How And How Much Will You Spend This Mother’s Day?

How will you be celebrating your Mom this year?

In 2016, Americans spent $21.4 billion dollars on Mother’s Day (1). And this year, that number is expected to hit an all-time high of $23.6 billion. (2) And while celebrating mom has certainly taken different forms over the centuries, it is safe to say that we spend big to spoil our moms!

Officially, Mother’s Day started as a goodwill effort to keep the peace and recognize women’s achievements, but mother’s, and women everywhere, continue to break through glass ceilings and bring a holistic and balanced lifestyle approach to work culture, the celebration of our efforts remains as important as ever.

Mother’s Day is a day that is celebrated internationally and is the third largest retail holiday. And as you can see, the numbers speak for themselves (3)

  • $5 billion spent on jewelry for mom.
  • $4.2 billion spent on outings like dinner or brunch
  • $2.6 billion spent on flowers
  • $2.5 billion spent on gift cards
  • $1.9 billion spent on personal services such as spa days.

You don’t have to spend a ton of money to show mom some love on the big day, either. There are lots of things you can do together, for very little money, that will create a beautiful and picture-perfect Mother’s Day for the most important woman in your life. I am a Mom with 3 young children, and plan to enjoy my Mother’s Day celebrating my Mother and Mother-in-law who is visiting from San Antonio, TX doing what they enjoy best – being surrounded by family and eating dim sum!

Spending on bouquets and brunch are among the most popular celebrations for Mother’s Day. Sixty-nine percent of people said they’ll purchase flowers, and fifty-six said they would be splurging on special outings, like going to a restaurant. (5) “My mom actually passed away in June 2008, a few days after her birthday and about a month after Mother’s Day. So this Sunday, I will visit my Dad and we will go visit her at her final resting place to lay flowers and share some memories. It’s a tradition we’ve pretty much followed every year since 2009. We usually spend around $20-$30 on a nice bouquet (4) and then my Dad and I typically share a simple meal (around $40-$60) afterward.” John Lim Entrepreneur and Host of Moving Forward Podcast / Be Moving Forward (Ba-Li Solutions, LLC) / @bemovingforward

Sometimes a gift and memories go hand in hand. While the newest tablet or the next best cell phone is definitely a fantastic gift, and that is what about 15% of people are getting mom(2), sometimes the experience is what matters. “I asked my mom what her ‘Why Not Now?’ is and she said she’s always wanted to take a train ride across the country so on Sunday we’re going to plan it online together. I found a super cheap rate. Cost of the day: Less than $50, Cost of train trip: TBD” AmyJoMartin @AmyJoMartin, NY Times Best-Selling author of Renegades Write the Rules & host of Why Not Now? Podcast.

According to the latest survey by the National Retail Federation, the average amount of the gifts we purchase for mom will increase from $172.00 in 2016 to $186.39 for 2017.(2) And while all age ranges are likely to make purchases for mom each year, 25-34-year-olds tend to spend the most when it comes to buying mom that special gift. Younger consumers, in particular, may be looking to create a special memory, with nearly half under the age of 35 planning to give a gift of experience and memories. (5)

When it comes to gifts that create memories, 28% of moms would prefer that over anything else (5).  And while it may still cost you money, the memories you make in the process are priceless. “My mom is a big fan of the theater (especially the ones on Broadway). Therefore, it was a “no-brainer” when it came time to decide how to spend this special day with her. As for costs, I expect to spend somewhere between $50-$70 per person for dinner and $30-$50 for a ticket to a Broadway show.” Eraldo Maglara, Author, Celebrity Trainer and TV Host of “Healthy Lifestyle with Eraldo”

How many times has mom mentioned that all she wants this year is “some peace and quiet”? What better way to give it to her than a day of pampering in honor of Mother’s Day? A big driver of the uptick in spending this year is on personal services like a spa day and 24% of shoppers say they’ll give that gift to mom, spending $1.9 billion (that’s up 15%) to do it.(2) “I am treating my mom to lunch and a spa day. I asked my mother what she would like to do and she was indecisive so I decided to make lunch reservations and book a spa treatment for us. I estimate spending $500-600 for the day.” Nicole Smartt, Co-owner of Star Staffing, @nicole_smartt, Petaluma CA

“We will be spending the day as a family together, brunch and a few kid friendly outings in Los Angeles. It is important to me as a Mom to spend Mother’s Day with the ones I love and I want to do something that is fun for everyone. We’ll probably end up spending around $300-$500. I like to spend Mother’s Day with family, I see it as a family holiday and we should all be together enjoying one and another,” shares Kelly Lam, Founder of The Whole @thewholepurpose, Southern California.

Now, just because the average consumer may be dropping close to $200 on the moms in their lives, doesn’t mean you have to. There are many things you can do to spend the day together and enjoy each other’s time, that doesn’t require spending anything more than buying regular groceries! “This Mother’s Day, I plan to cook the family breakfast and invest the day with the family (Danielle, Claire, and PJ). From there, we will go for a hike and have a night out for dinner with the family. Nothing too exciting, but we value our time together and so it will be worth its weight in gold. In the end, the money we save will be used for a family vacation time later in the summer, and savings for our children to go to college.” Paul Curley, CFA, Director of College Savings Research, Strategic Insight, @PaulCurleyBC

Even if you don’t have a huge budget, you can make a true impact. For many, the experience of time together is more valuable than material gifts. What will you be spending money on this Mother’s Day?






Winnie Sun is one of the most followed financial advisors on social media today. To learn more about her, visit

Winnie Sun is a registered representative with, and securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Sun Group Wealth Partners, a registered investment advisor and a separate entity from LPL Financial.