Tip of the month: This Valentine’s Day skip flowers & chocolate and put money to better use

According to a recent study from the National Retail Federation, consumers are expected to spend a whopping $18.2 billion on Valentine’s Day this year! That averages to roughly $136 per consumer. At Fort Pitt we fully believe in taking care of one another. However, much like spending a tax refund, we think there are some beneficial ways to put that money to use. So, instead of reaching for the box of chocolates, roses, or jewelry this year, consider some of these options and really impress a loved one.

Tip: Pay down debt. What’s more romantic than dinner and a movie? Having a great credit score! Take this time to contribute a little bit more to credit card bills, student loans, or mortgage payments. Specifically focus first on those with high interest rates.

Tip: Contribute to a retirement account. Consider using the funds that might have been spent on date night and gifts to increase retirement investments. Adding a little bit to a Roth IRA or other retirement account will earn money over time, money that can be used for many more dates in retirement.

Tip: Savings. If you don’t already have a rainy day fund, think about bolstering that with the funds you would have otherwise spent this Valentine’s Day. Having a safety net is important for when life throws you curve balls, and if you already have a sufficient safety net put aside the money for a fun surprise down the road with your loved one.

For additional information on how to better put your money to work, talk to your advisor. Happy Valentine’s Day!