Valentine's Day Spending: How Much Do People Spend In The Name Of Love?

Each Valentine’s Day, love-struck Americans dole out more than $23.9 billion on Valentine’s Day, showering their significant others with cards, flowers, jewelry, and oodles of heart-shaped candies. 

According to Wallethub’s 2022 Valentine’s Day Survey, around 76% of Americans say, due to the pandemic, it’s more important than ever for them to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year. So, the pressure is on for significant others all around the country to get it right. 

With that in mind, here are some more fascinating facts you should know about Valentine’s Day spending in the US. 

How much money is spent on Valentine’s Day each year?

Valentine’s day is a $23.9 billion industry, making it the third most expensive holiday in the US. (It trails right behind Christmas and Halloween.) The average person spends around $175.45 each Valentine’s Day, with men spending twice as much on average than women ($235 vs. $119). 

But is all of this Valentine’s Day spending in the name of love? 

According to Wallethub, fear may also be a motivator. Around 67% of people expect their partners to get them something (anything!) for Valentine’s Day, even if it’s small. And around 36% expect their partners to spend at least $50 on a gift.

What do people spend the most money on for Valentine’s Day?

Americans spend the most money on jewelry, flowers, and candy each Valentine’s Day: 

  • $6.2 billion is spent on jewelry
  • $2.3 billion is spent on flowers (this makes up about 30% of total flower sales for the year)
  • $2.2 billion is spent on candy

In light of the pandemic, 41% of Americans say they’d love to receive an experience as a gift this year, whether it’s a nice evening out or tickets to a concert or sporting event.

What are the least-desired gifts for Valentine’s Day? 

Over $9.5 billion is spent on unwanted gifts each Valentine’s Day. According to WalletHub, you can save yourself the heartache of wasting money by avoiding these least-desired gifts: 

  • Tools
  • Gym memberships
  • Sporting equipment
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Cheesy stuffed animals
  • Mixtape

How many people buy their pets a gift on Valentine’s Day?

Significant others aren’t the only ones getting showered with gifts on Valentine’s Day. A recent study from shows that over 72.5 million pet owners also spoil their cute little fluffs on this heart-shaped holiday.

More specifically, dog owners spend around $31.24 on their canine companions ($1.28 billion total), while cat owners spend slightly less, around $27.42, on their feline friends ($863 million total).

Out of all the generations, Millennials spend the most on pet gifts, shelling out around $37.68 for dogs and $30.16 for cats. 

How many people go into debt for Valentine’s Day?

One in 10 Americans go into some type of debt to cover Valentine’s Day purchases, according to a LendingTree survey. Men are three times more likely to rack up credit card debt as a result of buying gifts for their significant other.

However, fancy dinners and high-priced gifts aren’t the only ways to show someone you care. If money is tight this Valentine’s Day, consider having a nice evening at home where you get gussied up, whip up a delicious meal, dim the lights, and put on your favorite romantic movie. Or, hit up some popular free attractions in your city. 


The average person shells out around $174.35 each Valentine’s Day, making it a whopping $23.6 billion industry. But significant others aren’t the only ones getting showered with gifts. Many people, especially Millennials, also buy gifts for their four-legged friends. They need to feel special on Valentine’s Day, too, right?

This year, in particular, people are craving experiences more than things as the pandemic leaves many shuttered at home. So, if you’re working with a tight budget this year, consider dazzling your lover with some of your favorite (read: free) city attractions. It may just resonate with them more than kitschy cards and teddy bears. 

How much do you typically spend on Valentine’s Day? What tips would you give to lovestruck partners on a budget? Let us know on Twitter

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