Does filling the heart with love need to coincide with draining your savings account? It seems when Valentine’s Day is involved the wallet gets as much exercise as the butterflies in your stomach. However, consumer trends show that this isn’t true for all people.
Last week, the National Retail Federation released their annual survey on consumer spending for Valentine’s Day 2013. The poll samples Valentine’s Day consumers on their budget, gift list and shopping plans. Nearly 60 percent of adults are celebrating the holiday this year and 91 percent will be spending the day with a significant other or spouse. With an average budget of $131, some categories of spenders fair better with Valentine’s Day expenses than others.
Men Spend More than Women
Either men have more love in their hearts than women, or they aren’t very good at shopping. The average woman spends less than $89 on Valentine’s Day while the typical man empties $175 from his wallet.
I wish I could explain this fact away with something understandable – like men have to buy expensive engagement rings. While this is probably a factor in the large disparity in budgets for the sexes, the truth is that men always outspend women when it comes to holiday shopping. On average, women spend much more than men.on consumer products.throughout the year (translation: they do far more shopping and are better at it than men).
Men, if you want the biggest bang for your buck, you’ll need to do as women do. Price shop, look for coupons and take advantage of deals.
Young Adults Spend More than Older
Believe it or not, it’s your age that will likely determine whether you spend the most or least on Valentine’s Day. Those aged 25 to 34 have the largest planned budget at $204 while those 65 and older are planning to spend the least – $68.
I hope that you understand that the smallest budget doesn’t necessarily equal the biggest budget. However, there might be something to the argument that less is more. Nearly a quarter of all 20-somethings plan on giving Fido a Valentine’s gift. Only about a tenth of senior citizens intend to do the same. Of those giving pet presents, seniors are spending nearly a third less. This is only one example of how 20-somethings plan to spend more on every category of relationship that can be dreamed up.
It’s good to be generous, but you don’t need to outspend in order to show your love.
Having a Significant Other Increases Your Budget
There’s an old adage in baseball that goes “keep your eye on the ball.”
Valentine’s Day does put a price tag on love – and it’s expensive. For most consumers, spending on a spouse makes up about 50 percent of the Valentine’s Day budget. While skimping on your true love can be dangerous, it’s important to keep the biggest expense in mind when deciding how much you need to spend on others.
Don’t wait until the bank is broken before figuring out plans with your significant other. You’ll either end up breaking your budget or sleeping on the couch, and neither situation is preferable.
Most Jewelry Shoppers Break the Budget
Ice is nice, but how important is it? It didn’t matter if a woman, man or 20-something was planning on buying jewelry for a gift; if you were looking at precious stones and metals, your budget was over the average.
It’s understandable that some men are planning to propose on Valentine’s Day and that means making big one-time jewelry purchases. The rest of us need to decide whether diamonds are an expense that makes sense – or is it just a good idea because all the jewelry advertising is telling us we need to impress this February?
The average budget of $130 may not seem like a lot, but it’s just one of many holidays, birthday and celebrations you will attend this year. Keep what is important in perspective and avoid being the biggest spender this year.