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How Much Will You Spend for Valentine's Day?

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THIS year, Americans will spend an estimated $17.6 billion on Valentine’s Day—that is the second highest grossing holiday, coming second only to Christmas, and ahead of Mother’s Day, Halloween, and Easter. So just whose wallet is at the mercy of Cupid’s arrow, and what are they buying? Read on to find out.

You might be surprised to discover that while overall consumer spending is down, Valentine’s Day-related spending is on the rise. For example, in 2001, the average American spent $82.60 on the lover’s holiday. In 2008, at the start of the economic decline, the average spending was $122.98. This year, those celebrating will spend a whopping $126.03.

If you’re wondering who is on the receiving end of all those flowers and chocolate, let’s take a look at just who Americans are buying for: 89 percent of you will buy for a spouse or significant other; 61 percent of you will buy for kids, parents, and other family; 25 percent of you will buy for friends; 21 percent of you will buy for your child’s classmates and teachers; 20 percent of you will buy for your pets, and 11 percent of you will buy for your coworkers.

Gender weighs heavily on the price tag of Valentine’s Day—the average male spends $168.74, which is nearly double the $85.76 that the average female spends. Additionally, your geographic location and age play a role in how much you will spend. Northeast residents are the biggest spenders, doling out an average of $146.30. The south comes in second at $128.67, the western region in third at $119.82, and the Midwest spending the least at $110.96. Meanwhile the 25 to 34 age range spends the most at $176.85, with the 65-plus category spending the least at $79.97. The rest go as follows: 18-24 spend $148.05; 35-44 spend $141.82; 45-54 spend $122.43; 55-64 spend $88.13.

The final breakdown of Valentine’s spending stats targets the gifts on which money is spent. Greeting cards top the list for the favorite item to purchase—52 percent of you will spend an average of $13.33 on cards—leading the way for people to spend billions on the holiday. 50 percent of consumers spend an average of $21.47 on candy; 36 percent spend an average of $71.99 on an evening out; 36 percent will spend an average of $37.44 on flowers; $19 percent will spend an average of $156.51 on jewelry, 15 percent will spend an average of $71.30 on clothing, and 13 percent will spend an average of $63.55 on gift cards.