Updated: Mar 4
Ahh, Valentine's Day. It's just around the corner (again).
Because this blog is named loveandfinance, I'd be remiss not to mention Valentine's Day. For many, this day can either be filled with disdain or happiness or something in between. When I was still married, we didn't celebrate Valentine's Day at all, even though I am quite the romantic and for him, gestures of love weren't important at all (topic for another day...).
From a financial perspective, we saved money on that that day; from an emotional perspective, it was rather draining and disappointing.
With my new relationship, we choose to acknowledge each other's love daily and we acknowledge V-Day with a love-inspired brunch: waffles, croissants, eggs...the works -- according to the adage: "Love is what you do, not how you say it."But we won't be suckered into buying silly tokens of love from the shops. Although I might by some discounted chocolate on February 15th!
Across the world, however, it appears romantics are spending more than ever before, with overall transactions in the lead up to Valentine’s Day (11-14 Feb) up by 31 per cent over the past three years. The figures come from the Mastercard Love Index, which analyses spending habits and trends around Valentine’s Day by analyzing credit, debit and prepaid card transactions across the globe.
However, rather than showing love for their partners with chocolate, "the trend of gifting ‘experiences’ is outpacing traditional gifts like flowers and jewellery, with hotel bookings up 22 per cent and flights to romantic getaways up 13 per cent." A massive $2.2 billion was spent booking flights and trips away in 2019. The data also revealed that spend on the traditional Valentine’s Day card is slowing down, with just 2 per cent growth over the past four years.
Unsurprisingly, the rise of online shopping also continues, with a 57 per cent spike in online transactions in the Valentine’s Day period over the past four years. Of those still shopping offline, the share of contactless transactions has seen a massive increase of 175 per cent since 2017, with increasing year-on-year growth.
With the continued pandemic restrictions in many countries, it would make sense that online shopping, especially for V-Day, would only increase. According to the NRF, (American) consumers plan plan to spend an average of $164.76 on their loved ones. The NRF further estimates that the total spending will reach $21.8bn on gifts for partners, friends, pets and more. And 73% of respondents feel celebrating this year's Valentine's Day is important given the state of the pandemic. Online is the most popular Valentine’s Day shopping destination, visited by 39 percent, followed by department stores (29 percent), discount stores (28 percent) and local small businesses and specialty stores tied (17 percent).
The NRF also concludes that people may change the way day are celebrating V-day in 2021 by:
- swapping a romantic evening out for an at-home meal or celebration rather
- excluding teachers, classmates or co-workers in their Valentine’s Day plans and sticking to people close to home
- completely skipping out on the holiday, including not meeting with friends or treating themselves to something special.
Because of these altered plans, it is no surprise that spending on Valentine’s Day gifts this year has dropped. Those celebrating plan to spend an average $164.76, down $32 on average per person, from a record $196.31 in 2020 right before the pandemic hit.
How about you? Are you spending Valentine's Day this year? If so, how? Let me know in the comments!
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