Americans are Setting Records to Help Dads Feel Special on Father’s Day

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It’s time for dads to have their day.

Father’s Day is just around corner, and children, grandchildren, spouses and others are getting ready to spend.

American consumers are expected to spend a total of $15.5 billion this Father’s Day, setting a record high, according to the National Retail Federation.

This year, the average shopper will spend $134.75 on Father’s Day gifts. That’s up from last year’s average of $125.92.

So what exactly will they be buying to impress Dad?

Father’s Day Spending By the Numbers

It seems like a great bulk of spending this year will be on food, clothes and letting Dad pick out exactly what he wants, according to the National Retail Federation’s data.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Special outings, like brunch or dinner: $3.3 billion
  • Gift cards or gift certificates: $2.2 billion
  • Clothing: $2.2 billion
  • Consumer electronics: $1.8 billion
  • Personal care products: $888 million
  • Home improvement supplies: $885 million
  • Greeting cards: $861 million

Though greeting cards is the category that draws in the least amount of spending, it is the most popular gift idea, with 64.3% of those surveyed saying they’d be buying one — or more.

Though these DIY card ideas were technically for Mother’s Day, if you want to use these ideas for your dad, we won’t tell.

Finding the Perfect Gift

Figuring out what to buy the dad in your life may be a challenge, but have you also thought about where you’ll buy it? According to the National Retail Federation:

  • 40% will shop at department stores
  • 34% will shop online
  • 26% will shop at a discount store
  • 24% will shop at a specialty store

Fathers are OK With Frugality

Now there are still plenty of ways to show your love to dear ol’ dad without breaking the bank — or feeling obligated to spend $134.75.

Here are over a dozen Father’s Day gift ideas under $45. Grilling tools and beer seem like they would make many dads happy.

And according to the National Retail Federation, one out of four fathers surveyed said they would like a “gift of experience” rather than a material present.

So if your budget just isn’t having it, check out these 19 free ways to show appreciation to the dad in your life. They make not cost a dime, but they’re sure to bring a smile to Dad’s face.

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.