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February 10, 2012 09:50 PM

What Will You Spend On Your Sweetheart?


With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, you're probably planning to pick up a card or two, maybe some candy and flowers; or go out to eat to celebrate.


Americans are expected to spend $18 billion on Valentine's Day this year.

Your typical Valentine's fare of cards, candy and flowers can really add up. Mom Brenda Childerston tries to keep expenses down by sending homemade cookies to her college-aged daughter.

"I try to do more homemade stuff. We always send socks and cookies to them, just to remember them," Childerston said.

Others have a long list of people to remember.

"I don't budget. I have my grandkids I take care of and my nieces and our married kids. We try to give them a little extra cash so they can have dinner out," Donalene Spars said.

Dinner out is the second biggest expense for Valentine's Day, with consumers spending 3.6 billion on that special meal.

And while Valentine's Day is the top holiday for fresh flowers, with 200 million roses sold last year, jewelry is actually the biggest in sales, expected to be more than $4 billion this year.

Guys definitely spend more on the holiday-about twice as much as women at $168 a piece.

"I think I'm off the hook this year since we got engaged this year," Andrew Curley said.

Whatever they spend, most people can't help but "love" this holiday.

"It's not like Christmas and some other holidays, but it's a fun one to celebrate. We should tell everybody we love them every day of the year," Spars said.

But not everyone is opening up their wallet for Valentine's Day. Forty-one percent of adults say they aren't planning to celebrate it at all.
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