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Some Americans say Valentine's Day gifts are worth going into debt

More than 70% of Americans surveyed said they expect their significant other to spend something on them this Valentine's Day.
Some Americans say Valentine's Day gifts are worth going into debt
Posted at 12:35 PM, Feb 12, 2024

Valentine's Day is coming soon, and while some consumers report inflation is hampering their ability to purchase their loved ones a gift, some say they're willing to go into debt to buy the perfect present. 

According to a survey by WalletHub, nearly 3 in 10 Americans say Valentine's Day gifts are worth going into credit card debt for. While the survey found that 24% say they don't expect their significant other to spend anything on them for Valentine's Day, 19% say they expect their loved one to spend over $100. 

The survey also found that 31% of respondents think their significant other will spend up to $49 on them, while another 26% think their Valentine will spend $50-$100 for the day. 

In releasing its survey results, WalletHub provided numerous expert tips on how to have a frugal Valentine's Day. Many of the experts encouraged those celebrating Valentine's Day to use their talents and creativity for their gift. 

"My partner is a poet, and each Valentine's Day, he writes a haiku for me in a card that reflects his poem," said Angela Fontes, an adjunct faculty member at Northwestern University who teaches courses in behavioral economics. "I know of other couples who offer to cover chores or caregiving responsibilities so their partner can have a night out or relax. Consider using your talents — whatever skill you might have, whether it is woodworking, cross-stitch or cooking — to make something meaningful for your partner."

The National Retail Federation said it expects 53% of consumers to celebrate Valentine's Day. The NRF said it projects consumers will spend $185.81 each on average. 

Of the $25.8 billion being spent on Valentine's Day in the U.S., jewelry is expected to be the No. 1 expense at $6.4 billion, followed by $4.9 billion being spent on an evening out. 

About 46% of those surveyed by WalletHub said inflation is affecting their Valentine's Day plans. Perhaps 2024 should be the year to look for more affordable alternatives. 

"Everyone appreciates and remembers experiences more than 'stuff,'" said J. Michael Collins, professor of public affairs and human ecology at the University of Wisconsin. "There are lots of fun and memorable experiences that are not expensive, from moonlight walks to scavenger hunts to simple at-home dinners. Being creative can be better than bling."


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