Who are US consumers spending their money on this February 14th?
February 8, 2018
We love to spend money on our friends and family for Valentine’s Day, no matter if they’re a significant other, our beloved pets or even ourselves. But how much does the day really cost — and just who are we shelling out for this February 14th?
Who’s spending money on Valentine’s Day 2018?
More than 151 million Americans plan to drop money on Valentine’s Day this year. A higher proportion of men — 66.6% of them — say they’ll profess their love with a gift, compared with 56.8% of women who will. As for generations, the younger you are, the more likely you’ll part with your cash this year — 71.4% of millennials plan to spend on February 14th, followed by 65.1% of Gen Xers and 52.9% of baby boomers.
Those who are married or in a domestic partnership are most likely spend (72.5%), but nearly half of divorcees (48.7%) also plan to spend on celebrating. And you don’t even have to be in a couple to spend money: Nearly half of those who are single (48.2%) will also shell out on Valentine’s.
How much do we spend on Valentine’s Day?
An estimated $30.3 billion will be spent this Valentine’s Day, with participants spending an average of $200.50 in total per person on anything from their cats to themselves to their children. Of the most spoiled this year, wives take the cake with an estimated $170.51 spent on each — twice the amount we’re spending on our husbands ($71.17).
It’s a similar story for those in relationships. Boyfriends plan to spend an average $105.21 on their girls, while a much smaller $59.34 will be spent on boyfriends. As for our secret lovers? We’ll wine and dine our private paramours to the tune of $97.97 on average this year.
Who are we spending money on?
Looks like women get the better end of the bargain again this year, with 33.9% of those spending money on Valentine’s Day planning to do so on their wives. In comparison, only 28.5% are planning to purchase gifts for their husbands.
Family comes second, with 31.6% of Americans planning to spend on children and 21.4% dropping money on other family members. Also taking a stand this year? Self-love, considering 14.8% of us will spend Valentine’s money on ourselves.
And who could forget our pets? Dogs will receive the most love this year, with 11.0% saying they’ll buy for their pups. Not bad, but it’s nearly twice as much as the 6.5% we’ll spend on our cats! (For details on just how much we plan to spend, check out our stats on pets and Valentine’s.)
There’s even 3.4% of us — or more than 5 million Americans — who plan to buy a Valentine’s Day gift for a secret lover!
Proportion of all people spending money on Valentine’s Day
Average amount spent
Unwanted gifts: Valentine’s Day edition
Chances are good that we’ve received a present we don’t like. Some 14.7% of Americans say they’ve received an unwanted gift on February 14th. That’s more than 36 million of us who’ve received a Valentine’s Day gift we didn’t like!
Men appear to be better than women at giving gifts, with 42.9% of women saying they always like the gifts they receive, compared with just 29.6% of men. Ouch!
It turns out that millennials might be most picky, with 23.0% saying they’ve received an unwanted gift, compared with 18.7% of Gen Xers and only 6.5% of baby boomers.
Unsurprisingly, those who are married or in a domestic partnership are most likely to receive gifts they like for Valentine’s Day (42.0%). They’re closely followed by widows (36.6%), divorcees (29.7%) and singletons (27.3%).
Couples aren’t the only ones buying gifts on Valentine’s Day
For those who are single on Valentine’s Day, it’s easy to become jealous of all the happy couples sharing cute pictures with romantic captions on social media. If you’re brave enough to venture outside on this love-struck holiday, you’ll be surrounded by constant public displays of affection whether you go to the mall, a movie theater, or a restaurant. Singles seem to have it hard no matter where they turn on Valentine’s Day.
A survey of 2,101 American adults commissioned by finder.com and conducted by global research provider Pureprofile in January 2017, found that the self-gifting business on Valentine’s Day is largely funded by those who are single or separated. On this holiday, 27% of single people and 33% of separated people plan to treat themselves, as opposed to 7% of those who are married (or those in domestic relationships). On average, Americans will spend $55 on self-gifting. With 124.6 million single people in America (according to the 2014 Bureau of Labor and Statistics), that’s an estimated $1.85 billion dollars that singles will spend on themselves on the day of love.
Even if you don’t have a significant other, you might be surprised to find that someone else close to you had you in mind on Valentine’s Day. People buy gifts for friends, children, and other family members as well. In fact, 23% of people will buy their friends a gift; 44% of people will buy their children a gift; and 32% will buy other family members a gift.
Who receives the most on Valentine’s Day?
Valentine’s Day is admittedly a bit one-sided, as you can probably tell by all the pink and red decorations that emerge at the beginning of February. Women are on the favorable side of gift-giving, as 43% of men will buy gifts for their wives while 38% of women plan to buy gifts for their husbands. It’s the same result for those who are dating, where the scales are tipped towards women, and more men lose out on receiving a gift.
When it comes to the value of the gifts, we see women at the top again. Here’s a breakdown of what gifts are typically worth based on the recipient:
Wives – $232
Girlfriends – $151
Husbands – $66
Boyfriends – $53
Gift-giving isn’t just for public relationships with titles. Those with private romances will also be shopping around for something special – 17% of Americans plan to buy a gift for a secret lover. Almost double the number of men admitted to buying a gift for a secret lover than women (25% to 14% respectively). The younger you are, the more likely you are to buy a gift for you secret admirer. Millennials are the naughtiest generation, with 23% planning to buy a gift for a secret lover, compared to 14% of Gen X’ers and 8% of Baby Boomers.
Valentine’s Day can also be a chance to strengthen the bond of friendship
Just because you’re single, doesn’t mean you have to be alone on Valentine’s Day. In fact, more than half (51%) of women will celebrate Valentine’s Day with their friends, and almost a third (31%) of men will do the same. Interestingly, it’s Gen X’ers who are most likely to buy gifts for friends on Valentine’s Day – 55%; compared to 43% of Millennials and 28% of Baby Boomers. Romantic love is great, but the platonic love of friendship can be just as fulfilling on Valentine’s Day.
5 inexpensive ways to treat yourself on Valentine’s Day
Buy a new book (~$10): Whether you’re an avid reader or only read occasionally, it’s hard to deny the thrill of getting engrossed in a good book. Use the holiday as a chance to read a mystery novel you won’t want to put down, or perhaps an autobiography of one of your favorite celebrities.
Eat some artisan cheese (~$20): If you want to feel fancy for the evening, head to your grocery store and pick up an artisan cheese. Artisan cheeses are made by hand, making them taste more complex and look more aesthetic. You could try something like Brie or Burrata, and pair it with your favorite cracker or bread.
Binge on your favorite TV show (~$8): You can use the holiday to watch your favorite TV show non-stop for hours. Simply sign up for a video streaming service like Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon Video and let the binging begin.
Visit a local coffee shop (~$5): Consider trying a new flavor at the local coffee shop. You could even bring your laptop and surf the web while enjoying the ambiance.
Take a bubble bath (~$8): A bubble bath is a great way to relax and soothe the body. Play some instrumental music and dim the lights to really set the mood.
We don’t often hesitate when it comes to sharing expensive purchases that we’re proud of. But what about those purchases we regret? Get the breakdown between generations and genders on what we regret most financially, from college to gambling. Read more…
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