Here's How Much Americans Spend On Valentine’s Day

While it may be a day of love and romance, Valentine’s Day is also big business. Last year the National Retail Federation projected that Americans would spend $19 million on Valentine’s Day ― that’s a whole lot of chocolate, roses, and dinners at fancy restaurants. But as James Joyce said, “Love loves to love love,” and nothing says love like spending money on the ones you love.

According to new research by the American Express Spending and Saving Tracker, when it comes to Valentine’s Day this year, Americans are going to drop some hefty cash, but surprisingly, not as much as they did last year. Maybe Cupid’s favorite day of the year is swinging back around to be more about love than money? Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

While the majority of American couples, at 80 percent, plan to celebrate the big day, they also plan to only spend $212 per person, down from the $296 per person that people spent last year. The reason for this has a lot to do with the simple fact that the anticipated spending is simply lower than it was last year. I blame climate change; it's hard to get in the V-Day mood when there's no snow.

However, while Valentine’s Day spending may not be what it was last year, that doesn’t mean that people are technically tightening their belts. Here are five other things to know about how consumers feel about V-Day and how they plan to spend their money.

1. People Are Cutting Way Back On Dinner This Year

Although there are so many creative date ideas for Valentine's Day, most people will be sticking to dinner plans. While 2015 saw people dropping, on average, $103 on dinner, this year people are planning to cut back quite a bit. The way things are looking now, the average price for dinner for two will be $70. I’m guessing these people do not live I New York City, because that’s pretty much only two pizzas. Valentine’s Day calls for 1.5 pizzas per person.

2. Less Than 10 Percent Of People Will Be Proposing This Year

Valentine’s Day is a big day for marriage proposals, but not as big as it was last year. In 2015, 12 percent of people proposed on V-Day, while this year only eight percent are planning to pop the big question. But don't worry; this doesn't necessarily mean romance is dead. There are 364 other days in the year after all.

3. People Are Spending Less On Engagement Rings Than You’d Think

According to Jewelers of America, the average cost of an engagement ring in 2012 was $4,000. But while that may have been the case in 2012, according to American Express’ research, the average cost of ring, for those proposing this year, will be $2,345. Definitely way less than one would think.

4. Gift Spending Is Down This Year Too

Last year people were more than comfortable to drop over $100 on Valentine’s Day gifts, but this year that’s changing, too. Instead of the $115 that was spent in 2015, people are planning to spend $72 on gifts… which basically is one dozen red roses and one plush bear holding a heart that says, “Be Mine.”

5. Less People Are Taking Valentine’s Day As Seriously As They Used To

If all this drop in spending teaches us anything, it might just be that people are over the whole Valentine’s Day thing. According to the findings, 35 percent of consumers think of V-Day as a day of fun as opposed to something to be taken very seriously. This percentage is also up from 33 percent last year. As for those who think “OMG. Valentine’s Day is the more important day of the year,” that percentage is a very lowly 28 percent, down (way down actually) from the 40 percent who thought it uber important last year.

Are we jaded? Or have we finally finally figured out that every day should be about loving the ones dearest to our heart? Either way, less spending now means more money for the future, and savings accounts are far more important than a frivolous holiday with too much pink and red. Save now, and you could be retired by 40! Maybe.

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