Is Valentine’s Day Just a Fad to get Consumers to Spend More Money?

Is Valentine’s Day Just a Fad to get Consumers to Spend More Money?

February 01, 2022

Valentines Day is just around the corner and if you’ve been to your local Target lately, you’ll know that they’ve been preparing for this day since December 26th. The moment the end of year holidays are over, chocolates, teddy bears, and heart shaped trinkets take their place.

If you’ve visited the mall lately you may notice that every jeweler is running specials for your Special Someone as well. There are mixed feelings around this holiday, with some arguing it’s a day dedicated to the one you love, and others saying it’s all just a big marketing scheme to get you to spend more money.

Could it be both? Maybe. Let’s take a look at some statistics:*

  • In 2020, Americans spent $27.4 Billion on Valentine’s Day
  • The average person spends nearly $200 on the holiday
  • Gifts aren’t just for significant others. Americans also purchase gifts for their family, children, friends and even pets!
  • Speaking of pets, in 2020, $1.7 Billion was spent on gifts for our furry friends at home
  • Chocolates, flowers, and jewelry are the most common purchase this time of year

So what does all of this mean? Most people curb their spending in the beginning of the year after purchasing gifts, hosting their families, and preparing expensive meals for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. Retailers and restaurants push gift cards in order to keep their business going in those long January and February months. Then mid-February comes along and it’s a great time to get customers back in the door, whether it’s a new place to eat or presents to buy.

If Valentine’s Day is something you enjoy celebrating, this doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t do something special for those who mean the most to you. This just means to be aware of the marketing tactics out there saying you need to spend a lot of money to show the people around you that you love them.

Instead, here are a few inexpensive ideas to celebrate with those that mean most to you:

  • Have a date night in, take an online cooking class and learn to make a new recipe together!
  • Go to a reasonably priced restaurant and grab ice cream on the way home rather than spending hundreds of dollars at a steakhouse.
  • Do an activity with the kids to celebrate! Go snowtubing and make cookies and hot cocoa when you get home together.
  • Spend time with Grandma and Grandpa. Have them tell you stories from the past and traditions you can implement with your family today.
  • Take your dog to the park! They’ll have more fun playing with other dogs for an hour than playing with a new chew toy for 15 minutes.

Whether Valentines Day is your favorite holiday, or you could live without it, take the time to think about the things and experiences you value and align your money with those purchases. Don’t aimlessly buy gifts that you don’t need because a billboard says you have to. Enjoy your Valentines Day with the people you love and share experiences that you all enjoy!


Statistics Source: National Retail Federation and

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.