Valentine’s Day Spending Trends

Valentine’s Day, also known as Saint Valentine’s Day, is a holiday occurring annually on February 14th to celebrate the meanings of love and romance. However, this day for love has become widely commercialized and can be seen as a hotspot for spending in the United States. 

Data taken from the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics shows Americans, on average, spent $175.41 on Valentine’s day, with an expected increase in the calendar year of 2023. These figures account for spending for family, friends, classmates, teachers, pets, and more. For the year of 2023, the age demographic of 35-44 years were expected to spend the most on Valentine’s Day, with a planned overall budget of $335.71, $142.91 more than the average American consumer is expected to spend. 

Gifts bought for Valentine’s Day can be widely varied, however 57% of consumers self-reported planning on buying candy, making it the most popular category of gift in 2023 followed by greeting cards, flowers, date nights, jewelry, gift cards, and clothing. The National Retail Federation reports an expected total of almost $4.4 billion on a date night out, and $5.5 billion on jewelry costs. The average consumer on Valentine’s Day is expected to shop online (35%), or in a department store (34%)

American consumers have expanded their gift giving in recent years to include more than just partners and significant others. 87% of gifts given on Valentine’s Day are to a significant other or spouse, 58% are to other family members, 29% are to friends, 25% are to children’s classmates or teachers, 17% are to coworkers, 32% are to pets, and 14% to other categories. These gifts given to various relationships differ in price as well. Gifts for friends, children’s classmates or teachers, pets, and coworkers cost an average of $10-$15, where a gift to a family member will typically cost around $30, leaving gifts to significant others or spouses to cost around $100. 

With inflation in the economy, many common gift ideas have gone up in price over the years. Inflation rates from January 2022 – January 2023 show increases such as airline fares (25.6%), stationary supplies/gift wrap (16.2%), restaurant/dining (8.1%), admissions to movies, theaters, and concerts (6.5%), and alcohol (5.8%). The list goes on, displaying just how much the average consumer may be required to spend when purchasing gifts for Valentine’s Day. 

Bankrate, a personal finance website offers many different tips for consumers and buyers working on a smaller budget for Valentine’s Day. Some of which include home meals or free activities/experiences, non-traditional gifts such as a potted plant rather than a bouquet or homemade treats rather than store-bought, and creating a monthly budget to be able to allocate funds to spending heavy holidays such as Valentine’s Day. 

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