Valentine’s Day spending is down but still in the billions

After last year’s record-high Valentine’s Day spending, Americans are cooling off a bit.

This year, the National Retail Federation estimates that V-Day spending will drop from $19.7 billion to $18.2 billion. That’s about $137 per consumer, NRF says.

“Valentine’s Day continues to be a popular gift-giving occasion even if consumers are being more frugal this year,” says NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “This is one day of the year when millions find a way to show their loved ones they care regardless of their budget.”

NRF started tracking V-Day spending a decade ago. In 2007, before the recession, it was at $16.9 billion. In 2010, spending was at an all-time low of $14.1 billion. And 2016 had the most spending to date.

How does it break down? NRF expects $4.3 billion will be spent on jewelry, $3.8 billion on dining out, and $2 billion on flowers. Nearly 50 percent of purchases will be candy and greeting cards.

A reason for the drop in spending could be who is planning to celebrate this year. Nearly two-thirds of consumers were celebrating Valentine’s Day in 2007. This year it’s expected to drop to 54 percent.

“While fewer are planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, millions of shoppers will still make room in their budgets to spoil their loved ones,” says Prosper principal analyst Pam Goodfellow. “Consumers can expect promotions on everything from flowers to date-night dinner packages in the coming days, leaving plenty of ideas for those looking to spoil their Valentines.”

We’re like this every holiday

Most of us are scared to even be in debt, but when it comes to showering our friends and family with love (and money), we don’t hesitate to go all out.

Just a few months ago, holiday spending was at an all-time high earlier than ever in the year. Some stores were already featuring Christmas deals in September. With all of the days we can get to shopping — Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, all packed into one horrifying shopping weekend — it’s no wonder we are spending so much, as there’s basically a deal for everything in the days, weeks, and months prior to the holidays.

While winter holidays are usually when we spend more on loved ones, it’s not the only time we find an excuse to spend. Over Halloween, we spent more than $8 billion on costumes, candy, and decorations. That’s more than the year before: $6.9 billion.

Don’t just stop at holidays! Parents tend to get a jump-start on nearly everything these days, and that includes back-to-school shopping. It looks as though parents spend roughly $1,000 per child every summer on things like clothes and tech supplies. The older the child, the more money will be spent.

Meet the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn


Zinn is a freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Budgeting & Saving, Family

couples, holidays, save money

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Article last modified on December 17, 2018 Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: I Love You, But Not as Much as Last Year - AMP.