Father’s Day is devoted to your Dad.
Most of the year, he is there for you, giving advice stepping in and lending a hand, he may grumble and grouse, but actions speak louder than words. One day a year, you remind him that it’s all worthwhile, you appreciate him merely for being your Dad.
Buying a standard gift for your Father is straightforward, but what if you want to surprise him with a fantastic present that he never realized he wanted?
Secretly, you want to astound your Dad with the Father’s Day gift that other Dad’s envy and the other kids wished they’d thought of first. But you don’t have a millionaire budget, and your Dad is hard to buy for, so what are you going to do with the budget you have?
The average spends on Father’s Day range between $100 to $150 and that includes gifts and other expenditures involved in celebrating the day. Your situation is obviously unique and there are things you need to consider when setting a budget.
We’ll first look at the average spend of Father’s Day gifts and the types of gifts that typically work well with fathers, before diving into the factors that you need to consider when budgeting for a Father’s Day gift.
Average Cost of a Father’s Day Gift
Interestingly, the world spends about half the amount spent on Mother’s Day on equivalent Father’s Day gifts. Father’s Day gift spend averages a little over $100 per Dad.
Before you start to wonder if you’ve been treating your Dad as a second-class parent, you might want to take a deep breath.
On Mother’s Day, you see items packaged as Mother’s Day – flowers, chocolates, sparkling wine, and gift baskets everywhere. Father’s Day gifts tend to be more practical, like clothing, tools, tea gifts, and items that are not obvious Father’s Day gifts.
The amount spent depends on the age of the gift giver, with younger people spending more on average than older people.
Typical Father’s Day Gifts
Most money goes on gift cards and clothing. The next popular category is electronics, followed by practical tools and personal grooming. When all else fails, the gift consists of books and CDs.
Gift cards have the advantage of allowing your Dad to buy what he wants from his favorite store or more widely online. On the other hand, they have the disadvantage that your Dad also knows precisely how much you spent on Father’s Day.
Gift cards are flexible in $10 increments allowing you to set a budget you can afford.
A gift card is ideal for the hard-to-buy-for Dad because you don’t have to spend hours searching out what you think is the perfect gift only to see that disappointed look on his face when he unwraps it.
Most people find it difficult to buy gifts for Dads unless the Father (or your Mother) has provided a gift list detailed down to the brand and source of each item.
Your Dad may have a hobby – like woodcarving or model railways. Hobbies usually need lots of accessories and specific tools. Unless you share that hobby, you are unlikely to know what it is he needs or wants.
A gift card that lets your Dad buy the make and brand of a tool he has been drooling over, but unable to justify buying, is going to be the best Father’s day present ever as far as your Dad is concerned!
You know where you are with clothing. You know what your Dad wears, and buying more of the same is a sound gift-buying strategy. Sometimes you change it up a bit with novelty socks that play a tune or statement ties, but you buy clothing because it is a safe choice.
Wearable items are another staple gift item that is flexible to meet your budget and your Dad’s tastes. You set the budget, look at what your Dad likes to wear – casual or smart – and you have plenty of choices.
Men like gadgets may be a cliché, but it does not mean it isn’t true.
Plus, electronic equipment can be expensive, so if Dad is in the market for a new phone or tablet and Father’s Day is coming up, it’s a great time to hold off spending his own money and waiting to see if the kids will oblige.
The type of electronic gadget will determine the cost of the gift. Expect to pay upwards of $100.
At the lower end of the scale, you find smart speakers and mini drones, but you can expect to spend a vast amount on high-end electronics!
Big-ticket items are excellent gifts when you combine your spending with that of your siblings, so your Dad gets that top of the range phone, tablet, or smart TV.
Many tools make great Father’s Day gifts ranging from hand tools, power tools, to accessories. The assumption being that Dads have a role in fixing things and will appreciate a tool to help them in that role.
Tools are excellent gifts because you can buy one quality tool for a small amount or an expensive power tool if you have more money available.
Books and CDs
If you have a small gift budget and you need an item to post, then a book or a CD makes an excellent gift.
It is straightforward to get hold off, and you already know what your Dad’s taste in reading and listening, so you know you are going to be able to pick something he likes.
Your budget will determine if you buy one book or a CD or a combination. Books and CDs are flexible Father’s Day gifts for small and mid-size budgets.
How Much to Spend on a Father’s Day Gift?
The straightforward answer to this question, as for any gift, is to spend what you can afford.
If your gift budget is low, then you need to get creative. If you have plenty of money in the kitty, then you still want to spend it wisely and get value for money.
Whatever the amount available, you will be able to find an excellent gift at all price points.
