Valentine’s Day statistics: How much do Americans spend?

February 02, 2022

By Katie Levene

Valentine’s Day statistics: How much do Americans spend?

Valentine's day spending statistics

Valentine’s Day is celebrated each year on February 14 and it’s a great reminder to show some love to those you’re closest to. Whether it’s a card, chocolates, or fancy jewelry, people love to spend money to celebrate the big day.

According to the National Retail Federation, Americans were predicted to spend a total of $21.8 billion in 2021 – the second-highest year for spend in the last ten years. The most expensive year for hopeless romantics was 2020 when Americans planned to spend $27.4 billion dollars on their loved ones.

Let’s dive into some Valentine’s Day spending statistics!

Love birds love love

Ninety-four percent of Americans believe in true love, according to Statista. So, it’s no surprise to see that 52% of Americans plan to celebrate Valentine’s day in some way with family members, friends, etc..

In fact, 73% felt it was important to celebrate Valentine’s Day in some way because of the recent pandemic. In 2021, 41% of people planned to celebrate at home. A stat that may change in 2022.

On average, adults in 2021 were expected to spend $154.76 per person, but Valentine’s day looks very different for some people depending on what they plan to gift.

Valentine’s Day spending statistics

Of people surveyed by the National Retail Federation in 2021, the majority of them said they planned to spend money on candy. Forty-four percent said they would spend money on Valentine’s Day cards. Thirty-six percent on flowers and 24% on an evening out.

Only 18% of people would spend money on jewelry. Those that said they would buy jewelry spent the most on Valentine’s day. In fact, that 18% of people spent a total of $4.1 billion on Valentine’s Day!

Spending differs by gender and age. Men planned to spend more on Valentine’s Day ($231) than women who planned to spend $101. Bankrate found that the biggest spenders on February 14 are Millennials, followed by Gen X.

A little more than a third of people planned to buy their gifts online, and 17% of people planned to shop at local or small businesses.

What do people want for Valentine’s Day? About a third of Americans said their favorite Valentine’s Day gift was chocolate, candy or other desserts.

How to save money on Valentine’s Day

We don’t recommend you break up with your significant other on February 13 to save money on Valentine’s Day! Here are some ways to show you care without breaking the bank – or your loved one’s heart.

Make homemade cards

A homemade card is a great way to show you care. It can contain an inside joke, a picture of a recent trip or a romantic message. Whatever the card, the time you spend on a homemade card can reflect the value you place on your relationship.

Find a recipe that mimics your partner’s favorite restaurant dish

Instead of going out to eat, whip something up at home. To make the meal a bit more special, find a recipe that mimics one of their favorites.

Don’t discount the discount coupons

Look for Valentine’s Day deals at various small businesses like spas, group class studio, or restaurants. You may find a discount doing something you never thought of before.

Gift based on their “love language”

Marriage expert Dr. Gary Chapman is famous for introducing the five love languages to the world. Love languages show us how we want and receive love. Take your Valentine’s Day giving to the next level by gifting your loved one something based on their love language. Here are the five love languages and how to give the perfect gift:

Acts of service: Spend February 14 doing those things around the house you’ve been holding off on. Volunteer to make a meal, fix that squeaky door, clean their place or run their usual errands.

Quality time: Plan a fun activity for the family or just you two. It could be a dedicated movie night or dinner out without distractions.

Words of affirmation: Over a few days, craft a letter that explains how important your loved one is to you. Thank and remind them of how much they mean to you through a written note or speech.

Physical touch: The pandemic has been especially hard on those with physical touch as their love language. Safely visit those friends and family who value that in-person touch.

Receiving gifts: Has your loved one been hinting about a material gift they would truly like or enjoy? Keep an ongoing memo in your phone of anything they mention they would like or need. Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to surprise them with that gift.

Open a savings account dedicated to special occasions

Supplemental savings accounts are a great way to organize your spending and keep you on track. At many banks or credit unions, you can open multiple savings accounts dedicated to each of your savings goals.

Consider a savings account dedicated to special occasions like Valentine’s Day, birthdays and anniversaries. That way you know you budgeted for this spending. You can enjoy gifting without worrying if you saved for it.

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day with your family and friends. We’ll leave you with this classic poem:

Roses are red.

Violets are blue.

When deciding how much to spend,

Remember, it’s all up to you.


Want more spending tips? Check out these articles:

Katie Levene is a marketer fascinated with finance. Whether the topic is about the psychology of money, investment strategies or simply how to spend better, Katie enjoys diving in and sharing all the details with family, friends and Money Mentor readers. Money management needs to be simplified and Katie hopes she accomplishes that for our readers. The saying goes, "Knowledge is Power", and she hopes you feel empowered after reading Money Mentor.

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