Americans Expected to Spend $25.8 Billion This Valentine's Day
heart shaped box of chocolates

Americans Expected to Spend $25.8 Billion This Valentine’s Day

According to an annual report released by the National Retail Federation (NRF), American consumers are set to spend an estimated $14.2 billion on their partners this Valentine’s Day.

About the survey results:

Ahead of the 14th, the NRF has released the 2024 version of its annual survey looking at Valentine’s Day spending. This year, consumers are expected to spend a total of $25.8 billion in purchases related to the holiday. While that places it as the third-highest total recorded by the NRF (falling slightly from last year and pacing far behind 2020’s $27.4 billion), the $14.2 billion that respondents anticipate spending on their significant others represents a new record. That total is up from $13.5 billion last year and would narrowly beat 2020’s $14.1 billion.

Akin to last year when 52% of those surveyed said they planned to celebrate Valentine’s Day, 53% say they’ll participate this year (although this percentage increased to 62% among those aged 25 to 34). On average, consumers expect to spend $185.81 to do so. This figure is nearly $8 higher than the observed average across the past five years.

As for what shoppers are buying for their partners, 57% plan to purchase candy, followed by other top purchases, such as greeting cards (40%) and flowers (39%). Meanwhile, 32% expect to spend money on a night out for the holiday. Lastly, rounding out the list of purchases were jewelry (22%), clothing (21%), and gift cards (19%).

Despite jewelry being a purchase for less than a quarter of respondents, consumers are anticipating spending a record $6.4 billion on these gifts this year. Similarly, record totals are expected for flowers ($2.6 billion), clothing ($3 billion), and “an evening out” ($4.9 billion).

What they’re saying:

Commenting on this year’s survey results, NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay stated, “Retailers are ready to help customers this Valentine’s Day with meaningful and memorable gifts. With consumers prioritizing their spouse or significant other this year, retailers expect to see a shift in spending for certain gifting categories.” Prosper Insights & Analytics Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist added, “While shoppers may be spending the most on jewelry, overall, the most popular gifts are the classics – candy and greeting cards. We’re also seeing continued interest in gifts of experience with about one-third of consumers planning to give a gift of experience this year.”

My thoughts:

To be fair, while the $25.8 billion total sounds crazy, the $185.81 per person average strikes me as fairly reasonable. Even as someone less inclined to participate in Valentine’s Day itself, I absolutely see the value in couples taking time to celebrate each other and do something special. Looking at it that way, spending $185 for a special night and maybe some gifts could well be appropriate. Of course, not all gifts are created equal and Valentine’s Day mark-ups may mean that couples could have just as much fun and romance while saving a bit of money if they celebrated during a different day of the year. But, hey, personal finance is personal — so I say celebrate Valentine’s as you and your partner see fit.


Kyle Burbank

Head Writer ~ Fioney
Kyle is the head writer for Fioney. He is a personal finance nerd, constantly looking for new apps and services to test and incorporate into his own financial game plan. In addition to his role at Fioney, he's written for other publications including Born2Invest, Lifehack, and Laughing Place, as well as his own site Money@30. He also creates personal finance and travel-related videos for Fioney's YouTube channel, which has garnered more than 2 million views. Currently, Kyle resides in Springfield, Missouri with his wife of 10 years. Together, they enjoy traveling (including visiting Disney Parks around the world), dining, and playing with their dog Rigby.

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