30-Aug-2019 • Personal Finance

Aussie adults are expected to spend an average of $125 on Dad this Father’s Day, according to a new ME survey.

However, dads with sons can expect more lavish gifts and outings; sons are planning to spend an average of $145 on Dad, whereas daughters intend to spend only $97 on average.

ME money expert Matt Read said “The spending gap might be explained by the tendency to spend more on gifts you’d like yourself. Buying for the same gender would increase the likelihood of this.”

The biggest spenders of the bunch were 25-39 year olds, who are planning to tip out an average of $163 on the occasion.

So what can Dads expect to be gifted this Father’s Day? A practical physical gift (eg. socks and jocks) tops the list of this year’s most popular presents, with 41% choosing this category.

Followed by 21% who plan to gift their dad an experiential gift (eg. tickets to a sporting match or race car laps), 17% a fancy physical gift (eg. Apple watch), 15% a homemade gift, and 16% said ‘other’, which was largely made up of gift cards and alcohol.

“Practical gifts are a Dads’ best friend. You can’t go wrong spending money on something your dad needs,” said Read.

While kids - young and old - mean well, they can gift some pretty wacky presents. The ‘worst’ or ‘weirdest’ gifts that Dad-survey participants have gifted included a homemade laundry basket, an oil painting of a cartoon frog, an abnormally large ruler and pencil, and a handmade ashtray for a non-smoker Dad.

In terms of how Father’s Day spending stacks up against other big occasions, respondents ranked the following yearly occasions in descending order of dollars spent, and Father’s Day was fourth.

  1. Christmas
  2. Family birthdays
  3. Mother’s Day
  4. Father’s Day
  5. Valentine’s Day

Savings tips and advice for Father’s Day:

“You don’t need to spend big on Father’s Day to make your dad to feel appreciated and special - less expensive gifts can be just as thoughtful,” said Read.

“Pool together with the rest of your family and gift Dad one item that he’s been coveting over.

“No matter how old you are, handmade items also make great gifts that may be treasured for many years to come.

“Plan ahead and work Father’s Day gifts and outings into your budget, so you’re not caught out the day before.

“When it comes down to it, for most dads, quality time with their kids, or a simple phone call is all they want. The occasion doesn’t need to cost a fortune.

“Sometimes breakfast in bed is the best gift a dad can get!” said Read.


Editor notes: ME’s Dad-survey was conducted in August 2019 with 1,000 Australians over 18 years of age who celebrate Father’s Day, with fieldwork conducted by Pure Profile.

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