With Valentine’s Day around the corner, romance is in the air. That means chocolate, candy, and flowers galore, right? Maybe not this year.
Digital coupon website RetailMeNot.ca polled Canadians on their Valentine’s Day spending plans, and 66% said they plan to spend less money this year than they did in 2015.
“I think it really comes down to the dollar being down, and when that happens people tend to spend less and be less extravagant on these kind of Hallmark holidays,” Retail Me Not spokeswoman Kristen Larrea told Vancity Buzz.
This year, Canadians say they plan to spend an average of $164, with men planning to spend significantly more than women ($219 versus $109). People who are in new relationships will spend more on Valentine’s Day than long-term couples, since there’s added pressure to be romantic.
People in long-term relationships tend to be slightly complacent, said Larrea.
“80% of people feel like there’s a lot of pressure surrounding Valentine’s Day and so I think that pressure is really felt if you’re in a new relationship – you want to impress the other person and so you might be willing to blow your budget.”
“If you’re in a longer-term relationship, there’s more lines of communication, it’s very easy to set expectations and say ‘ok, it’s Valentine’s Day, why don’t we just wait until the hype dies down and maybe get a nice dinner next week.'”
In fact, only 30% of Canadians say celebrating Valentine’s Day is important to them, and Larrea says the way we celebrate is shifting as well. People tend to value experiences over material goods now more than ever.
“It’s called the ‘new frugality’ where people are – independent of how much money they have or disposable income they have – they’re being more particular and conscious about where they’re putting their money, and they’re investing less in stuff and placing more value in experiences.”
“Even being a shopping website, what we’re seeing is a trend towards personalized gifts, so instead of just an off-the-shelf gift basket, there’s websites like Zazzle and Shutterfly. Those are good examples of websites and services that allow you to create personalized gifts.”
Larrea says it’s easy to save money on Valentine’s Day – just don’t make dinner reservations the day of, when restaurants tend to have expensive, pre-fixed menus.
The survey polled 1,514 Canadians from January 22 to 23.