Aww, it’s that time of year again—time for romantic gestures, cupid’s bow, endless expressions of feelings, and, of course, Valentine’s Day gifts. From a box of chocolates to takeout orders from your favorite restaurant, there's no end to the popular Valentine’s Day gifts that can make February 14th a day to remember.
However, Valentine’s Day can be an expensive holiday, and Valentine's Day spending can easily get out of hand. It’s just a couple of months after several other holidays with endless gift-giving, expensive travel, and other end-of-the-year purchases. Now it’s time to spend money on your Valentine to show them how much you love and care for them.
Plus, this day isn't just a celebration of romantic love. In addition to buying bath bombs and champagne for our boyfriends, girlfriends, and spouses, many of us will also buy gifts for our pets, family members, and best friends.
It’s challenging to know how much to spend on Valentine’s Day. With so many gift options to spoil your loved ones, how to decide on a price tag? There’s a couple of essential factors to discuss before you make an extravagant Valentine’s Day purchase.
Let’s discuss the two vital factors for you and your Valentine to consider.
How Much Should You Spend on Your Valentine?
First and foremost, you should chat with your partner to discuss spending expectations for gift giving. It’s a good idea to have an idea of what the other person is thinking because it would be awkward if one person went all out one year and bought an expensive gift and the other kept it super simple. It doesn’t have to be a long conversation, just a heads up about each other’s budget and price range for a gift.
Secondly, how much you spend on your Valentine depends on how long you’ve been in the relationship. If you just start talking to someone, you don’t want to splurge on concert tickets and a fancy meal if you’re just going to go separate ways in a couple of weeks. On the other hand, perhaps you’ve been in a long-term relationship for a few years but are unsure if you should go all out for their gift.
Suffice it to say, if you’ve only gone on one or two dates with someone, there’s no need to break your budget with an expensive Valentine’s Day gift. Each individual relationship is unique with their own needs. So, if you’ve only gone on one date with someone, such as drinks or dinner, it’s safe to say you’re entirely in the clear for spending money on VD. Typically, if it’s more than one date, a simple Valentine’s Day dinner and flowers will probably be enough to acknowledge your date on a romantic holiday such as V-Day.
Again, it’s entirely up to you and your relationship how much you spend! But, say you’re in a serious relationship. What then? How much you spend on Valentine’s depends entirely on how much you’ve been together as a couple.
The average American spends roughly $142 on their Valentine’s Day present to their partner. There are, of course, exceptions depending on salary differences and circumstances.
Age and your season of life have a lot to play into how much you spend. Gen X and the Silent Generation typically spend the most on their V-Day gifts, followed closely by Millennials. Funnily enough, Baby Boomers tend to spend the least, with the littlest generation of Gen Z falling somewhere in the middle. Gender also affects Valentine's spending forecast, with men more likely to spend money on their partners than women.
There could also be extenuating circumstances, such as if one or both of you is still in school or if there’s been a significant life change such as a career shift or job change. Maybe you’ve had a lot of unexpected bills. As you can see, there are several factors to consider when choosing how much your budget should be for your Valentine's gift.
Keep reading to discover the best budget for your Valentine’s Day gift, depending on how long you’ve been in the relationship!
Less Than a Month
Okay, so you’ve gone on a few dates. You both expect to spend Valentine’s Day together. At this stage in your relationship, you’ll want to pay for dinner at least. Maybe a small token gift such as flowers and a card. Maybe bake them a pie if you like to bake or give them a little something that you noticed they might like, like candy or sweets.
Don’t go overboard on your official (or unofficial partner) at this stage. Little token gifts say a lot at this point in your relationship.
A good rule of thumb at this stage is probably to spend somewhere around $25 and nothing more than $50. At this point, Valentine's gifts are simply a mood booster, and maybe a display of a high confidence level that your budding relationship is moving forward. Essential oils, a diffuser, or candles may be a nice gesture at this stage, too.
Less Than Six Months
You’re officially a couple but haven’t made it to a year yet. You feel it’s getting serious, but you’re not sure how serious yet. You could go with dinner and a trip to the movies, but you’d both probably have fun experiences together at this point.
Whatever activity you both enjoy, such as tickets to a sporting event or a concert. You want the other person to feel special and enjoy a romantic evening together. Maybe even buy a little something for their furry friends.
Don’t break the bank. And don’t feel the need to go into debt. You don't need a luxurious couple's vacation to South America or Paris to show you care. Anywhere around $100 bucks is a reasonable starting price.
Less Than a Year
You’ve almost made it to a year! Congratulations! Time to splurge a little on something your partner will cherish for years to come. At this point in the relationship is when it’s a good idea to buy some lovely jewelry or something a little more extravagant, like a fancy tasting menu. Your partner may have had their eye on something for some time that fits the bill.
A personalized gift is appreciated as well at this stage. For example, have a leather bag monogrammed or engrave a custom watch. Make sure it’s something your partner has been wanting.
What’s something they’ve hinted at that they’ve wanted but would never buy themselves? What’s something in their online shopping cart they’ve wanted to buy for a while but haven’t purchased? Then, it’s your time to shine and buy it for them. Your budget can honestly be whatever you both agree on at this point.
Bottom line: be thoughtful and keep in mind something personalized and unique.
