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Money Matters with Nimi: Do You Feel Pressured By Valentine’s Day?



Nimi Akinkugbe - PressFor many people, February has become a time of some anxiety, for both those who feel the financial pressure of gift giving, as well as those who hope or expect to receive.

According to the Huffington Post, a survey estimated that this year, Americans will spend an estimated $17.6 billion on Valentine’s Day which comes second only to Christmas, and ahead of Mother’s Day and Easter. Of the expenses, 89% are gifts for spouses and partners, the rest being for children, parents, siblings, friends, colleagues and even pets! I wonder what statistics would show in Nigeria as the Valentine’s Day frenzy kicks in.

In Gary Chapman’s book “The Five Languages of Love,” understanding your partners’ money personality and how they interpret and respond to love gestures can save your relationship, anxiety, time and money this Valentines Day and beyond. The book highlights five categories or “languages” a person will primarily identify with.

1. Words of Affirmation
The simple words “I love you” can have a powerful impact. Words of affirmation include paying compliments, writing romantic notes, terms of endearment, pet names and verbal appreciation.

2. Quality Time
This person desires uninterrupted quality time, undivided attention with no intrusion from mobile phones, laptops or television. They wish to be listened to, acknowledged, and simply want to spend time together. A Valentine’s Day stroll or a day at the beach may well mean more than material gifts.

3. Receiving Gifts
For some, carefully thought through gifts are an absolute must; not duty free perfumes or chocolates bought in bulk when you are rushing through an airport! Remember, the gift need not be lavish or expensive; what matters is the thought behind it and the effort that was made.

4. Acts of Service
Simple gestures such as running an errand, cooking your loved one’s favorite meal, helping to iron a shirt or dress; these little acts of service come from the heart, cost little or nothing and will be very much appreciated if this is the way the person is wired.

5. Physical Touch
Hugs, holding hands, and other physical expressions cost nothing and usually get positive reactions.

Which is the love language that you can identify with? After you have a sense of what draws you, try to identify that of your partner or spouse. Many couples make the mistake of expressing their own love language as opposed to trying to understand the language of their significant other.

It is the thought that should count and not the amount, but sadly in our excessively materialistic society, men in particular, are constantly put under a great deal of pressure even at the expense of their financial security.

Don’t feel pressured. If you are not a millionaire, you cannot afford to fly your loved one away to a wonderful five-star resort for the weekend, or buy her some fine jewelry. If you are earning N200,000 a month and your girlfriend expects and insists upon an authentic Hermes bag for Valentine’s Day, perhaps you need to find a new girlfriend who will be more than satisfied with a lovely hand written card, and a good movie followed by a quiet dinner for two in a nice restaurant.

Let’s be realistic. If your relationship has not been one of massive displays of affection all year round, yet you never complained when he forgot your birthday or anniversary; then why put your husband or boyfriend under the pressure of suddenly becoming the hero in a romantic fairy tale sweeping you off your feet just for that one day in the year? What do you have planned for Valentine’s day? Do you expect the world whilst you plan to give him a pair of socks?

Valentine’s Day is about expressing love and not about breaking the bank. Instead of demonstrating love on just one day, from now on let us all begin to celebrate our loved ones, throughout the year and not just on the fourteenth of February.

Nimi Akinkugbe has extensive experience in private wealth management. She seeks to empower people regarding their finances and offers frank, practical insights to create a greater awareness and understanding of personal finance.


  1. Wale

    February 9, 2016 at 10:45 am

    God bless you ma. I agreed with all points raised….

    • DLP

      February 9, 2016 at 11:51 am

      Humm Wale y u n go agree

  2. halima

    February 9, 2016 at 11:23 am

    No, never. I can never be pressured.

  3. Jezebel

    February 9, 2016 at 11:28 am

    My love language: put £50, 000 in my account and don’t talk to me ?


      February 9, 2016 at 12:28 pm

      Chai…….Jezebel. Ur moniker has said it all. U are so mean. I just hope that you didn’t mean that.

  4. [email protected]

    February 9, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    Nice article. But you concentrated on only men and how women can ask for things that are above their men’s income. I know it’s money issues but it does not mean men don’t ask for expensive things.
    What about the boy toys that will require expensive things from sugar mama’s in this hard economy…. Lol, just kidding.
    It was a good read!

  5. I just waka come...

    February 9, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Pressured by Valentines?
    What’s that???

    I got rent due in a coupla months-that’s pressure.
    Schools fees due in September – more pressure.
    New year, need to restock my wardrobe – painful pressure.
    Mini courses here and there to upgrade, press pressure.
    Single af (in Nigeria, this is blood sucking pressure)
    Plus parents, siblings, extended family, neighbours, friends, monitoring spirits wahala…

    Valentine’s day? What is that??

  6. frank

    February 9, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Now my own view is this, valentine is not of Africa tradition. Valentine himself did not fight for his own love, he was not jailed for love, he was jailed for treason to the state. And in 1969 the catholic church dropped the celebration of valentine, but he was recognise as one of their saint. So why all these head over one day.

  7. Tobby

    February 9, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    Good point!!!
    Na for people Wey get person to love and receive love in return
    Person like me Wey no get anyone go just go church
    Come back
    Chew cabin biscuit with cashew nuts
    Drink milo, sprinkle blood of Jesus
    Then sleep.

  8. Hawt Talk With Tosan

    February 9, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    In the real world with bills, children, bad economy, mortgage, dwindling libido and more to worry about, valentine is but a little cockroach. No one cares.

  9. Frida

    February 9, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Valentine day is special for my husband and I. …however in this harsh economic times….plus the fact that we have rent due next month….we agreed to ditch buying each other gifts this year….instead we’re settling for a romantic dinner for two……yup we’re both contributing.

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