BOSTON (TheStreet) -- If love waits for no one, why are you wasting time planning your Valentine's Day date like it's 1986?
Getting fixed up on dates by friends, hitting multiple stores for gifts and chocolates, calling for dinner reservations and being put on hold, paying full price for that dinner and having a box office attendant tell you the film you wanted to see is sold out is for rock-bashing, knuckle-dragging troglodytes with no Internet access. Why bother? Everything you need this Valentine's Day -- from a date to dessert and beyond -- can be found online, and an increasing number of people are beating you and your technologically befuddled buddies to them.
According to ComScore, the population of online users eclipsed 1 billion back in 2009, with more than 163 million people accessing the Internet in the U.S. alone. Meanwhile, U.S. online spending has increased from $28 billion in the first quarter of 2007 to $32.1 billion in the third quarter of last year, or 13%, with fourth-quarter online spending on pace to break $40 billion. As the National Retail Federation predicts the average person will spend $116 on Valentine's Day -- up 11% from last year, but still less than the $190 spent by heartstruck consumers ages 25 to 34 -- it also forecasts that nearly 20% of Americans will do that spending online.
With little real estate between the procrastinating consumer and Valentine's Day, we've put together an outline for a great online date. Whether you need something as simple as a dinner reservation or as awkward as an actual date, we've got you covered:
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV