Americans plan to increase Valentine’s Day spending despite pressure on budgets

Americans plan to increase Valentine’s Day spending despite pressure on budgets

US consumers are reeling from months of rising prices and dwindling savings, but a recent survey found that won’t stop them from increasing their Valentine’s Day spending this year.

Data released Wednesday by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics found that Americans plan to spend $25.9 billion on the sweets in their lives this year, up from $23.9 billion last year. That means 2023 could be one of the highest spending years ever for the holiday.

spend valentines day

Valentine’s Day spending could be close to peaking this year despite high inflation straining consumer budgets. (iStock/iStock)

More than half of respondents, about 52%, said they plan to celebrate this Valentine’s Day and would spend an average of $192.80 to do so – up from $175.41 a year ago.

But recent trends have some experts worried that the feelings of generosity surrounding this year’s February 14th celebration will only add more to Americans’ already swollen credit card balances.

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David Ragland, CEO of IRC Wealth and a certified financial planner, says the projected higher spending spree will “definitely” hit credit cards for many consumers.

Heart-shaped credit card hands

Americans are pushing more toward credit cards, and many are expected to use them for Valentine’s Day spending sprees. (iStock/iStock)

He noted that although savings rates are falling, consumers still feel comfortable spending because the employment rate is high and many still have money in their pockets from the stimulus of the pandemic.

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“This is a great example of how our emotions really control our spending, which sometimes hinders our financial development and financial success,” Ragland told FOX Business.

stacked hearts on coins

US consumers are reeling from months of rising prices and dwindling savings, but a recent survey found that won’t stop them from increasing their Valentine’s Day spending this year. (iStock/iStock)

The financial adviser says the high inflation environment last year affected many people’s budgets, and is recommending that all his clients reassess where their money is going.

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“Right now, because of inflation, do yourself a favor: sit down and look and see what you’ve spent or what you’re spending in January and February,” he said. “That will give you a better feedback loop so you can make better financial decisions.”

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