Average consumer will spend $175 on Valentine's Day gifts, data shows

A new survey exploring Valentine’s Day shopping trends and statistics found a historic level of consumer spending in 2022. (iStock)

While many people view Valentine's Day as a cash-grab for greeting card companies, love is still in the air for millions of romantics who plan to celebrate the holiday this year. 

More than half (53%) of Americans plan to celebrate Valentine's Day in 2022, spending about $175 on average, according to an annual survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF). Of those who are celebrating, 76% said it's important to do so considering the current state of the coronavirus pandemic. 

"Valentine’s Day is a special occasion for many Americans, even more so as we navigate out of the pandemic, and retailers are prepared to help them mark the holiday in a memorable and meaningful way," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. 

Valentine's Day spending is predicted to reach $23.9 billion in 2022, which is the second-highest year on record. Shoppers will spend $175.41 on average this year, which is up slightly from $164.76 last year but still far below the series high of nearly $200 in 2020. 

Keep reading to learn more about Valentine's Day spending this year, as well as how you can finance a gift for your special someone. You can compare rates on a variety of financial products, from credit cards to personal loans, for free on Credible's online marketplace. 

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The most popular gifts this Valentine’s Day

This year's most popular Valentine's Day gifts are candy (56%), greeting cards (40%) and flowers (37%), according to the survey. Nearly a third (31%) of respondents who are celebrating the holiday plan on taking their Valentine on a date, which is up slightly from last year (24%) but still below pre-pandemic levels. 

"While traditional Valentine’s Day gifts like candy and flowers seem to never go out of style, gift givers and recipients alike are more comfortable heading out for a special meal or participating in a new experience than they were a year ago," said Prosper Insights Executive Vice President Phil Rist.

Spending on jewelry is estimated to be at an all-time high of $6.2 billion, with about a fifth (22%) of gift-givers planning on buying jewelry for their significant other. 

If you plan on surprising your Valentine with an extravagant gift like a diamond ring, be sure to spend wisely to avoid taking out unnecessary high-interest debt. One way to pay for jewelry without paying interest is to utilize a credit card with an introductory 0% APR period. You can compare credit card offers on Credible for free without impacting your credit score. 

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How to finance Valentine’s Day spending — and get out of debt

It can be alluring to overspend on Valentine's Day gifts while in the holiday spirit, but it's unwise to rack up debt in the name of passion. The best gift for your loved one can be as simple as a home-cooked meal or a heartfelt love letter. But if you do plan on buying a gift for your Valentine, here are a few ways to finance your purchase:

  • Save up and pay in cash. You should generally avoid taking out debt to finance unnecessary expenses, including Valentine’s Day gifts. One way to boost your savings is to open a high-yield savings account. You can compare savings rates and open an account on Credible.
  • Utilize buy now, pay later financing (BNPL). Some online retailers partner with BNPL companies to offer their customers a way to break their purchase into multiple installments upon checkout. Keep in mind that while some BNPL providers don’t charge interest or fees, some (such as Affirm) may charge rates as high as 30% APR.
  • Spend wisely if you use plastic. If you plan on putting Valentine’s Day expenses on your credit card, it’s important to pay off the entirety of the purchase before the statement due date to avoid racking up high interest charges. One way to avoid interest altogether is to utilize a credit card with a 0% APR intro period — but note that these offers are typically reserved for applicants with excellent credit.

If you're struggling to repay high-interest credit card debt, consider using a personal loan for debt consolidation. The average interest rate on a two-year personal loan is at an all-time low of 9.09%, according to the Federal Reserve. Paying off credit card debt with an unsecured personal loan can save some borrowers up to $2,400 in interest charges, a recent Credible analysis found. 

You can see your estimated personal loan offers across multiple lenders at once on Credible, so you can find the lowest possible interest rate for your financial situation.

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