Father's Day Spending Index 2022 - Vested

For many, Dad taught us our earliest financial lessons. Turn off the lights. Don’t touch the thermostat. You don’t need new shoes until your white New Balance sneakers are completely green from mowing the lawn 1,000 times. You know, the basics. With Father’s Day a few days away, most of us will be looking for a way to repay the man who raised us for all the insights, encouragement, and lessons in frugality.

In 1970, long after Mother’s Day was officially adopted as a holiday, Congress passed a joint resolution designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Since then, offspring everywhere have been struggling to come up with gift ideas for the man who says he doesn’t want anything.

Last year saw record spending for Father’s Day at $20.1 billion. This year’s Mother’s Day expenditures broke records, but that trend does not seem to hold for Father’s Day. The National Retail Federation predicts slightly lower spending in 2022 at a flat $20 billion. This is in part due to inflation driving up prices of just about everything.

Graphical index of spending for Father's Day over the last few years

While inflation was present in May, gas prices are now setting new records daily, and we’ll soon be feeling the fallout of the Fed’s historic hike on interest rates. With fears of a recession looming, it’s likely that many are holding their wallets a little closer.

Nevertheless, $20 billion isn’t chump change. On average, consumers are expecting to spend $171.79 on Dad. When polled, dads responded primarily that they were hoping to receive a special day with their families rather than any specific physical gift (awwwww). That’s great news because behind greeting cards, special outings (think brunch, fishing trip, golf day, etc.) are projected to be the second-most popular gift this year.

Graphical index of spending per category on Father's Day gifts over the last few years

In the face of an economy that keeps on delivering the hits, no one, especially the old man, will fault you for taking a step back and giving a gift that tugs the heartstrings more than the purse strings. Regardless of what you ultimately decide to get your father this year, he’s likely just happy to know you were thinking of him. And if you can get something that’s a great deal at a great price? Maybe, just maybe, you’ll finally make him proud.

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