More Than a Year
How exciting! You’ve most likely already spent one of each holiday together, including the previous Valentine’s Day. As a result, you know more about each other than ever before.
As always, it’s the thought that counts when it comes to your Valentine’s Day gift. Whether you're Gen Xers or Gen Z, this is a milestone that deserves to be celebrated. Discuss with your partner a price expectation at this point because the sky is the limit. You’ve been together for a while. You know each other's likes and dislikes. You don’t have a price limit for each other, so have fun spoiling your significant other!
What if Your Budget Is Tight?
The best Valentine’s Day gifts aren’t always the most expensive, elaborate gifts. It’s okay if you can’t spend a lot of money on gifts. It’s what comes from the heart that matters. Your partner will completely understand! They will love and appreciate any displays of love and affection. They will just be glad to spend time with you and celebrate your love together!
It's easy to get distracted by advertisers and marketing emails flooding your inbox at this time of year, but you don't need a shopping spree to make this Valentine's Day one to remember. Keep reading to discover a few gift options if you want to spoil your partner, but your budget is tight!
DIY Valentine’s Day Gifts
A great way to give your Valentine a gift they are sure to cherish for years to come is to make a DIY (“do it yourself”) gift. These are one-of-a-kind tokens of your love and affection. DIY gifts are perfect for every budget, even if money isn’t tight because it says you took the time to make them something especially for them that is unique.
Here are a few of our favorite ideas for DIY Valentine’s Day gifts!
Scrapbook of Memories Together: Get out all of your concert tickets, stickers, postcards you’ve sent each other, and as many couple pictures you can find—it’s time to get those creative juices flowing! A super thoughtful gift for your Valentine is to put together a fun scrapbook of all of your favorite memories together as a couple.
It’s a great way to look over your time together. A handmade scrapbook is a perfect way to appreciate all of the love and time you’ve spent together!
Cook Their Favorite Meal: Food is one of the quickest ways to the heart. There’s nothing quite as romantic as a homemade candlelight dinner lovingly prepared by your Valentine. Is there a specialty dish you are known for, or does your Valentine have a favorite meal you’d like to try to make for them? Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to put on your chef’s hat and get to work chopping, dicing, and slicing!
Write Them a Poem: If you’re the artsy type, nothing says romance more than writing a poem (or song) especially for you by your partner on Valentine’s Day! Don’t worry about it being perfect or even rhyming.
They’ll love anything you write them as long as it’s from the heart. Maybe you’re a painter, sculptor, or sketch artist—if you’re creative, your Valentine would love anything you created for them. How romantic to have your love create a work of art just for you! Whatever you make for your Valentine, they are sure to cherish for years to come!
Have a Picnic in the Park: A picnic is a beautifully romantic gesture for your Valentine. You could either cook their favorite meal or order take-out and find a private romantic spot at your favorite park. Maybe it’s the park that has sentimental value in your relationships, such as the park you walked through after your first coffee date or the place you both like to stroll through after a long day at work.
Design Your Own Lovebox:
Our Lovebox for Lovers is a romantic option for sending sweet love notes with our connected messaging system. However, if you want to make a genuinely unique Lovebox for your Valentine's, then choose your spinny color and design for your partner’s Lovebox.
Our connected messaging system is a special way to send modern love notes. Simply download our free app and send your Valentine a sweet love note with pictures, drawings, or stickers, and when they receive it, the heart will spin, letting them know they have a message from you. Then, after receiving your love note, they can spin the heart again and send you a waterfall of hearts to let you know they got your message.
Spend Quality Time Together
In our busy, overconnected world, it’s easy to forget that spending quality time with those we love is a gift in and of itself. Spending time listening to your Valentine in a distraction-free environment free from interruptions and simply focusing on them is a beautiful Valentine’s Day gift to give your partner.
Acts of Service
Is your Valentine’s love language an act of service? Then you have an endless number of options of budget-friendly Valentine’s Day gifts to give your partner. If they give and receive love through actions, find moments throughout their day where you can use your efforts to say how much you love them. For example, on Valentine’s Day morning, fix their coffee and bring it to them in bed. Later, take their car to the car wash and surprise them with a clean vehicle.
Finally, on Valentine’s Day evening, draw them a hot bubble bath and warm up the towels in the dryer for a minute to have a warm towel when they get out. Have their favorite book ready when they get out. Any act of service, big or small, speaks volumes to your Valentine!
Plan a Scavenger Hunt
Planning a romantic scavenger hunt is a super fun way to celebrate Valentine’s Day on a budget. Make a map and include all the places in your town that have meaning to your relationship. For example, you could consist of your favorite coffee shop, the bookstore where you first met, or the spot in the park where you had your first kiss.
In short, how much you spend on your Valentine’s is determined by two factors. First, discuss the mutual expectations of how much you are comfortable spending with your Valentine. There may be circumstances where money may be tight for one or both of you.
Second, the length of your relationship determines a lot regarding the amount you spend on your Valentine. Combined with personal gifting preferences, these two factors will help you decide how much to spend on your Valentine's! If your budget is tight, peruse our suggestions for making your Valentine a DIY gift or anything you’d like to make your partner show them how much you love them.
It’s always the thought that counts when it comes to gifts for your Valentine.
Happy gifting and happy Valentine’s Day from the Lovebox team!