Saving & Spending

Valentine’s Day Spending is on the Rise, Despite Younger Couples Losing Interest

Valentine's Day spending

Interest in celebrating Valentine’s Day has been on the decline for the past decade. Only 51 percent of Americans plan to buy a gift or celebrate this year. Despite the overall interest in the holiday slowly disappearing, Valentine’s Day spending is actually on the rise.

Valentine’s Day Spending in 2019

Although it has lost its popularity, approximately 135 million Americans still plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Overall spending has decreased by 10 percent (from $30.3 billion to $30 billion), but much of that can be accounted for by the 4 percent decrease in folks celebrating.

Those choosing to celebrate are spending more than in recent years. The average gift bought for this year’s romantic holiday will cost $162, up from $144 in 2018. Sixty-two percent of men expect to spend money on Valentine’s Day festivities or gifts this year. Only 45 percent of women expect to spend any money on the holiday.

Wives will get the most lavish gifts. On average, husbands expect to spend $357.96 on their wives for Valentine’s Day this year. Their wives, on the other hand, plan to only spend around $206.23. The same divide seems to exist between boyfriends and girlfriends as well. Guys and gals who are dating anticipate spending $231.55 and $105.02, respectively.

Changes to Valentine’s Day Spending

Millennial pet parents are buying their pets Valentine’s Day gifts. A quarter of celebrants under 35 plans to purchase something for their pet. Cat people are likely to spend a bit more on average ($95.90) than dog lovers ($81.56). Younger consumers are more likely to spend more on their pets than older shoppers.

People are spending more on themselves and gifting “me time.” Some people are taking time out for themselves on Valentine’s Day to have a spa day or meet up with friends. Those spending money on themselves this Valentine’s plan to spend $235. 56 on average. Other spending projections are as follows.

  • Kids – $280.07
  • Friends – $208.10
  • Secret – $160.13
  • Other family members – $146.24

Is Valentine’s Day a Waste of Money?

Valentine's Day spending

In the past, studies have shown most women don’t actually want flowers. Many of us wind up storing our giant teddy bear away in a closet to collect dust. Around 43 million Americans will get an unwanted Valentine’s Day gift this year. Ultimately, approximately $9.5 billion will be spent on presents no one wants.

While that definitely seems like a waste of money, there are ways to ensure you’re getting a gift that will be well-received. You can do this by directly asking or investing your money into something you can do together. Money spent on an experience or a nice night is almost always appreciated.

Save Money on Valentine’s Day

If you’re on a budget, the figures above probably made you crawl out of your skin. Even though the price of the average Valentine’s Day gift has increased, you don’t have to blow your budget to make sure your sweetie has a nice time. Consider one of the following cheap Valentine’s Day gifts.

  • Pet parents can head to the dog park or cat cafe with their furry friends and enjoy the afternoon/evening together.
  • Have a date at the local bookstore. You can usually get a good, cheap cup of coffee and dessert (and maybe you’ll even leave with a bargain book find).
  • Take a drive listening to your favorite podcast to give you something to chat about.
  • Pack a picnic-style dinner and head to the park.
  • Create a “drive-in” movie experience. Bring your laptop out to the car with a movie and snacks. Hop in the backseat with your honey, sit the laptop in front of you, and watch your movie with your snacks.
  • Get takeout and stay in. Pick a show to binge watch or a movie you’ve been wanting to see and pig out on your favorite takeout food.
  • Put together some wine and cheese for a romantic evening. You can get reasonably priced wine, cheese, and deli meats at Costco.

These are just a few ideas you may want to consider if your Valentine’s Day budget is tight. There are plenty of other great inexpensive Valentine’s Day date ideas out there.

Readers, what do you plan to spend on Valentine’s Day this year, if anything?

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