It’s Valentine’s Day again, woo! (WARNING: upcoming rant alert)
Now, I’m going to come right out and say that I don’t think that many people (single or otherwise) actually like Valentine’s Day.
If you’re currently single, then every shop you walk into is festooned with love hearts, teddy bears and balloons reminding you that you are single and that that isn’t right.
If you are currently in a relationship, then regardless of how and when you would normally show affection to your partner you have all this advertising trying to cajole you into buying roses, dinner, and even greetings cards to prove you love them. I feel, however, that it is probably the WORST day of the year to show your affection, because nothing says “I love you” like a heart-shaped greetings card bought in a petrol station at societal gun-point.
It is also probably the most expensive day of the year to display your affection if you want to do anything like go out for a meal, which reminds me of this sketch from Man Stroke Woman (wedding rather than Valentine’s day, but you get the idea):
What does this have to do with Financial Independence?
Good question, as I’m not just here to rant as a lonely singleton. Those seeking financial independence or early retirement are known for eschewing social norms and doing things differently, because our modern consumerist society isn’t made with FIRE in mind.
Paying money for something you wouldn’t normally do, or paying extra for something you would do, just because companies tell you “today is the day you should be doing this!” is nonsensical and counterproductive for those heading for FIRE. The only reason companies advertise as much as they do is because it’s in their financial interest, not yours.
I’m not saying don’t do nice things with your loved one. But do things together that you both value, and do it on your own schedule. Go for a walk, make their favourite meal, do whatever!
Just don’t buy a glittery greetings card with a teddy bear on.