If you’re buying your dad a present for Father’s Day this Sunday, it’s likely you won’t spend as much as you did on your mum for Mother’s Day.
With Father’s Day due to be celebrated on the 18th June, retailers around the world are set to enjoy a significant boost.
But while the amount of money we all spend on Father’s Day continues to go up every year, it still trails far behind Mother’s Day.
The average amount spent on gifts per dad this weekend is expected to be £106, says the National Retail Federation (NRF). By contrast the average spent on Mother’s Day presents is £146.
So are we spending more on our mums?
Dr Lars Perner, a consumer psychologist at the University of Southern California, says that most of us simply think our mothers deserve better or bigger presents.
“To some extent, wrong or right, mothers are often considered to be the biggest contributor to the home life.
“People tend to understand the sacrifices they make, that’s what you see. Moms have a special place in people’s hearts – there’s a special idea of what they offer the family.”
Dr Perner adds that perhaps dads are also “less interested in tangible tokens of appreciation”.
“I think fathers think they don’t really need expensive, showy trinkets, or anything like mom’s bouquet of flowers.” he says. “They’re not typically gift oriented. They generally don’t expect anyone to feel an obligation to buy material items for them.”
If you are going to buy your dad a present you’ll probably buy a card, too. But yet again, you are unlikely to spend as much on the card as you did for your mother.
Last year the average amount spent on a Father’s Day card in the UK was £1.85, says the Greeting Card Association of the UK, compared to £2.09 for a Mother’s Day card.
Miles Robinson, co-founder of UK card-shop chain House of Cards, agrees that “dads don’t get quite the same recognition” as mums.
“Perhaps fathers aren’t so bothered about the sentimental side of cards, or gift giving, at Father’s Day as mums are for Mother’s Day, but we think it’s just as important to remember and recognise the role that dads play.”
However, while mums may receive more generous presents and more expensive cards overall, there may be one area where dads come out on top – we buy them nicer bottles of booze.
UK wine merchant Berry Bros & Rudd says that its figures suggest that customers are spending more on wine and spirits for Father’s Day than for Mother’s Day.
Prof Kyle Murray, of the Alberta School of Business in Canada, says that figures also show that every year more money is being spent on Father’s Day.
With traditional gender roles continuing to break down, and fathers doing more housework and hands-on parenting “it is not surprising to see more emphasis on Father’s Day,” says Prof Murray.
Kit Yarrow, a consumer psychologist at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, adds that today’s fathers have a “more emotional” relationship with their children than past generations, making it easier to buy dad’s presents.
The best-selling gifts in the UK for dad’s are chocolate, alcohol, books, gadgets and aftershave. And the total UK spend in 2015 was £684m, up from £658m in 2014.