Cost-of-living crisis means nearly a third of NI can’t afford romance


Soaring consumer prices have stopped nearly a third of NI couples celebrating Valentine’s Day this year, a new survey has found.

The survey by, Northern Ireland’s largest price comparison site, found that 30% of respondents said they were forgoing Valentine’s celebrations this year due to the cost.

With the cost-of-living crisis driving prices up, Valentine’s gifts are now 11% more expensive than last year.*

With many NI residents already worried about the rise of everyday household bills and with many having to sacrifice food and electricity to be able to afford Christmas, celebrating Valentine’s Day is unlikely to be a priority for many people.

The survey also found that half of respondents would be opting for a more DIY Valentine’s this year to cut costs, choosing to spend time together at home with dinner and a movie rather than going out to celebrate.

The rising cost of celebrations may be creating an air of cynicism around Valentine’s Day. With a romantic three course meal for two in Northern Ireland now costing around £72.50 on average, half of respondents to the survey said they were now choosing to completely avoid the romantic holiday altogether, labelling it a scam.**

Commenting on the survey, Ian Wilson, Managing Director of said: “It’s unfortunate that a third of couples here are having to forgo their Valentine’s Day celebrations due to rising costs.

“The cost-of-living crisis has impacted every aspect of life and unfortunately Valentine’s Day appears to be no different. With many in Northern Ireland worried about everyday household bills such as electricity, groceries and heating, money that may have previously been set aside for date nights is having to be used on necessities instead.

“DIY options such as a movie night or home cooked meals can be a budget-friendly alternative for those celebrating Valentine’s Day that don’t want to break the bank. If you’re choosing to buy a gift, check competitor prices, delivery charges and timings – some stores and third-party apps allow you to spread the cost if you need a little more time to pay – just be careful to read the terms, late payments often have hefty fees.

“You can also save money by making simple changes such as checking how competitive your suppliers are – across gas, electricity, phone and internet to see if there are savings to be had from switching or renegotiating, as well as reviewing all direct debits and cancelling any non-essentials you can live without.” helps hundreds of thousands of people in Northern Ireland save on everyday household essentials such as car, pet and travel insurance.




Survey results 
Do you think Valentine’s Day is a scam?Yes-50% No- 42% Not applicable- 8%  
Will you be opting for a more DIY Valentine’s this year?Yes- 50% No-28% Not applicable-22%
Does cost stop you from celebrating Valentine’s Day?Yes-30% No 56% Not applicable-15%

*’s findings are based on a randomised survey of 600 respondents across Northern Ireland in January 2024, which represents a margin of error of approximately 5% at a 95% confidence level

This article is intended as generic information only and is not intended to apply to anybody’s specific circumstances, demands or needs. The views expressed are not intended to provide any financial service or to give any recommendation or advice. Products and services are only mentioned for illustrative rather than promotional purposes.