We All Spend Way Too Much $$$ On Valentine’s Day & It Needs To Stop

Photographed by Rachel Cabitt.
Americans are expected to spend $18.2 billion on Valentine's Day this year, according to an estimate from the National Retail Federation. According to us, that's ridiculous. The average person, the NRF projected, will spend about $137 on gifts — which is down from last year's record high of $147, but still. The data comes from a survey of over 7,500 consumers conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, as Mic reported. It should come as no surprise that a huge chunk of this cash — $4.3 billion — will likely be spent on jewelry. In addition, people will spend $3.8 billion on going out, $2 billion on flowers, $1.9 billion on clothing, $1.7 billion on candy, and $1 billion on greeting cards. Common sense suggests that there's no need to drop so much dough. But now, there's data to back this up, too.

, the product discovery and reviews platform, conducted a survey of 6,899 women to find out their thoughts about Valentine’s Day. Two-thirds of the women think $21 to $100 is a perfectly appropriate range to spend on the holiday, which is a lot less than the $137 we spend on average. When asked what types of gifts they'd like to receive, 71% of the women said they prefer pampering presents (like a spa day), and only 63% want physical gifts. So it may be time to swap the jewelry for a day of self-care. Additionally, according to the NRF, fewer people are even celebrating Valentine's Day this year — 54% compared with 63% in 2007. This leads us to think it's finally time to put a nail in the coffin of Valentine's Day consumerism. And if you do celebrate, consider a couples' spa treatment instead of the obligatory nice dinner out. Another option is to make it a day for giving back, and donate to a worthy cause, like electing more women to office. It's as easy as downloading an app — and a lot more spiritually rewarding than a bauble or a box of candy.

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