My Heart! Valentine's Day Spending Has Gone Bonkers

©. LiliGraphie

Those struck by Cupid's arrow are expected to spend $27.4 billion this year, up 32 percent from last year’s record $20.7 billion.

Leave it to us. Valentine's Day is one of the sweetest of days, a holiday devoted to all things amour; to handmade love notes and romantic dinners. And then America comes along and KABLOOEY.

I will just cut to the chase and give you this year's numbers, as calculated by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

  • Spending is expected to reach $27.4 billion, up 32 percent from last year’s record $20.7 billion.
  • Love-struck celebrants plan to spend an average of $196.31, up 21 percent over last year’s record of $161.96.
  • Ages 18 to 24 plan to spend an average $109.31.
  • Ages 25 to 34 expect to spend $307.51.
  • Ages 35 to 44 will be spending $358.78.
  • Most Valentine’s spending goes to spouses and significant others at 52 percent of the total, or an average $101.21 this year, up from $93.24 in 2019.
  • Consumers say they will spend an average $30.19 on family members other than spouses, up slightly from $29.87 last year; $14.69 on friends, up from $9.78; $14.45 on children’s classmates and teachers, up from $8.63; $12.96 on co-workers, up from $7.78; $12.21 on pets, up from $6.94, and $10.60 on others, up from $5.72.
  • Twenty-seven percent say they will buy Valentine’s gifts for their pets, the highest figure in the history of the survey and up from 17 percent in 2010 for a total $1.7 billion.

And what in the world are we spending all these billions of dollars on?

$5.8 billion on jewelry (given by 21 percent)
$4.3 billion on an evening out (34 percent)
$2.9 billion on clothing (20 percent)
$2.4 billion on candy (52 percent)
$2.3 billion on flowers (37 percent)
$2 billion on gift cards (19 percent)
$1.3 billion on greeting cards (43 percent).

[PRO TIP: Gifts of experience – think event tickets or some spa pampering – are hoped for by 41 percent ... but planned by only 28 percent.]