U.S. Markets closed

Valentine’s Day by the numbers: What we’ll spend this year

Alyssa Pry
Personal Finance Reporter

Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a day to celebrate love, but let’s face it – it’s another excuse to spend money.

Americans are expected to spend $20.7 billion on Valentine’s Day this year, and around half the population plans to celebrate, according to the National Retail Federation. All those boxes of chocolate and flower bouquets really add up!

Valentine’s Day spending tops Easter, where we spend $18.4 billion; and Halloween, where spending clocks in at $9.1 billion, according to the NRF. Not so shocking: men will spend the most on the holiday, an average of $339. Women spend around $64, according to a survey by WalletHub.

For couples on a budget, some good news: 41% of people in an OppLoans survey said they’d be happy with a thoughtful gift that costs nothing. More than half of respondents reported using a credit card to pay for gifts they couldn’t afford. Stick to a DIY option and remember, it’s the thought that counts!

We'll spend billions on chocolate and roses for our Valentines.

If you do plan to give a gift, the most popular present is jewelry. Twenty percent of folks plan to buy their special someone something sparkly, and the collective price tag for 2019: $3.9 billion, according to the NRF.

Flowers and chocolates are the less-expensive V-Day standard, of course. According to the Society of American Florists, 250 million roses are produced for Valentine’s Day, and we’ll spend an average of $77 a person on flowers. Those chocolate-filled candy boxes will also set us back—consumers will spend $1.8 billion on candy.

No Valentine? No problem! The NRF says 27% are planning to treat themselves instead of a date, and around 10% make plans with friends and family.

Valentine’s is the second-most popular day to get engaged, behind Christmas, with 9 million proposals expected, according to WalletHub. But for those not feeling as festive, calls to divorce lawyers spike 40% on Valentine’s Day.

Whether you have a Valentine or are waiting until the last minute to snatch up that discounted candy, love doesn’t come cheap!

WATCH MORE

4 tips to avoid wedding financial drama

Before you settle down with your Valentine, money questions you must ask

4 times you need to talk about money with your partner