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The Dollars and Sense of Valentine’s Day

In the financial world we are constantly trying to economize. How can we provide more value for less cost? The economy of life insurance is very much appreciated because every dollar of benefit costs literally pennies in premium. And, both the premium and the benefit can be guaranteed for a lifetime.

“Splurging” cannot really take place because of underwriting guidelines. People may fall into a very generous mood and want to make their family members rich with an insurance policy. Underwriters are still going to demand financial justification for the face amount. This means that a person earning $50,000 per year just couldn’t buy a $50 million life insurance policy. How would he pay for it, anyway, on that salary?

If you are thinking about showing your love for your spouse by buying life insurance, that would be most appropriate. It is, after all, a gift of love. A good, commonsense solution to a real problem: providing financial security. If you wanted to splurge, however, you could still do so in many other ways besides a life insurance policy.

Here are some spending figures to stimulate your imagination.

Most Expensive Box of Chocolates: $1.5 Million

In a quest to locate the most expensive box of chocolates ever sold, we came across an array of decadence: chocolates infused with cigar smell (how romantic?) for about $300; chocolate wrapped in edible gold for roughly $1,600; and Serendipity 3’s $25,000 Frrozen Haute Chocolate — a blend of 28 cocoas infused with 5 grams of edible 23-karat gold and served in a goblet lined, again, with edible gold. Still, nothing can top the $1.5 million “Le Chocolate Box” once offered by St. Louis-based Simons Jewelers. The “Le Chocolate Box” included necklaces, earrings, rings, and bracelets adorned with yellow and blue diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires with about a dozen gourmet chocolates.

Total Jewelry Spending: $3.9 Billion

Maybe all the polar vortex action this winter froze men in their tracks on the way to the jewelry store; spending on diamonds and baubles is expected to be less than last year’s $4.4 billion. Still, $3.9 billion is a lot of money for one holiday: that’s $12.42 for every many, woman, and child in the United States. However, we do not recommend spending that average amount on jewelry and calling it good, especially if it’s on sale.

What Ladies Will Spend on Their Fellas: $49.41

You have to wonder if something happened between last year and Valentine’s 2014 that upset countless ladies. In 2013, they spent $88.78 on their guys — 46% more! Part of the issue is that fewer consumers are planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, says Prosper Insights and Analytics Director Pam Goodfellow.

What Fellas Will Spend on Ladies: $108.38

Well, well, well: If all’s fair in love and war, it makes sense that men are dropping their overall spend this year, too. Last year’s NRF survey showed that men spent $175.61 on their significant others, marking a decrease of 38% this year. That’s not as much as female spending is expected to drop, but it’s still significant. However, this year a remarkable 19.4% of guys will buy gifts for their furry friends, spending an average of $5.51.