Valentine’s Day spending statistics 2018 |

Valentine’s Day spending statistics

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
Wife 33.93% $170.51
Husband 28.49% $71.17
Boyfriend 8.44% $59.34
Girlfriend 11.85% $105.21
Secret lover 3.41% $97.97
Pet dog 10.96% $32.48
Pet cat 6.49% $29.01
Friends 13.15% $81.46
Kids 31.57% $57.49
Family members 21.35% $69.96
Themselves 14.77% $70.78

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%).

For media inquiries:

Jennifer McDermott

Consumer advocate helping people improve their personal finances.

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