Valentine’s Day spending 2021

An eighth of Americans buy gifts for more than one romantic partner.

Roses are red. Violets are blue. But when did Valentine’s Day become a celebration for more than two? In 2021, 32.9 million Americans — or 12.89% of the adult population — plan to buy a Valentine’s Day gift for more than one romantic partner, according to a recent survey from Finder.com. Maybe the global pandemic and the inability to go out freely has something to do with a drop of more than half when compared to 2020’s 26.77% of adults who planned to buy a gift for more than one romantic partner last year.

Men are more likely than women to shop for more than one partner, with 20.07% of men saying they will purchase a Valentine’s Day gift for more than one romantic partner, compared to only 6.36% of women.

Gen Z leads the pack of those shopping for more than one romantic partner, with 22.16% of the generation — or 5.8 million Gen Zers — saying they would purchase a Valentine’s gift for more than one romantic partner.

Where are people getting their gifts?

Those who plan to double dip on Valentine’s gift giving don’t make up the whole present-buying pie. In 2021, roughly 161.8 million people will buy gifts for their Valentine, 11.02% less people than last year, and where they’re shopping may surprise you.

Undoubtedly influenced by the global pandemic, Amazon narrowly beats out brick-and-mortar stores as the top source for Valentine’s Day gifts, with 36.55% of people planning on buying a Valentine’s Day gift saying they will buy their gifts from Amazon compared to 36.37% who say they will buy from a brick-and-mortar store. An additional 10.60% of gifters say they will purchase presents from an online retailer other than Amazon, meaning nearly half of all Americans (47.15%) shopping for Valentine’s Day gifts will get their gifts online in 2021. More people also plan on DIY-ing their Valentine’s Day gifts than last year, with 16.48 of Valentine’s gifters choosing to create their own gift.

Who’s buying Valentine’s Day gifts?

More men than women are planning on purchasing gifts for Valentine’s Day, with 82.2 million men saying they’ll buy Valentine’s gifts compared to 79.5 million women.

As to where people will get their gifts, men are more likely than women to pick up presents from a brick-and-mortar store or on Amazon, whereas far more women than men plan to make their own gifts.

Generational Valentine’s Day buying habits

Gen Z and millennials are neck-to-neck for the most likely to shop on Amazon for St. Valentine’s, with 44.85% of Gen Zers and 44.23% of millennials who are planning on buying Valentine’s gifts looking to the retail giant for a Valentine’s Day gift this year. At the other end of the spectrum are boomers, among whom 57.42% of gifters plan to buy from a brick-and-mortar store and a further 43.64% say they won’t buy anything.

Spending big on Valentine’s Day

With 161.8 million planning to buy a gift in 2021, it may not surprise you that February 14th is big business. Americans will spend roughly $27.9 billion on gifts this year, each gift averaging $187.

Where that money is spent and on whom varies widely. Girlfriends and wives luck out on Valentine’s, with people spending an average of $106 on gifts for their wives and $85 on gifts for their girlfriends. These values are almost double the average amount spent on husbands ($67) or boyfriends ($54).

In 2021, men are expected to spend $6.2 billion more on Valentine’s gifts than women, spending an expected $17.1 billion for men compared to $10.8 billion for women.

As far as the average gift, men will spend almost double that of more than women. Of those who plan to spend on Valentine’s Day gifts, men say they’ll spend an average of $225.49 compared to $147.42 women plan to spend. Women are expected to outspend men in the recipient categories: Husband, Boyfriend, Secret and Pet cat.

Millennials are expected to spend the most among the generations on Valentine’s Day gifts, dropping some $9.9 billion in 2021, representing almost 36% of all Valentine’s spending.

On a per-gift basis, Gen Z is expected to spend the most on average on other family members ($81), Gen X is expected to spend the most on their wives ($106), baby boomers are expected to spend the most on their girlfriends ($123) and the silent generation is expected to spend the most on average on their kids ($80).

What are people doing for Valentine’s Day?

In a shift from last year, Americans are planning on spending less on V-Day activities and more on gifts this year. In 2021, Americans will spend $21.9 billion on Valentine’s Day activities, 29% less than last year.

Anticipated spending on Valentine’s Day activities dropped in all categories except for hair, makeup or beauty. Americans plan on spending $2.5 billion on hair, makeup or beauty activities for Valentine’s Day, 29% more than last year. Unsurprisingly, Travel saw the largest drop, with Americans planning to spend 64% on V-Day travel than last year.

