Cost of Living Index for Prices of Valentine Day’s Gifts Reveals Decrease

Consumers love Valentine’s Day, especially when the prices for affection-expressing gifts are about the same as last year, suggests the 2018 “Cost of Loving” Index.

Compiled by Houston Asset Management, a Houston-based investment advisory firm, the annual Cost of Loving Index has been tracking prices of nine popular Valentine gifts since 1990. This year it reveals an overall decrease of .24 percent.

“The last time the total cost of gifts decreased was seven years ago. While a quarter of percent drop in the total gift prices may not be very significant, at least it means more money in the pockets of gift-givers, and weall love that,” said Bob Frater, CFP, CEO of Houston Asset Management. “Our clients look forward to the Cost of Loving Index as a way to track their own extraneous spending while we use it to encourage saving for unplanned purchases of all kinds.”

Houston Asset Management’s Cost of Loving Index is an unscientific and highly anticipated list of prices for each particular item being sold at the same store or online from year to year. The prices for five gifts are unchanged, those for three gifts went up and only one price showed a price decrease.

A romantic four-course candlelight dinner for two is about six percent less this year. “As may be expected, the cost of the fancy dinner has fluctuated the most throughout the years,” said Frater.

Expect to pay more for date night, with the price of movie tickets to a first-run show up by almost nine percent this year. Other price increases include the cost of a sentimental greeting card at 19 percent more, and paying five percent more than last year for a one-ounce bottle of the iconic fragrance, Chanel No. 5.

The five lovely Valentine gifts that are unchanged in price from 2017 are a bottle of Simi California Chardonnay ($30); a dozen long-stemmed roses delivered ($140.73); a designer silk tie ($175); Victoria’s Secret lingerie ($68); and a satin heart-shaped box of Godiva chocolates ($100).

The National Retail Federation’s annual survey of Valentine spending reports that 55 percent of U.S. adults will spend an average of $143.56 on gifts for loved ones, family, friends and pets this year

Ayo Mseka