Many people believe the perfect Valentine’s Day is filled with flowers, romantic cards, chocolate, and a fancy dinner for two.
Which means showing your loved one how much you care can really burn a hole in your pocket.
Just how much do people spend on this lovely holiday? Well, according to a new survey from the National Retail Foundation, Americans plan to spend $18.2 billion this Valentine’s Day.
That’s an average of $136.57 per person.
The number is actually down from last year’s survey, when total spending was expected to reach $19.7 billion (an average of $146.84). The foundation says that consumers are being “a bit more frugal” this year and looking for good deals.
That cost is not all spent on one person. Consumers plan to spend an average of $85.21 on their significant other or spouse, with the remainder spent on children, parents, classmates, teachers, friends, co-workers, and pets.
People are looking for new ways to celebrate this year.
One big trend is sharing an experience. Young couples (18-24) and millennials are more interested in giving the gift of experience – whether it’s going to a concert, sporting event, or on an outdoor adventure.
The foundation says 40 percent of consumers actually want an experience gift, but only 24 percent plan to give one.
Consumers are also less willing to spend money on an evening out than previous years, the survey shows. For a lot of couples, this means cooking a romantic meal at home rather than paying for that expensive pre fixe dinner.
The most popular gifts this year remain pretty timeless: 50 percent of people are giving candy, 37 percent are planning an evening out, and 19 percent of shoppers plan to give jewelry ($4.3 billion worth of jewelry, to be exact).
If you’re among the 35 percent of Americans who will spend $2 billion buying flowers this Valentine’s Day, check out these tips from the University of Minnesota on how to make your roses last longer.
Some traditions are dying off. The survey found that only 47 percent of people plan to give a Valentine’s Day card this year, compared to 63 percent a decade ago. Instead, many couples are sending their love virtually through emoji-filled texts and Snapchat filters.
The survey, which asked 7,591 consumers about their Valentine’s Day plans, was conducted Jan. 4-11. For more information, click here.