Last updated on November 21st, 2022 at 02:14 pm
While researching data on holiday spending for my dream of being financially savvy, I discovered some numbers about Valentine’s Day that I found rather shocking.
Did you know the average man will spend approximately $250.00, and the average woman will spend $75.00?
This does not seem right to me. I’m trying to remember ever getting anything for Valentine’s Day, from any guy, ever. Well, my husband, “Virgo Man” bought me some tulips for our first Valentine’s Day and gave me a very sweet card. But honestly, that’s the only Valentine’s Day gift I ever remember getting.
To be fair, I’m not big on spending money for Valentine’s Day myself, so I guess I get as good as I give. But if these averages are to be believed, each couple will spend about $230 on each other–assuming they’re monogamous. If they’re not monogamous, we’re talking serious money here.
What would a gal buy for $75 as a gift for her man? I have heard of some girls sending flowers or chocolates, but I bet that’s pretty rare. Over on Quora, one guy said he would love to get a Playstation for Valentine’s Day. How romantic, and how wistfully wishful. Then he can really ignore the woman in his life.
I bet lots of ladies buy themselves silky underthings, as a gift for their lovers. And I bet lots of lovers buy additional silky underthings for their women, too. In 2009, $4.5 billion was spent on clothing, including lingerie. It’s supposed to be a bad idea to buy someone else lingerie as a gift. Too much pressure, too much expectation. Plus you might get the wrong size, and no good can ever come of that.
Total Valentines Day spending is projected to reach $30 billion by 2023.
This is a big number, don’t you agree? That is a whole lot of $230 gift exchanges. There are too many zeroes involved, so I’m not going to even try to calculate precisely how many gift exchanges.
I was under the impression that Valentine’s Day, like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and Secretary’s Day, was invented by Hallmark; and if that were true, $30 billion in revenue is quite an accomplishment for a supposedly fabricated holiday. But actually, I was misguided. Wikipedia set me to rights.
Valentine’s Day was popular in Chaucer’s era, back in the Middle Ages, when troubadours wandered the land singing songs of love. And actually, the holiday (“holy day”) was invented by Pope Gelasius the First in 496 AD. For some reason, in 1969, Pope Paul VI took it off the calendar of saints. That does not appear to have had a chilling effect on the gift angle, however.
Of the projected $30 billion, it is estimated that at least $4 billion is for dining out (about 14%).
I ask you, who can get a dinner reservation for Valentine’s Day? Maybe anyone who can do it for weeks or maybe even months ahead. But I’ve never been one for dining out on any holiday anyway–it’s too crowded, and there’s too much pressure to Have. A. Good. Time. Or. Else! I’d rather stay in, and I probably spend more money cooking a special meal than I would spend eating out.
Aphrodisiacal food tends to be expensive.
My ideal would be oysters–the little Kumamoto with their sweet, briny pop. I like them on a half-shell with a good mignonette sauce. But I’d take Hog Island sweetwaters, too, lightly fried (very lightly) and served with quarters of Meyer lemon.
I think artichokes would be a perfect side dish: just a little vegetal bitterness to contrast with the sweet luxury of the oysters. And then that Toasted Marshmallow Hot Fudge Cake. Champagne with everything!
But get this – the American Culinary Institute says the most romantic foods are:
- Ice Cream
Did a couple of those things catch you up as they did me?
For instance, I am addicted to coffee, but I don’t see it as romantic. It’s too utilitarian. Anything that I must have in order to face another day is, by definition, not romantic. Also, hummus. All the hummus I like has garlic in it. I guess if you both eat it, that’s not so much of a problem. Even so, it doesn’t seem very romantic to me.
Nuts and prunes? I ask you–is that supposed to be symbolic or something? I know I’m trying to save money, but really.
Jayne Speich is co-founder of Business Growth Advocate dedicated to the survival and growth of small businesses in the new era.