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How much should you spend on Valentine’s Day?

How much should you spend on Valentine’s Day? with Money Bites
My love doen't cost a thing

Bite-Size Read:

  • Valentine’s Day brings with it pressure to spend money to show how much you care.
  • Our money do’s and don’ts will help you answer the question, how much should you spend on Valentine’s Day?
  • This includes reminding yourself it’s only one day in the year to help you avoid overspending and taking the time to talk to your date about how much you’re each comfortable spending.


How much did you spend on Valentine’s Day last year?

If you’re in a relationship, you very likely spent money on February 14th. That’s because we feel pressure on Valentine’s Day to spend money to show our love. In total, we spend around $20 billion on Valentine’s Day cards, flowers and jewellery as love gifts.


It can be difficult to judge how much to spend on Valentine’s Day. 

You want to show that you love someone and that you value them. Marketers know that, which is why there’s a whole industry around a day to show love. That pressure to spend is real and it’s important to find your own balance between the limits of your spending budget and buying into the love buzz.


Dates like this on Valentine's Day
Well, that’s one way to get a kiss from your date.


Here’s the money do’s and don’ts to help answer the question, how much should you spend on Valentine’s Day: 


1. DO tailor remember it’s only one day a year

We tend to get wrapped up in the idea that Valentine’s Day is a litmus test for our relationship. To take the pressure off, remember that it’s just on day of the year. You have at least another 364 days to show someone you love them. 


2. DON’T go into debt for a date

If you’re considering splashing out on an expensive gift, only do so if you can afford it. It’s not worth going into debt to pay for one date. Instead, explore how you can keep the day affordable with some amazing date ideas that won’t break the bank


3. DO agree on what you’re comfortable spending

For established couples, you’ve likely started combining your finances. If you already pay for shared expenses, talk about how much you want to spend on Valentine’s Day as a couple, including for dinner and gifts. 


4. DON’T buy into the marketing

Each Valentine’s Day, you can expect a wave of marketing coming at you. Its aim is to seduce you into buying expensive gifts to show you love someone. Instead, keep your gift personal to your date and forget about the price tag. 


5. DO recognise that your Valentine’s Day spending habits will change

Just as relationships change over time, what you spend money on changes over time. Couples who have been together longer will exchange more sentimental gifts than those in newer relationships. 


6. DON’T go out for dinner on Valentine’s Day

Going out for dinner on Valentine’s Day is not a romantic highlight. You’ll often pay more for your meal, have a set Valentine’s Day menu and be competing with every couple in your area for a restaurant booking. Instead, simply dine out the day before or afterwards for a more authentic experience.


7. DO start talking with your date about money

It’s never too early to talk to your date about money. You can bring up money on a first date when deciding whether to split the bill or over dinner at home. We even prepared 10 questions to help you talk to your partner about money to help get the conversation flowing. of the scam.


8. DON’T be pressured to spend more money to prove you care

When you ask yourself, ‘how much should you spend on Valentine’s Day?’, you might be tempted to spend more to show you feel strongly about them. In fact, the opposite is true. Couples in love spend $40 less on their Valentine’s Day gifts than those not in love because they don’t need to show proof of love.


9. DO give experience-based gifts

For those who haven’t worked out what gift to give this year, look to give an experience rather than a physical gift. It’s likely to be well received as when surveyed, 42% of people wanted an experience-based gift but only 24% planned to give one.


10. DON’T forget to consider your partner’s budget

Make sure you consider where you date is at on their own journey with money. If they’re a student, they likely have less money to spend on a date than someone employed full-time.



The answer to how much you should spend on Valentine’s Day is twofold: within your budget and an amount both you and your partner are comfortable with.

Remember that Valentine’s Day is only one day of the calendar. Push past the marketing pressure to instead focus on investing time in your relationship to make sure it is of long-term value to you. Because real love doesn’t push you into debt. 

Written by Kate Crowhurst

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