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Men expect to spend much more than women on Valentine’s Day: surveys


Valentine’s Day could make sweet memories in a romantic relationship, but it usually comes with some cost.

Sixty-nine percent of Americans plan to spend money on their partner to celebrate the annual holiday, according to a Bankrate.com survey released Wednesday. The survey, conducted in January, asked 1,019 people around the country about their Valentine’s Day plans. Among those who are willing to take out their wallet to pay for gifts or celebrations, the average spend is $200.

Source: Yahoo Finance/David Foster
Source: Yahoo Finance/David Foster

Not everyone has the same budget for Valentine’s Day. The expected spend varies among men and women, different ages groups and even states. Men tend to be the big spender with high expectation on the romantic holiday, the survey suggests. On average, men plan to spend $339 on their partner, and expect their partner to spend $211 on them, while women say they will spend only $64 and expect $154 from their partners.

Another survey led by LendingTree highlights a similar spending gap between men and women. Men surveyed by LendingTree plan to spend an average of $95 on Valentine’s Day, which is more than double the $41 that women plan to spend.

Age, status and location matter

In Bankrate’s survey, younger millennials (ages 23-29) are mostly likely to spend money and expect their partner to spend on them for Valentine’s Day, and their average spend will be $266. Bankrate analyst Kelly Anne Smith says it’s because younger millennials are more likely affected by trends and celebrities on social media and they usually bear fewer financial responsibilities than older generations.

An all-in celebration could cost a few times what an average person is willing to spend. Bankrate’s 2019 Be My Valentine Index shows a fancy Valentine’s Day celebration that includes chocolate, diamonds, roses, fine-dining and Champagne will cost $617.77, up by 6% from last year.

Valentine’s Day spending habits also differ based on the stage of a relationship and location. LendingTree’s survey shows engaged couples are the most generous when it comes to Valentine’s Day spending, much higher than married couples. According to Bankrate, Northeasterners are the least likely to spend money, among which 60% plan to spend on their partner, compared to 74% of Southerners surveyed who say they will spend money this Valentine’s Day.

Smith of Bankrate says some people even celebrate the holiday the day after Valentine's Day to lower the cost. She suggests people don’t need to spend big to participate in the Valentine’s Day celebration as long as couples communicate.

“It’s important for couples to have an open conversations about expectation,” Smith said. “They can decide on a number together to avoid being carried away by the spending trap.”

Krystal Hu covers technology and trade for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.

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