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Valentine’s Day Spending 2024

Financial Literacy Specialist
Director of Education and Corporate Communications

How much does the average American spend on Valentine’s Day?

valentine's day spending

Only about 1 out of every 2 Americans plan on participating in Valentine’s Day this year, a historically low percentage of participation that has been on a steady downward trend for over a decade. Those who are participating are fueling record-level Valentine’s spending in 2024.

The average American household is estimated to spend $185.51 on Valentine’s Day this year — a decrease from 2023 which had the second-highest Valentine’s Day spending on record since the National Retail Federation began tracking this in 2007. Despite this dip in individual spending, shoppers are estimated to spend just as much as last year, a collective $25.8 billion, buoyed by record-breaking spending on flowers, jewelry, and hitting the town.

Your valentine doesn’t expect you to go into debt for the occasion

While increased spending is due at least in part to regaining a sense of normalcy from the COVID-19 shutdowns, the concept of saving is still on the tip of people’s minds. In a survey conducted by, 88% of people would not expect their partner to spend any money on them if they were having financial difficulties.

That’s a statistic that Consolidated Credit’s financial education director thinks more people should pay attention to.

“Too often, we feel obligated to do grand gestures and gifts to show our love to our spouse or partner,” says April Lewis-Parks. “You may be scared to broach the subject with your significant other but this survey shows that they might be more receptive to the idea than you think.”

Lewis-Parks encourages couples to talk about their plans.

  1. See how both of you are feeling about your finances.
  2. If either party has financial concerns, talk about setting limits on gifts.
  3. For cohabitating couples, consider pooling money to get a purchase for your home instead of each other

Money troubles can hurt your relationship — especially when you hide them

“With the economy still unstable and recovering from the pandemic, it’s important to avoid credit card debt whenever possible,” Lewis-Parks says. “If you can’t get a gift for your significant other without taking on credit card debt, be honest. Share your financial situation and discuss the idea of scaling back.

She also says hiding your financial situation from your partner is more damaging than you might think.

“People consider financial infidelity as bad as physical cheating,” she explains. “If your spouse finds out that you’re not being transparent about your finances, particularly when it comes to debt and hiding spending, your relationship may be short-lived.”

In fact, a survey by the American Institute of CPAs found that 41% of cohabitating people say they might consider ending the relationship over financial infidelity. Researchers from the University of Southern Mississippi revealed that 53% of 414 people polled, had lied about their spending, but only 27% admitted to committing financial infidelity.

“While you might think that your partner would appreciate the quiet sacrifice that you’re making to get them a gift on credit and then hide the debt, what you’re really doing is hurting your relationship.”

You can’t put a price on love. Still, it’s important to plan how much you will spend. Use our Valentine’s Day budgeting calculator below to see how much you can afford and avoid unnecessary debt. Need to scale back your spending? Here are six easy ways to save money on Valentine’s Day this year.

6 Tips to Save on Valentine’s Day

1. Use a spending planner

If you haven’t already used the Valentine’s Day spending planner above, give it a go! You can map out exactly how much you want to spend and on what. It might be a wake-up call just how much a few dollars spent here and there can quickly add up.

2. Check for local deals

Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner spot, a fun outing, or the perfect gift, daily deal sites like Groupon offer limited-time deals to get you in the door for a fraction of the regular price. Search by category or by location to craft the perfect Valentine’s Day celebration.

3. Agree to a spending limit

One way to spend less for Valentine’s Day is to talk to your significant other and set a spending limit. This could apply to gifts by agreeing to a price cap (i.e. no more than $25 per person), or the entire holiday as a whole where you as a couple agree to spend no more than $100 including presents, flowers, and entertainment.

4. DIY your gifts

Or, skip the gift buying altogether and opt for homemade presents. The most meaningful gifts are the ones you make yourself anyway. Plus, you can even turn the crafting of your presents into an inexpensive Valentine’s Day activity.

5. Celebrate on another day

Keep more money in your wallet by celebrating Valentine’s Day any day other than the actual day. Restaurants and their fancy price-fixe menus overcharge because they know they can get away with it! Flowers and candy also have jacked-up prices leading up to the big day, which you can avoid if you buy them after the holiday.

6. Skip it!

To some couples, arbitrary days like these just don’t matter. It’s just a day and you should never feel obligated to spend money you don’t want to (or don’t have). Talk with your partner well before V-Day to make sure you’re on the same page about your expectations for the holiday.

Debt holding you back from celebrating Valentine’s Day? We can help.


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