Fewer people spent money for Valentine’s Day this year compared to last, according to the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker. But those who did plan to spend said they will be spending more.
This year, only 69% of the 1,508 people surveyed said they were planning to spend money on Valentine’s Day. Last year it was 76%. But the amount being spent has gone up. This year the average spend is $239 compared to $196 the year before.
And how do they plan to celebrate? This year, 79% of couples said they planned to give each other gifts, 37% planned to schedule dinner, and 29% hoped to go on at least one trip together. And some lucky folks get to do all three: a gift, a date, and a getaway.
The big question
Those planning to pop the question are among the people spending more this year. Six million people say they expect to either ask someone to marry them this Valentine’s Day, or be asked, according to the report. In 2012, only 4 million Valentine’s Day proposals were anticipated.
According to the survey, men say they spend more on Valentine’s Day than women. And that engagement ring is one of the most expensive things they are buying. The average cost that survey takers were planning to spend on that sparkler was $2,410. People who make over $100,000 a year were going to spring for $5,658. Only 6% said think that spending more than $10,000 on an engagement ring is appropriate.
The survey also asked people about communication with their partner, specifically whether they talk about money, and if so, when. More unmarried people reported talking about finances within the first six months of their relationships – 44% this year, versus 29% last year.
Fifty-nine percent of respondents in a relationship say they talk about money at least once a week – but they don’t always agree. And 55% report that their partner has one or more bad financial habits. Problematic habits include:
- Frivolous spending: 20%
- Making late payments: 10%
- Being secretive about spending: 6%
In spite of that, 84% of the people who indicated they had a significant other say they talk to their partner before they make a purchase. Last year only 74% said the same. Once they make that purchase however, not all couples are honest about how much they spent: 64% admit misrepresenting purchase amounts. That’s an improvement over last year, when 70% fudged the truth.