen, Texas.
If you have been together for a long time, though, you may
have more leeway to try something a little different.
* Make it a bigger celebration
One way to sweeten the pot for a late Valentine's Day:
Instead of a muted midweek celebration (this year the holiday
falls on a Tuesday), you can wait for a weekend.
"If they just want to be treated more special than usual,"
said financial planner Jon Powell of Rockville, Maryland, "make
the case to delay your plans and have a bigger weekend together
when prices are more reasonable."
(Editing by Beth Pinsker and Lisa Von Ahn)