Opinion: Valentine’s Day is a money waster after all


Graphic by Marton Papp

Flowers, candy, chocolates, fancy dinners, and even small teddy bears that sing a sweet poem. The over-romanticized Feb. 14: Valentine’s Day. Many get and receive gifts, from expensive to affordable. While buying all of these sweet items, the world underestimates how much it all really costs.


Valentine’s Day originated as a festival day to honor Saint Valentine. However, in the modern era, the day has lost its meaning and seems to have become a cash grab for marketers and several companies.


According to the National Retail Federation, US consumers spent $23.9 billion on Valentine’s Day in 2022, averaging around $175.41 per US citizen,  which is 33.9% more than what the average American spent per person in 2013.


Americans are expected to spend even more money for Valentine’s Day 2023.


According to a poll taken by the NRF, Americans are expected to spend $192.80 on Valentine’s gifts in 2023, which is nearly $20 more than the amount spent on the day last year.


Marketers mark up the prices before the day severely to create more money for already wealthy corporations, and Americans ignore the fact that gifts would be much less expensive any other day of the year. The day is purely made for money spending.


According to Forbes Magazine, even if consumers simply purchase a few small things for their friend group, such as a card and some heart-shaped items,  the cost can quickly add up to $50 or $60. These are nothing compared to flowers, dinner and jewelry, which can be way more expensive. Not to mention that you can get all of these items the next day for much, much cheaper.


Most gifts that people receive onValentine’s Day are one-use items and then are thrown out. Also, it largely adds  to the climate crisis occurring on earth.


According toThe Financial Diet, February  is one of the most expensive months to buy jewelry, not to mention that in the week leading up to V-Day, over 34 million tons of mine waste is generated from all of the necklaces,  earrings, lockets and basically any jewelry containing any amount of gold or silver in it. 


For those in relationships, the day might not even be beneficial toward each other. In fact, it can be quite the opposite.


According to Insider , there are very high expectations for the special day to be perfect, therefore if it isn’t, it might even cause disappointment. The expectations are sky high, putting pressure on both people in a relationship. A study tracking Facebook statuses shows that more people’s statuses are reported to be single and broken up the day after Valentine’s, suggesting that more couples break up after the supposedly romantic day.


Not only does Valentine’s Day waste money, it also makes people compare themselves, which is an unhealthy habit.


According to Insider, when pictures of couples or friends start to pop up on your social media feed, people start imagining why their relationship isn’t as great as the seemingly flawless photo. Therefore, this mentality can cause a negative image of oneself and be both destructive and harmful to one mental health.