How many times have you heard these phrases? More likely than not you have heard one or the other enough that they will pop into your head when you are looking to purchase something for your loved one.
I was listening to the radio this morning and I heard a commercial that was trying to sell insanely overpriced jewelry. I know the term insanely overpriced is a bit subjective, but at the end of the commercial they mentioned how “financing is available so you don’t have an excuse to miss out on showing your sweetheart how much you love her.” Any jewelry that you have to finance is jewelry you should not be getting. It was a well written commercial that was somewhat funny. The point that the commercial drive home several times was “you can’t afford not to purchase this” leading you to believe that not getting this jewelry would have horrible effects on your marriage and lead to divorce. Then it concluded with the phrase “can you really put a price on love?”
In complete contrast with this idea is the notion that love don’t cost a thing. There are a few songs that talk about this, the biggest being “Love Don’t Cost a thing” by Jennifer Lopez.
So which is it-
You Can’t Put A Price on Love!
Love Don’t Cost a Thing!
Let’s explore the two.
You Can’t Put a Price on Love-
Majority of the people that are telling you this are people selling you something. Their incentive is to get your money and they could care less about your love life. But that phrase plays on our emotions. It really gets you thinking that love is worth any price.
“Every Kiss Begins with Kay”
“You Cannot afford not to purchase this”
“Your engagement ring should cost three months of your salary”
These notions are crazy and they could not be further from the truth. I have a limit on my how much I am willing to spend to show love for sure. I can vary easily put a price on love. If you took every salesman or marketing slogan like this to heart you would quickly lose all of your hard earned money. The people that are buying into these ideas are really setting themselves up for some financial hardships in life. I have seen a number of people who want to show love so badly through material things that they go into debt doing it. They created a whole of debt so big that they now are stuck working long into retirement or taking on multiple jobs and giving up on time with that loved one so they can turn things around. If you went back and asked them Can You Really Put a Price on Love Now, I am sure most of them would wish they did things differently.
Plus think of what you are teaching by showing love through purchasing material things. You start to develop an expectation that more often than not is unsustainable; this will lead to hard times down the road for sure. Not to mention if you are teaching this notion of purchasing material things equals love to your children, you are setting them up for a very difficult life.
But underneath it all there is some merit to the phrase you cannot put a price on love. If you are the crazy cheap tightwad that never spends anything on loved ones, never takes care of any of their wants, or worse yet deprives loved ones of their needs, you really need to take that phrase to heart and change your ways.
Love Don’t Cost a Thing-
Alright, I have been married now for over ten and I have learned a few things. Like when you wife says “you don’t need to get me anything, all I want is you,” don’t buy it. You can only go so long without getting her anything before something bad will happen. Now I should say I have been blessed with a wife that is not, for the most part, wanting of things, (I know my wife is going to read this so I have to say it or I would have a horrible Valentines Day) but that does not mean I could always get away with never buying her anything. Plus looking at the reality of it, everyone needs a certain level of wealth in their lives, that is not to say you don’t need to become a millionaire. If you are dirt poor and unable to provide for your loved ones that love is not going to last very long. I think of my kids and the love that I give them and they give me. As a father I need to be able to provide for them and I would do whatever it takes to make sure all of their needs and some of their wants in life are taken care of. By working to provide those things I am showing my love for them. If I was not taking care of my family, as some fathers in this world do, I would not be showing them my love. If you are a parent that is not taking care of your children’s needs are you really showing love, now I know there are a million different scenarios here and I am not one to judge yours, I just look at my situation. From my experience love is very expensive. I have a wife and four children to provide for and taking care of the necessities in life as well as some of the wants in life add up, I can say for sure that the phrase Love Don’t Cost a Thing is totally false.
Even though it is totally false there is some merit in the phrase love does not cost a thing. The best ways of showing love all evolve around spending time and being with that person, not in gift giving or spending money. If you are the workaholic that never takes time out for your loved ones or if you have more than enough money to provide financial stability in your life and you find yourself purchasing gifts to display love in place of spending time, then you need to make some changes.
All of this boils down to the fact that personal finance and learning more about managing your money is so important in life. Some of us start out on a bad foot with finances but it doesn’t have to stay that way. The fact that you are here on this website, reading this means that you are either starting to make good financial decisions or you are already there, but please do keep reading more at Must Reads. Taking care of your loved ones financially is the most fundamental way of showing love, but also one of the most unrecognized as well.
I don’t mean to come off as the cynic on Valentine’s Day but there is a balance in life. There is a happy medium between-
You Can’t Put A Price on Love!
Love Don’t Cost a Thing!
We are all in different places in life and the place each of us ends up will be different, but in the end don’t buy into the hype of either.
Photo is courtesy of Aura Backdrops.
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About the Author: KC Beavers is a semi-retired entrepreneur. The subject of personal finance has always fascinated him. In an effort to not bore those around him with all his love of personal finance as much he has come here to bore all of you instead. Be sure to follow KC on Twitter or Google+.
The price of loving is loving itself. (where did that come from?!) Lol, anyway, whatever is the cost, if you found love, then it's worth it. Although, if you are short of money, then there's no reason to be extravagant. You can always tell your better half that you love them any day of the year. Not just on Valentine's Day.
Interesting thoughts. Thanks for sharing. It's nice to get a man's perspective. My husband and I have never made a big deal of Valentine's Day and I really like it that way. Keep it simple, you know. I'd rather just keep things low key instead of getting into the commercial hype.
Great post. This is my 20 year anniversary and you're right on. If love costs something you might be in the wrong relationship.
Love is expensive, for sure! The different things I do for my husband (and his family) is hard to count, but the important thing of course to enjoy it and say "it's worth it".
I think it would be impractical to spend like a $100 on a bouquet of flowers alone, especially if you have a family already since you can use that money for far more important things in your home. You can always find a way to make things special even without spending too much, right?