Stats don’t lie: Australians think Valentine’s Day sucks

Angus Kidman 12 February 2018 NEWS

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64% of Aussies will not be doing anything to mark the day.

Walk into almost any store in Australia right now and you'll be bombarded with a sea of pink and red, as retailers attempt to persuade everyone to spend up big on Valentine's Day presents. I fully expect that if I visited my local Bunnings there would be a hedge trimmer tagged with "Perfect Valentine's Day gift for your husband".

However, that doesn't necessarily mean that Australians love Valentine's Day. In fact, 64% of Australians will not be doing anything to mark the occasion, according to a recent finder.com.au survey of 1,718 people.

Reasons vary. A quarter of us (25%) think Valentine's Day is a rip-off, which is a hard conclusion to argue with if you're planning to buy roses on Wednesday. 18% simply don't believe in it, and 21% are single and thus feel they have nothing to "celebrate".

If you're not in the Valentine's-loathing majority, be prepared to cough up some serious cash. The average spend on a Valentine's Day gift is $75.

As is often the case, our levels of disdain vary by state. The table below shows the percentage of Australians who plan to mark the day (there weren't enough responses to calculate this for Tasmania, the ACT or the NT):

State% doing Valentine's Day
Western Australia42%
New South Wales40%
Victoria34%
Queensland31%
South Australia29%

Another thought: the 36% that are on board for Valentine's Day are fertile targets for scammers. ANZ says that its dedicated scam detection unit is currently investigating $3.7 million of "romance scams", which typically involve someone from overseas forging a "long distance relationship" with a lonely and vulnerable person and then hitting them up for large sums.

Distressingly, the targets of these attacks are often older people. Even more distressingly, many continue sending money to scammers even after they've been told the whole thing is a con. The "romantic-love-is-all-that-matters" vibe of Valentine's Day creates an ideal launchpad for any aspiring scammer.

So all things considered, Valentine's Day can ram it.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears regularly on finder.com.au.

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