Average Spending on Celebrating Valentine’s Day for Couples and Families in 2012?

Valentine postcard, circa 1900–1910

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Couples and families will spend billions this Valentine’s Day buying gifts for their loved ones. What will the average spending on celebrating Valentine’s Day be in 2012? We’ll turn back the clock and look at 2011 spending figures and prognosticate what to expect in 2012.

Valentine’s Day spending is directly linked to economic prosperity. Spending decreased dramatically during the Great Recession and ticked up slightly last year; rising 12.8% to an average of $116.21 per consumer. With the economy showing marginal improvement this year as well, we can expect spending to increase again in 2012. If we guessed at a 5%-15% increase for 2012, average spending per person would increase to a range of $122.02-$133.64. This would put 2012 in line to exceed the five-year high, in 2008, of $122.98.

While I can only guess at the actual 2012 numbers right now, I promise to update you once industry research rolls in. However, there are some very important trends in last year’s data that will help couples and families make informed spending decisions.

Young Families Spend the Most

Families between the ages of 25-34 spend the most on average. For 2011, it was $189.97 or over 63% more than the average of all spenders. Why? Husbands and wives buy gifts for each other. They buy gifts for co-workers. They buy gifts for their children’s classmates and teachers. Since young families spend the most, it is important to plan early and look for deals to cut down the expense early.

Too bad Christmas shopping deals are over.

Couples Spend Most of their Budget on Each Other

According to marketing statistics, one-third of all engagements occur during the holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Years. This figure is important, because buying for your significant other is, by far, the largest expense for those spending on Valentine’s Day. Spending on a significant other or spouse was at an average of $68.98 per person. That’s nearly 60% of the entire Valentine’s Day budget.

Get with the love of your life early and set a spending limit. Then, start thinking about gifts now so that you aren’t buying during the 25 hour.

Men Spend More Than Twice What Women Spend

Women will pay half as much for something they don’t need. Men spend twice as much on something that they do need.

Surveys show that on average, men’s budgets are more than double what women plan on spending for Valentine’s Day. Men, this doesn’t mean that you love your woman twice as much. It means that you don’t know how to shop and while, not knowing how to shop may seem manly, it’s a very expensive feeling.

It wouldn’t hurt to come up with a gift ahead of time, then scope out the advertisements for deals. The earlier you start, the more likely you are to save money.  If you are looking to buy jewelry, look for brands that are less expensive but equally as beautiful such as a tungsten ring. If you want to feel manly about it, buy yourself a video game with the savings. Just please, stop overspending.

The Most Popular Gift is a Greeting Card

…it’s also one of the easiest gifts to make by hand and cheapest to buy supplies. 52.1% of those that buy gifts for Valentine’s Day, buy at least a card. So, try thinning this year’s budget by creating your  own Valentine, instead of spending for manufactured cards.

Learn from the spending trends of last year and save some green this Valentine’s Day. Show your bank account that you care.

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