By Madison Thompson —

Valentine’s Day is a time of love and romance for people in relationships. It’s a time to love one another and let them know how much they mean to you.

It’s also a profitable time for businesses. Valentine’s Day is a scam to swindle couples to spend more money.

The seasonal themed candy and merchandise are integrated mid-January to remind us the holiday is around the corner. Slowly, chocolate prices increase and special gift baskets are set out filled with plush dolls, candy and romantic cards.

Flower prices usually range from $5 to $10, depending on the bouquet selected. During Valentine’s season, bouquets can increase in price by half or more.

For students who have loan debt or are earning minimum wage, it is hard to justify splurging on this holiday. It can come across as unthoughtful if you don’t at least spend the time to make something. Add this to coursework and jobs and a traditional Valentine’s Day becomes less and less practical.

Stores make it convenient to go and pick something up with their put-together baskets. Overall, stores make it feel like you’re paying for the convenience of the item, not the item itself.

Most people expect or would like to receive something on this day. At the very least, they expect someone to say their friendship is appreciated.

Tokens of appreciation are thoughtful and gratifying for both the receiver and the deliverer.

Charging exorbitant amounts for candy, flowers and gifts is profitable, but there are better ways to turn a profit than charging your sweethearts.

One way is for businesses to charge slightly less, which may encourage purchasing more than the buyer intended because they believe they’re getting a good deal.

The holiday can be a thoughtful one. It can serve as a reminder if we forget the rest of the year to tell the people who matter how much they mean to us. Instead of spending money on a lavish gift, take time and spend it with the people you care about. Things can be thrown away, and time is more valuable than any gold ring.

Letting people know how much they mean to us should be the focus of this holiday. There are more important things than the overpriced candy. So go tell the people in your life they mean something to you and wait for the day after discounts to celebrate.

Graphic by Mitchell Howes / The Louisville Cardinal