How Much Money Will Be Spent on Father’s Day 2016?

Father's Day

Do consumers love mom best? When it comes to spending, the Daily News says they tend to spend 75% more on Mother’s Day than Father’s Day; however, those who want to pay tribute to dad don’t get off that cheaply. When you add up what is spent on gifts, presents, and travel, the price tags are pretty hefty. Remember too, that this holiday honors step-fathers, sons who are also fathers, grandfathers and fathers-in-law. Counting in all of these men to be honored, you have a pretty formidable spending holiday.

We decided to break down exactly how much is projected to be spent this year based on past findings.   Areas covered will be retail, travel, greeting cards, and restaurants.

Retail Spending

A look at 2015 spending estimates proves the rule that less is spent on Father’s Day gifts than those for mother on her big day. Business Insider estimated that the average cost of a Father’s Day present is $115.57, and that when all is said and done, retail has been doing well, with a whopping $13 billion spent on Father’s Day. Again, this is a small change compared to Mother’s Day, where gifts the month before for Mother’s Day were estimated at $21 billion spent.

A 2013 Time Magazine article attempted to unravel this mystery of why dads get so little on their day as compared to moms. Research blames several factors: Dad’s don’t tend to speak out if they get short shifted, They are more understanding about not getting that iPad they have been eyeing. Retailer’s offer a plethora of inexpensive items custom made for dad. Dad’s tend to get “funny” or “cool” gifts like barbecue aprons and “World’s Greatest Dad” mugs and boxer shorts. Male spouses also put more emphasis on honoring their spouse on their day than vice versa.

What many fathers secretly desire are either too expensive, like computer gadgets and power tools, or the intangibles that aren’t accessible at the local mall or retailer. One father was quoted by the article as wanting something super special for Father’s Day; he wanted his grown son to hurry up and finally move out. With more and more adult children “re-nesting” after college, this father is probably not alone in his wish, although many dads keep this to themselves.

Travel Spending

Father’s day is not a traditionally popular occasion to hit the road, but some do use this occasion to visit and reconnect with dad. Many college and school aged children are already home in June, so they don’t have to make an extra trip home to see Dad for Father’s Day, so there isn’t the same rush crush for students like when they travel home for Thanksgiving or Winter Break. Even if they have graduated, many adults still live either with or close to their parents, just like olden times when multi generations lived in the same neighborhood, or even in the same house.

The recession has put a crimp in the spending for travel for less important holidays. June also marks the beginning of wedding season, where Father’s Day is often overshadowed by traveling for family weddings. Graduation day is also another occasion that manages to eclipse Father’s Day.

There are, however, some fabulous travel ideas of things to do with dad, like rock climbing and race car driving, according to the Travel Channel. Giving the gift of a once in a lifetime adventure would be preferable to the same old boring gift, however, the price tag for making these memories is well out of reach of many.

Restaurant Spending

It’s hard to find exact statistics on Father’s day dining, as far fewer men are taken for brunch, lunch or dinner on this special day. Although restaurants are offering Father’s Day specials, many dads prefer to just fire up the grill and cook at home. Many sons and daughters purchase popular grilling meats such as Rib-eye steaks, that can cost anywhere from $7-$15 per pound, according to, and either have dad over to their place, or just let him try on that new barbecue apron and cook it himself.

Just about every local newspaper advertises some cool dining out establishments offering Father’s Day Specials. to head for if you want to take dad out for some food and fun. The Four Season’s Restaurant offers a Jazz and Champagne brunch for only $69  per adult, so you can take mom and dad if you can afford it.

Greeting Cards

Father’s Day is considered a “Hallmark Holiday.” However with the advent of online greeting cards, Facebook posts and cellphone texts, handing dad a paper card isn’t mandatory to show him you care. Although The Greeting Card Association estimates that about that 90 million units will be sold for Father’s Day, the overall number of greeting cards for all occasions purchased are somewhere between $7 and $8 billion. Of course right after Mother’s Day, the most eye-catching cards are for graduation cards, with Father’s Day stuffed in with them.

Companies like Shutterfly have revolutionized the greeting card industry where you don’t need to have someone else’s dad on the card, you can design a picture with your own Father’s image on his card. These personalized cards are competitive with the cost of an average paper Father’s Day Greeting, at only $1.39 to $3.99 per card. For a little extra postage, you can have your personalized card sent to the recipient, if you can’t be there in person to hand it to Dad. This gives high personalized value (a photo) to an ordinary card that dad know that their loved ones spent time to design.

Although Fathers are just as important as Mothers, it’s clear that this holiday is a much smaller ticket occasion overall. If the sentiment counts, than perhaps dads just know how their children feel without them spending lots of cash. Millennials especially, with many carrying hefty student loans and difficult job prospects, don’t have the money to treat dad to a present or a meal out worthy of the occasion.

Psychology Today says that actually what dad would prefer for Father’s Day is cash, however, most dads are reluctant to tell their children to skip the tie this year and just show them the money.

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