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The true cost of romance

The true cost of romance

Category: Savings

Updated: 23/06/2017
First Published: 10/02/2015

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Valentine's Day is almost upon us, and with it comes the pressure of demonstrating just how much that special someone means. But, it isn't always that easy – or financially viable.

Without intending to burst any romantic bubbles, Moneyfacts has discovered that the price of true love may be out of reach for anyone who thought they could use the interest gained on their savings to fund their affairs of the heart.

Interest will get you nowhere

By analysing the average interest paid on the most popular savings vehicles, including easy access accounts, ISAs and fixed rate bonds, it is clear to see that winning someone's devotion will have to be a 'long game' rather than an impulsive act of love.

Let's say you had £10,000 in an easy access account. Currently, the average rate paid across the easy access sector is just 0.66%, which means it'll take you a long time to afford those romantic treats if you were hoping to rely on interest alone.

Sadly, the figures show that it would take someone using the interest paid on that savings pot over 22 years to buy a £1,500 engagement ring, the most expensive item on our lovers' list. It isn't just pricey items that will be hard to come by, either, as it would take a disappointing two weeks to save for just a £2.50 Valentine's card.

Take a look at the table below for a run-down of typical Valentine's Day costs – and how long it would take you to pay for them using savings interest:

Valentine's Day costs based on £10,000 savings
How many days to save
Potential purchases Approx cost Easy Access Account Average Cash ISA One-Year Fixed Rate Five-Year Fixed Rate
Valentine's card £2.50 14 days 6 days 6 days 4 days
Meal for two - eating in £10 55 days 25 days 26 days 14 days
Chocolates £15 83 days 38 days 39 days 22 days
Champagne £30 166 days 76 days 78 days 43 days
Meal for two - eating out £40 221 days 101 days 104 days 57 days
Flowers - dozen roses £50 277 days 126 days 129 days 72 days
Perfume £50 277 days 126 days 129 days 72 days
West End Show for two £70 387 days 176 days 181 days 101 days
Last minute trip to Paris (Eurostar + hotel stay) £600 3,318 days 1,510 days 1,533 days 862 days
Engagement ring £1,500 8,295 days 3,776 days 3,883 days 2,156 days
Average Easy Access Account 0.66%
Average ISA Rate 1.45%
Average One-Year Fixed Rate Bond 1.41%
Average Two-Year Fixed Rate Bond 1.73%
Average Five-Year Fixed Rate Bond 2.54%

Sylvia Waycot, editor at, said:

"There's a serious message in this latest research, as it clearly shows that the interest paid on savings accounts is not anywhere near enough to supplement anyone's income. For those who are reliant on savings income, there are no easy answers.

"However, those looking to treat their loved ones this Valentine's Day may consider using a 0% purchase credit card instead, which allows them to spread the cost over several months without interest.

"Alternatively, if your beloved is miserable this Valentine's Day, have a heart – it may not be their fault. Savers are just not going to become spenders until rates start to go up."

What next?

Compare 0% purchase credit cards

The best fixed rate bonds for savings

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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.