Father’s Day Gifts Under $50
In this price range, you may prefer to buy materials and craft your Dad a personal gift. But if you prefer to buy a present off the shelf, you have plenty of choices. Books, CDs, clothing, or simple coffee or tea gifts all fit the budget.
If you think your Dad may prefer a tool for the garden, home or car, concentrate on buying one small quality tool rather than a low-cost set unless you know you are getting quality tools at a bargain-basement price.
Consider putting together a gift box of lower-cost items to make an unusual gift – like a car cleaning kit, personal grooming, shoe-shine kit, or flowering bulbs for the garden.
From $50 to $100
All the usual categories are available, but you can expand your thinking to experience days or subscriptions. If your Dad is a keen gardener, consider buying a small fruit tree or a piece of garden sculpture.
You can buy a decent bottle of wine or spirits in this price bracket and combine it with a personalized glass or decanter.
Clothing choices fall into a few t-shirts or one quality shirt, depending on what suits your Dad best.
If you live far away, or only have limited time available to put together a gift, consider getting a specially themed Father’s Day gift basket. Be sure it consists mostly of food and drinks you know your Dad will enjoy.
From $100 to $200
Now you can start to think of power tools and other electronics.
Your Dad probably has most of the standard tools, so use your imagination for a useful tool he has not thought of owning – like a power drill gun! Or a leaf collector to make that fall job less strenuous.
Depending on your Dad’s dress style, you can think about cuff links, tie clips, money clips, or wallets. Your choices range from classically elegant to quirky.
This budget is a decent amount to spend, so do your research before splashing out. Excellent Father’s Day gifts get used and cherished, and the others get packed away and forgotten.
The best presents are fun or practical, and sometimes both.
The budget is less of a concern, so think outside of the box to find an unusual Father’s Day gift that he will treasure. Personalized items like a leather organizer or a travel case are durable and attractive.
Your Dad might appreciate a barbecue set that doubles as an outdoor smoker or bread oven. Alternatively, he may prefer a season ticket for his local sports team or bowling hall or theater vouchers.
Factors in Setting your Father’s Day Gift Buying Budget
When you are deciding how much you are going to spend on your Father’s Day gift, then there are some factors to consider.
Your Dad is not going to thank you for spending more than you can afford on a Father’s Day gift. Before you consider any of the other factors, make sure you know your upper limit on your spending.
The lower limit is not essential – if you can get the ideal price at a rock bottom price, then everyone is happy.
The aim of giving a Father’s Day gift is to provide a gift, not to spend a certain amount.
Take your brother’s and sister’s circumstances into account when setting your budget. You may want to combine your spending to provide one gift or give an individual present.
Avoid resentment by aligning your spending to what they can comfortably afford for the main Father’s Day gift. If you can provide more and want your Dad to benefit, top up your gift after Father’s Day with a gift card.
Choice of Gift
Your Father might be happy with the same gift for Father’s Day every year – like a bottle of his favorite whiskey or a new shirt from his favorite brand.
If your Dad likes getting the same item every year, why disturb that pattern? It’s straightforward for you, and he is getting a gift he wants and appreciates.
As your Father gets older and his income drops, there may be items he needs that he would struggle to afford. Father’s Day is an ideal opportunity for you to meet that gap!
You might want to increase your gift-buying budget so you can provide for your Father’s needs diplomatically and gift him practical items or services like a home meal delivery scheme.
Your budget may have to cover more than a straightforward gift – you may have additional costs like travel or postage.
You may also be taking your Dad (and Mom) out to celebrate as well as buying a gift. Before deciding on how much to spend on a gift item, consider the cost of the whole day.
Father’s Day Gift and Meal
The best gift any parent can have is the time their children spend with them. On Father’s Day, you might choose to take him and your Mom out for a meal.
How much this will cost will depend on how many people you are catering for as you need to allow between $20 and $50 per person for a standard meal and more if you are going to a high-end restaurant.
An important consideration is if you are splitting the cost across the family members for a big event.
If you are taking your Dad out for a meal, it is reasonable to make the meal the gift, but if you want to, nothing is stopping you from also giving him a present.
If you are a mother celebrating Father’s Day for the men in the family, taking the family out for a night at everyone’s favorite restaurant is a relaxing way to celebrate with.
Meaningful Gifts for Dad
Father’s Day is about your relationship with your Father rather than about struggling to afford a certain amount of money to spend on the day.
Look at what you can afford and buy the most appropriate gift for your Dad, within your budget. If you can afford to take him out for a meal and he likes to eat out, then book the restaurant in advance.
Otherwise, take round a home-cooked meal and spend the evening playing cards or watching a movie. The most precious gift you can give him on Father’s Day is your time and attention.