Americans are celebrating Valentine’s Day — but many after the fact |

Happy belated Valentine’s Day!

An estimated 62.1 million Americans have celebrated Valentine’s Day after February 14th to keep their lovers — and wallet — happy.

February 8, 2018

While it’s considered one of the most romantic days of the year, planning the perfect Valentine’s Day can come with a lot of pressure . It’s not enough to find a person worth spending it with — you also need to find someone worth spending it on.

Whether begrudgingly shelling out for the most beautiful (and expensive) roses you’ve ever seen or even arranging a budget-friendly picnic in the park, Valentine’s Day gifts can be costly. The 61.6% of Americans who plan to celebrate this year estimate they’ll spend some $30.3 billion professing their love and affection.

If that sounds like a lot of money, you’re right. Gone are the days of spending solely on a partner. Today, expectations spill out to classrooms, the workplace, buddies — even our furry four-footed friends.

Just how much do you have to spend to prove your love? An average $200.50 — that’s how much we’ll spend on gifts on this February 14th. It can be a lot to swing, especially coming off the holiday season. So what’s a lover to do?

Who is honoring cupid the day after?

If you’re flush with love — but not necessarily with cash — you can do what a growing number of Americans do to save money: Celebrate Valentine’s Day after the fact.

The day after a holiday can mean half-priced decorations and candy. Couple that with avoiding the traditional prix fixe dinner and overpriced flowers, and your bank account might just thank you.

No need to worry about looking like a cheapskate, either: You’ll be among the 1 in 4 Americans (25.3%) who delay the celebration.


Interestingly, slightly more women than men celebrate later to save dollars, with 26.1% of women fessing up to feting after February 14th, compared with 24.4% of men.


Millennials are the biggest advocates of this life hack: 41.6% say they’ve delaying Valentine’s Day in previous years. But it’s not just youngsters who postpone the festivities: Mom and Dad are trying to save too. Just more than 1 in 4 (26.2%) Gen Xers and 15.7% of baby boomers have saved the party for after February 14th.

Other ways you can save

Celebrating after February 14 isn’t the only way to stretch your dollar. Why not try one of these tips for an economical Valentine’s?

  • Plan an experience. Show your sweetheart that you know how to pay attention by tailoring your gift to your date. Focusing on your partner’s interests blows the generic scheme of dinner and chocolates out of the water. Accompany an art admirer on a trip to a local museum. Star-crossed lovers? Go stargazing. If your lovebird likes to learn, take a class together — cooking, pottery, whiskey tasting, you name it! Add a picnic to any of these options, and you’re golden. If you’ll have to wait until the weekend to go out, put event tickets in a heartfelt card before handing them to your lover on the 14th. Your valentine will not only feel appreciated, but they’ll also have fun to look forward to.
  • Still want to give flowers on February 14th? Skip out on too-obvious red roses. A typical crimson stem can jump to twice as much on Valentine’s Day, and that’s before factoring in bouquet details, packaging and shipping. Many more beautiful options out there can save you some coin and still pull the heartstrings, so poke around to learn what your steady is into. Consider ordering in advance from a floral site to take advantage of discounts and lower delivery fees, or break from the Internet altogether by arranging a pickup with a local florist. Want to show your beloved you can nurture a relationship? Look at gifting an orchid or another beautiful plant that requires consistent love and attention.
  • Make dinner. A no-brainer for strict budgets, cooking in saves money and takes effort — which might be all your Valentine is looking for. Plan a meal around your partner’s tastes. Millions of recipes online cater to all types of diets and restrictions, with ratings for taste and difficulty. If it sounds overwhelming, just remember to KISS — Keep It Simple Stupid. Pasta and salad are perfectly acceptable, just don’t forget wine and dessert to round it out. Pick up inexpensive tealights for your flame, and you’ll bask in the perfect evening without blowing the bank.

Jennifer McDermott

Consumer advocate helping people improve their personal finances.

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