The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


June 17, 2013

The Color of Money: Can you chart a dad's value?

Father's Day is over -- how much did you spend on dad's gift?

When it comes to our parents, we tend to assign value by how much we spend. Don't believe me. Let's compare Mother's Day to Father's Day.

 We spend more on mothers.

 They get meals out, jewelry or flowers -- and OK, sometimes ugly floral pajama sets. But the spending is much higher than what's purchased for dads.

     Consumers said they had planned to spend an average of $168.94 on their moms this time, up 11 percent from last year's $152.52, according to a Mother's Day survey conducted by BIGinsight for the National Retail Federation. The poll found that when it came to spending on electronics for mom, 14.1 percent of respondents -- the highest in the survey's history -- planned to shell out more than $2.3 billion. 

     Compare those figures to what people said they planned to spend for Father's Day. The average person will pay $119.84, up from $117.14 last year. As for electronics, it is $1.7 billion on new gadgets such as a tablet or GPS system.

Come on, if there is any spending category for fathers that should best or at least equal the amount spent on moms, it's on electronic stuff, right?

     So, do the numbers mean we value dads less?

     Placing a value on fathers doesn't stop with gifts. Dads themselves place less value on the jobs they do around the house.'s Father's Day Index values dad's household contributions at $23,344, up from $20,248 last year. That's still less than the valuation for mothers. In its Mother's Day Index, estimated the dollar value of the responsibilities of mothers at $59,862, down from $60,182 in 2012. The online site uses various household duties to calculate the salary figures using occupational wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The index does not include a salary from work outside the home for mothers or fathers.

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