Women are expected to outspend men for travel, a new outfit, and for hair, makeup or beauty. Men are expected to outspend women for dining out and entertainment.

Travel is where big money is spent this Valentine’s Day, led by the silent gen in average amount splashed. The average silent generation expected to spend $206 in 2021, followed by baby boomers at an average of $120.

Valentine’s Day spending to hit $50 billion in 2021

All told, Americans are planning to spend roughly $50 billion for Valentine’s Day in 2021, combining $27.9 billion on gifts and $21.9 billion on activities.

Men are expected to foot slightly more of the Valentine’s Day bill spending approximately $30.1 billion on the day, with women planning to spend $19.7 billion.

Among the generations, millennials will take the brunt of Valentine’s Day spending, expected to spend $22.3 billion.

Among the generations, millennials will take the brunt of Valentine’s Day spending, expected to spend $18.4 billion.

If you’re planning (or re-planning!) your dream wedding this year, here are a few great tips from Anna Serio, Finder’s Certified Commercial Loan Officer.

Anna Serio headshot
Anna Serio
Certified Commercial Loan Officer, Finder

How to budget for a wedding

“Before you budget for a wedding, first think about how much you are willing to spend and use that as your starting point. This might involve a conversation with you and your partner’s families, if they plan on contributing.”

“From there, you can figure out how to spend those funds. Experts generally recommend that you spend 50% of the cost on the venue and catering — including that open bar. You’ll also need to set aside money for photography and video, hair and makeup — usually around 10% each, though it depends. Also make sure to have funds for decor, entertainment — and don’t forget the officiant or wedding bands.”

“If you don’t have time to save and you don’t have all the money you need to cover your expenses, consider taking out a loan instead of putting it on a credit card. A credit card can be useful for one-off expenses. But they come with higher interest rates than loans. And since loans come with fixed amounts, it’s harder to overspend.”

Tips to save when planning your dream wedding

“Making saving as easy as possible is a great way to make sure you reach your goal. When I’m saving for a big goal, I like to figure out how much I can set aside from each paycheck and have that amount automatically deposited into a dedicated savings account each month. You might be able to do this through your employer’s payroll company or your savings account. It’s a lot easier to stay on budget when you have to go out of your way to access the money you wanted to set aside.”

Methodology

Finder’s data is based on an online survey of 1,800 US adults born between 1928 and 2002 commissioned by Finder and conducted by Pureprofile in September 2020. Participants were paid volunteers.

We assume the participants in our survey represent the US population of 254.7 million Americans who are at least 18 years old according to the July 2019 US Census Bureau estimate. This assumption is made at the 95% confidence level with a 2.32% margin of error.

The survey asked respondents where they planned on buying Valentine’s Day gifts, how much they planned to spend on gifts, how much they planned to spend on activities, and whether they were planning on purchasing a Valentine’s Day gift for more than one romantic partner.

Average calculations of spending were based on only the participants who were planning on spending in that particular category — for example, to calculate mean spending on Valentine’s gifts for girlfriends, participants who selected “Not purchasing gifts for Valentines Day” and participants indicated that they were spending “0” on their girlfriends were not included.

We define generations by birth year according to the Pew Research Center’s generational guidelines:

  • Gen Z — 1997-2002
  • Millennials — 1981-1996
  • Gen X — 1965-1980
  • Baby boomers — 1946-1964
  • Silent generation — 1928-1945

Previous Finder Valentine’s Day surveys

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For all media inquiries, please contact:

Susannah Binsted, Head of Public Relations United States

E: uspr@finder.com

/in/susannah-binsted-07442743/ /susannahbinsted/

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    FarrelFebruary 14, 2019

    Why was Valentine’s day named after a beheaded priest?

      Default Gravatar
      nikkiangcoFebruary 16, 2019

      Hi Farrel,

      Thanks for getting in touch! The date of Fr. Valentine’s death may have become mingled with the Feast of Lupercalia, a pagan festival of love. On these occasions, the names of young women were placed in a box, from which they were drawn by the men as chance directed. In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius decided to put an end to the Feast of Lupercalia, and he declared that February 14 be celebrated as St Valentine’s Day.

      Hope this helps!

      Best,
      Nikki

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