NEW YORK (MainStreet) A dozen long-stemmed roses delivered costs $129.07 these days compared to $65 in 1990, according to the annual Cost of Loving Index. Expect to pay $100 for a heart-shaped box of Godiva chocolates and $325 for the highest priced item on the index, which is one ounce of Chanel No. 5 perfume.
"You may want to stay home and pop the cork of a bottle of Simi Chardonnay for $23.12 and exchange Valentine greeting cards that remain fixed at $4.75," said Bob Frater, a certified financial planner and CEO with Houston Asset Management, which compiles the index.
But when given the choice of sex or a gift, 70% of women in a relationship prefer to receive a gift compared to 66% of men who chose sex, according to RetailMeNot.
Maybe that's why more than 32% of men in relationships prefer to stay at home this year.
"You can't go wrong with flowers or candy on Valentine's Day," said Offers.com savings expert Howard Schaffer. "But if you still haven't gotten around to doing your Valentine's Day shopping, you aren't alone. The majority of online Valentine's Day purchases happen the day before."
More than 80% of dating couples and close to 85% of married couples said their expectations for a Valentine's Day gift had decreased over the course of their relationship, according to new data from SmartAsset.
Yet and still 36% of women still prefer to receive jewelry and about 55% will spend $50 or more to mark the day, according to a survey by Toluna QuickSurveys.
"Money is too often the central cause of break-ups and friction within a relationship," says Eleanor Blayney, a certified financial planner. "It's time to rethink the roles of money and love and consider how the two can be partners rather than perpetual antagonists."
If love can wait, save money by hitting the jewelry sales that happen after Valentine's Day. Last year, the biggest day for in-store purchases was two days after Valentine's Day.