Thank God It’s Friday (TGIF)- Valentine’s Day, of course. A lot of Nigerians probably know this already and have thought up a thousand ways to demonstrate their undying love. In the end, the size of their purse will determine which romantic idea is best.
A research by Picodi last year suggests that 91 percent of Nigerians celebrate February 14th, one of the most commercialized holidays in the country.
From street vendors to high-end retail stores across the country, everyone prepares for it.
Red clothes, shoes, candles, perfumes, chocolate, candies, jewellery are among items that will be advertised week-long, providing alternatives and making it difficult for shoppers to decide on what to gift their loved ones.
So how do Nigerians Spend?
Picodi in 2019 ranked Nigeria 31 out of 38 countries based on the amount spent on gifts (in dollar terms).
While the average expenditure of N18400 on gifts (around $51) by Nigerians is less than $53 spent by South Africans, it is equal to the prevailing minimum wage (N18,000) at that time.
By gender, males, on the average, spend more-than-double what females do.
Men spend N22,154 while women spend N10,000. Recipients of these gift items are one’s significant other (62%), family (29%), friends (29%) and colleagues (0%).
What do Nigerians want?
We all have different tastes, but statistics -which are not generated from thin air- tend to tell general characteristics of a population.
That said, money (35%), gift vouchers (33%), plush toys (28%), clothing (26%) and electronic devices (25%) were voted the worst gifts for Valentine’s Day by Nigerian women surveyed.
For the men, going to the cinema (15%), Dining in a restaurant (22%), Board games (18%), and visiting theatres (17%) were the worst ideas for February 14, although they are slightly better than doing nothing.
Overall, the most desirable gifts by Nigerians are Gift voucher (58%), Perfumes (50%), Money (42%), Electronic devices (33%), and Clothing (25%) while the least desirable gifts are Money (35%), Gift voucher (33%), Plush toys (28%), Clothing (26%), and Electronic devices (25%).
Here’s how much you should be spending for Val
Red is assumed to be the colour of love but a red bank account post-Valentine’s Day is a big concern especially for people, many who have just recovered from December spending and January bills.
Going by personal finance 101, you have 30 percent of your income to splurge on valentine.
The popular 50:30:20 rule recommends that half of one’s income is spent on needs, a third is spent on wants while a fifth should be saved and invested.
This means, if you earn N100,000 you should cap your spending at N30,000 and if you earn N500,000 you should not spend more than N150,000.
Since Valentine is not the only ‘want’ on your list, you should target a percentage lower than 30 percent to accommodate other things that you would also like to spend on.
In addition, there are a lot of ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank.
They include creating hand-made gifts, cooking dinner at home, buying loved-ones books and music or making memories doing fun kinds of stuff together (hiking, karaoke, etc.)
In the end, Valentine is a season where one could be forgiven for going out of one’s way for a loved one.
The best advice would be to communicate to your loved ones how much they mean to you in the way they would understand-and not to get into debt after that.