A quarter of Brits celebrating Valentine’s Day say they’ve spent less this year than they did last year, because of the cost-of living squeeze. 

A study conducted by Barclays revealed that people have adopted a more cost-conscious approach to Valentine’s Day this year, by prioritising spending on pets over partners and agreeing a ‘no-present pact’ with loved ones.

On average, those that chose to cut back have reduced their spending by £51. While 89% of those marking the occasion are doing so with a romantic partner, one in eight have celebrated with platonic relationships instead, such as pets, friends, colleagues, or parents.

What is ‘Galentines’?

Galentine’s is traditonally celebrated the day before Valentine’ Day. The day celebrates platonic friendships and love, usually between women.

While ‘Galentine’s’ day is more popular among women, as long as the relationship is non-romantic, it can be celebrated by everyone.

SOURCE: The Independant

For those celebrating solo, self love took centre stage as individual’s embraced the concept of treating themselves with kindness and appreciation. Social media platforms saw a buzz with messages shared about self-care and empowerment, encouraging individuals to prioritise their own happiness and well-being.

Despite the commercial aspect often associated with Valentine’s Day, many recognised the importance of genuine connections and meaningful gestures over extravagant displays of affection.

VIDEO: Gifts that were available to love birds all over Nottingham in 2024 

NTU Chaplain, Richard Davey, understands the difficulties around the holiday for those that have lost a partner; “For some, Valentine’s Day is a challenging time and serves as a reminder of heartache that we must be mindful of”.

Particularly for those who have lost a loved one, the day serves as a reminder to cherish the bonds that unite human connection.

Sam Jones, 19, lost his girlfriend Amy in a car crash, in September 2023 after a drunk driver went into the side of Amy’s vehicle as she was driving home from work.

AUDIO: Sam Jones opens up about the struggles of loosing his partner, Amy. 

“For some Valentine’s Day is a challenging time and serves as a reminder of heartache that we must be mindful of.”


Seventy-two per cent of people have been bereaved at least once in the last five years according to the Sue Ryder Charity

‘No-present pact’: 16 per cent of couples agreed on a spending limit in advance to avoid disappointing loved ones. Nearly one in six took it further by making a ‘no present pact’, focusing more on experiences instead.

Pugs and kisses: Over a quarter of pet owners have spoilt their pets this year, with 35 per cent admitting to spending more on their pet than their partner! Data from Barclays shows that on average people spent £87 on their furry friends.


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Switch and save: Despite the cost-of-living crisis, one in three people marked the Day by planning a night out with their date. However, one in 10 opted for a lower cost restaurant than previous years, and many people avoided celebrating on the 14th of February as set menus were often more expensive.

Discount dates: With budgets being tighter, over one in ten said they simply couldn’t afford to spend as much this year, and as a result one in ten used a voucher or deal website to save money on purchases, and a similar proportion are buying flowers from the supermarket opposed to a florist.


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