Happy Belated V-Day!

Over 1 in 3 Americans are postponing Valentine’s Day to save some coin

Setting up the perfect Valentine’s Day is a lot of pressure. While it’s considered one of the most romantic days of the year, it can also be one of the most stressful. It’s not enough just to find a person worth spending it with, it’s also important to find someone worth spending it on.

Whether begrudgingly shelling out cash for the most expensive roses you’ve ever seen, or going on a budget friendly picnic, gifting on Valentine’s Day is spendy. The 81% of Americans who plan to celebrate this year will spend an estimated $26.2 billion to profess their love.

If that sounds like a lot, that’s because it is. It’s not just about spending on a partner, the expectations have spilled out to classrooms, the workplace, friend groups, and families. Those hit by Cupid’s arrow will be giving an average of 2.7 gifts. Friends and loved ones aren’t having all of the fun either, as Americans will be treating themselves and showering their favorite pets as well.

Just how much do you have to spend to prove your love? $130.70 — that’s the average spent on gifts for the day of love, which can be a lot to swing, especially coming off of the holiday season.

Single Red Rose

Who is honoring cupid the day-after

If you’re flush with love – but not flush with cash – you can do what a growing number of Americans do and celebrate after the fact to save money.

The day after a holiday always means half-priced decorations and candy. Couple that with avoiding the traditional prix-fixe dinner and overpriced roses, and your bank account might just thank you. No need to worry about looking like a cheapskate, 2 in 5 Americans (39%) delay the celebration.

Millennials are the biggest proponents of this life hack with 46% having done this in the past- that’s nearly half of all people aged 18-34. It’s not just the youngsters who are postponing the festivities, mom and dad are trying to save, too. A little more than one-third (36%) of Gen-Xers (35-54 year-olds) and 27% of Baby Boomers have saved the party for after February 14th.

While everyone is looking to save where they can, there’s nobody who appreciates a bin of half-priced cupid candies more than aspiring scholars. Students are most likely to save on the celebration with 45% pushing back the party, compared to the employed or out-of-work.

For all it’s good, there could be one big caveat to this savings strategy – bad luck. Those who are now separated were more likely to defer Valentine’s Day festivities compared to those who are in a relationship or single. For some, it might be better to bite the bullet than to come off as a non-caring cheapskate.

Don’t want to get dumped?

Here are some strategies that can save your wallet and your relationship.

  • 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. Take your art-admirer on a trip to the museum. Star-crossed lovers? Go stargazing. If your boo loves to learn, take a class together – cooking, pottery, whiskey tasting, you name it! Add a picnic to any of these and you’re golden. If you’ll have to wait until the weekend to go out, put your event tickets in a well written card and hand them to your lover on the 14th. Not only will they feel appreciated, they’ll have something to look forward to.
  • Still want to give flowers on February 14th? Avoid the obvious and skip out on the red roses. A typical red rose can jump to twice as much per stem on Valentine’s Day, before factoring in any other bouquet details, packaging, and shipping. Poke around to see what other kinds of flowers your steady is into – there are many more beautiful options out there that will save some coin and still pull heartstrings. Consider ordering in advance from floral websites – this allows you to take advantage of discounts and lower delivery fees, or you can skip out on the fees altogether and arrange to pick up from your local store. Want to show your beloved you can continue to nurture your relationship? Consider gifting an orchid or another beautiful plant that requires love and attention.
  • Make dinner. This is a no-brainer for those on a strict budget. Not only does it save on cost, it takes effort, which is usually all that a Valentine is looking for. Plan a meal around your partner’s likes. There are literally millions of recipes on the internet for all kinds of diets and restrictions with ratings for taste and difficulty. If this seems overwhelming, just remember to KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid. Pasta and salad is perfectly acceptable, just don’t forget some wine, and dessert to round it out. Pick up some inexpensive tea candles or borrow from your friends to light some flames for your flame and you have a perfect evening without blowing the bank.

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