Couples will be spending three times more than singles do on a typical date ($189 compared to $67) on Valentine’s Day this year, according to the February 2010 American Express Spending & Saving Tracker. In addition, among those who are married or have significant others, men plan to spend about 32% more than women ($151 compared to $114). Moreover, nearly half (49%) of the men plan to buy flowers for their significant other, while approximately half (48%) of the women have no gift-giving intentions at all. Other popular gifts for men to give their significant others include jewelry (17%), gift card (12%), and lingerie/sleepwear (11%).
Among women who plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day, gadgets (14%) and gift cards (13%) top their lists.
Financial Security Top Determinant of Valentine’s Spending
While 44% of respondents said how flush they feel determines how much they will spend this Valentine’s Day, how much they like the person was a close second (39%). Length of the relationship is also an important factor (32%), and can dictate whether one spends at all. Most feel that dating an average of five months is suitable before exchanging Valentine’s Day gifts.
Of married respondents, many (27%) will be most motivated by the opportunity to spark some romance. Twelve percent feel spending on Valentine’s Day is “a waste of money.”
Singles Keep Spending Down
More than two-thirds of singles (69%) seek ways to keep dating costs down. The top ways they do so are by:
- Eating dinner in (44%).
- Renting movies at home instead of going to the movies (35%).
- Using coupons/looking for discounts (28%).
- Using gift cards (19%).
- Going out earlier (i.e., early bird specials or lunch menu) (19%).
- Going out for drinks only (17%).
NRF: Average Valentine’s Day Spending Up 11%
The average US consumer will shell out $116.21 on traditional Valentine’s Day merchandise this year, up 11% from last year’s $103, according to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2011 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch. Total holiday spending is expected to reach $15.7 billion, also up 11% from $14.1 billion last year.
About the Data: The latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker explores consumers’ spending and saving behaviors as it relates to Valentine’s Day and dating in general. The research sample of 2,003 adults included the general U.S. population, as well as two subgroups – the affluent and young professionals.