According to Loughborough University, millennials are expected to be the biggest spenders this Valentine’s Day with an average outgoing of £80 on wining, dining, flowers and gifts. I’m not sure how true this is, but how much to spend on Valentine’s Day is an annual issue for many of us.
Dr Jon Seaton, Loughborough University economist, analysed the £650 million business of Valentine’s Day and has come up with helpful money-saving tips.
Seaton divided Valentine’s shopping into six categories: food and drink, jewellery, flowers, clothing/footwear, confectionery and greeting cards. He also found that people spend most on food and drink, followed by jewellery, then flowers, then clothing (who is buying their Valentine footwear I don’t know). Confectionery and greetings cards, funnily enough, are at the bottom of the spending chart. I would have assumed that most people, particularly us poor millennials, spend the most on cards because many of us decide to just get our partner a card and then carry on with our day as normal!
Seaton claims that ‘Men and women are, after all, feverishly contemplating, engaging in, and hopefully completing the search for a partner – known as the ‘marriage market’.’ My own interpretation of the marriage market is something similar to that one girl that does the unavoidable picture of her Pandora ring which her boyfriend got her for Valentine’s, who captions it along the lines of ‘This one’, or ‘I’m so lucky’, with a selection of emojis that must include a monkey.
Last year, 53% of men spent an average of £72, whilst 39% of women spent £44 on average on Valentine’s Day. The average for both sexes combined is £60. Britain’s supermarkets are well aware of this huge market so that explains the competitive offers on Valentine’s Day essentials, but raising prices elsewhere in the store to balance out the loss.
Everyone knows that the most common, and arguably the best, Valentine’s Day gift is chocolate. Seaton acknowledges that ‘Over recent years many items including chocolate have increased in price, overtly or by shrinking package size, known as shrinkflation.’ When I think of expensive chocolates I default to Guylian. Delicious, yet costing the equivalent of my kidney on the black market. Luckily, retailers have started to sell smaller boxes of them for £1 ‘brands such as Matchmakers (130g), Guylian Belgian Chocolate Seahorses (42g) as well as Lindt Lindor Milk Chocolate Truffles (50g).’
However, here’s the big question: How much should you be spending on your significant other on Valentine’s Day? Seaton says that the answer to this is easy: ‘The most common price for a box of chocolates is £4, at least for Sainsbury’s.’ This is a slightly subjective answer, but I wouldn’t say no to a box of chocolates, whoever gave it to me!
Put the right amount of time and effort into your search and your dream will come true, this is true for chocoholics and for romantics – happy Valentine’s Day!