It’s no surprise that consumers buy gifts for their significant others on Valentine’s Day, but a new survey shows that many are spending more on their pets, family members and friends.
The Valentine’s Day shopping season is stronger than ever, according to an annual survey by the National Retail Federation, a retail trade association, and market research firm Prosper Insights & Analytics. The survey of 7,267 adults found that consumers expect to spend an average of $196.31 this holiday, up 21% from last year’s record of $161.96.
Overall spending for Valentine’s Day is projected to reach a record $27.4 billion, which would be up 32% from last year’s record of $20.7 billion.
Valentine’s Day not just for romance
The additional money isn’t necessarily being spent on romantic partners. In fact, pets may be one of the biggest recipients of the increased Valentine’s Day spending, as 27% of consumers said they will spend money on their pets for Valentine’s Day, up from 17% in 2010.
While consumers spend, on average, 52% of their Valentine’s Day budget on spouses and significant others, that percentage is down from 61% 10 years ago. In that same time period, the share of the Valentine’s Day budget spent on co-workers has risen from 3% to 7%. The share of the budget spent on Valentine’s Day gifts for pets has doubled from 3% to 6%.
Survey respondents said they expected to spend, on average:
- $101.21 on significant others, up from $93.24 last year
- $30.19 on family members other than spouses, up from $29.87 last year
- $14.69 on friends, up from $9.78 last year
- $14.45 on their children’s teachers and classmates, up from $8.63 last year
- $12.96 on co-workers, up from $7.78 last year
- $12.21 on pets, up from $6.94 last year
- $10.60 on others, up from $5.72 last year
The biggest spenders will be those between ages 35 and 44, who expect to put down $358.78 for Valentine’s Day. That’s followed by those between ages 25 and 34, who expect to spend $307.51, and those between ages 18 and 24, who expect to spend $109.31. Men plan to outspend women $291.15 to $106.22. Consumers expect to spend the most money ($5.8 billion) on jewelry, followed by:
- $4.3 billion on an evening out
- $2.9 billion on clothing
- $2.4 billion on candy
- $2.3 billion on flowers
- $2 billion on gift cards
- $1.3 billion on greeting cards
While Valentine’s Day may be a great time to show the people (and pets) who mean a lot to you how much you care, make sure you follow common-sense money rules. For example, take the time to create a Valentine’s Day budget before you start spending money. Not only might you end up spending less, but you may less likely experience shopper’s guilt after Valentine’s Day is over.