The Almighty Dollar

Restoring some fiscal sanity in our -- negative savings rate -- lives


Be My Valentine

I think it's highly appropriate that my first post falls on Valentine's Day -- and not for the obvious reason that this uber-commercial holiday makes us measure our feelings for loved ones by how much money we spend on them. Whatever happened to the thought that counts? By way of introduction, I'd like to share a V-day story that may help explain my commitment to personal finance and rational spending.

In February 2001, I had been living with my boyfriend (now husband) for less than six months. We were never into the forced romancing that comes once a year -- candlelight dinners and thoughtful gifts happen year-round. However, on this V-day, I wanted to find a present to celebrate our relationship's new phase. Sharing a roof meant more to me than saving a few bucks a month. I knew I eventually wanted to marry this man.

So that night, I surprised him with the latest version of Quicken (yes, I am a true romantic). I'm sure some of you are appalled that I even thought about financial planning software, let alone bought it, on Valentine's Day. But in all honesty, he loved it. (Hey, I included a card with sweet somethings, too!) I guess that's one of the million reasons why we're happily married today.

After reading this story, you probably won't believe me when I tell you that my life is filled with romance. Trust me, it is. I may not wear a huge diamond ring on my finger, and I'd hate it if my husband surprised me tonight with a teddy bear and a box of stale chocolates.

But on countless evenings, I've come home to a set table and a dinner reminiscent of that delectable meal we had at Da Salvatore on Italy's Amalfi coast. Then I notice he still has on the clothes he wore to work, because he didn't have time to change before cooking. Now that is sweet.

Don't let the multimillion-dollar marketing strategy of some mega-corporation tell you how to spend The Almighty Dollar on yourself or your loved ones -- I mean, how unromantic is that?

Thanks for reading, and welcome to The Almighty Dollar!