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How Much Should You Spend on Your Grandkids This Holiday Season?

Americans plan to spend an average of $1,430 on gifts, travel and entertainment this year. But how much of that goes to the grandkids?
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profile picture of Wyndi Kappes
Assistant Editor
Updated
November 16, 2022
baby opening christmas gift with grandparents
Image: Ground Picture | Shutterstock

As many families tighten their budgets this year due to inflation, there seems to be one area of spending that’s seemingly resistant to the cutbacks—holiday gifting. A recent survey of 4,000 Americans reports that 74 percent of adults plan to spend the same or more this holiday season as they did last year. On average, shoppers will drop $1,430 during the holidays, with around $754 going to gifts, $452 to travel and $224 to entertainment.

While millennials spend the most money overall during the holidays, grandparents take the cake when it comes to gifts and activities for the family. Gen X (41-55 years old) spends the most money on family, $889 on average, with Boomers (56 years old and up) not far behind, shelling out $760 each year.

If you dive in deeper to see how this spending shakes out, you’ll see that the average amount per grandchild comes to around $218. A 2021 poll by OppLoans of 1,700 grandparents also shows that spending isn’t equal across the sexes. Grandfathers seemingly spend a little more on holiday gifts than grandmothers ($244 vs. $202), with parents in Oklahoma ($339), Connecticut ($336) and Washington, D.C. ($330) spending the most.

Other interesting findings reveal younger grandparents tend to gift more generously. For example, grandparents ages 35 to 44 spend about $312 per child, 45 to 54 spend about $248 per child, and 55 and older spend about $179 per child.

While all these numbers may seem a little outrageous, they pale in comparison to how much grandparents reportedly spend on their grandchildren throughout the year. According to an AARP, grandparents collectively spend $179 billion per year on their grandchildren, approximately $2,562 per grandparent.

If you are looking to spoil your grandkids this holiday season, check out our 2022 holiday gift guide filled with budget-friendly options and special splurges for all ages.

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