Let’s face it: It takes a lot to be a dad these days. The “Golly Gee” Ward Cleaver era has long passed. Dads today are more involved in home and children responsibilities along with meeting the demands of their careers. Want to show appreciation to the dad in your life for Father’s Day without breaking the bank? According to the National Retail Federation, the average person spent over $113 on Father’s Day in 2014. You don’t need to spend anywhere near that much to show Dad you care.
I surveyed a few dads to learn what low-cost gifts they would treasure, and the suggestions were very practical rather than sentimental. Below you’ll find some low-cost gift suggestions – all for $25 or less! The suggestions fall into three popular categories: gadgets, off-the grid, and getaway gifts.
Guys love gadgets. The problem? Boy toys can cost a bundle. Here are three great ideas in the tech department that can spare your wallet and score big for Dad:
1. Mobile Apps. The Apple Store and Google Play offer a plethora of apps that guys love that are low cost or free, like Fanfinder, iFitness, Sky Map or Pandora Radio. Whatever Dad’s hobby or interest is, you can find an app he will love.
2. Bluetooth speakers. Amplify Dad’s mood and music by giving him a Bluetooth speaker for his desk. Amazon.com features dozens of options for $25 or less. There are also shower speakers if Dad likes to soap up with a song.
3. Car or Travel Charger. Dad will definitely get a boost from a new charger. Two hot chargers are multi-use car chargers like the Anker USB car charger, or powerful travel chargers like the Anker 2-Port Wall Charger with a foldable plug.
Off the Grid Gifts
Dads work hard and play hard. Maybe that’s why they crave cave time. Here are three ideas for helping the dad in your life unplug at home and enjoy:
1. Outdoor Hammock. There is nothing more relaxing for dad than lying in a hammock in the backyard after a hard day’s work. You can find a hammock and hooks to set up in your yard for under $20 at Wal-Mart or similar stores.
2. Personalized Craft Beer. Does your dad like a good brew? A great dad’s gift is to assemble a six-pack of individual craft beers that represent a theme around your special dad. Whether it be his heritage, places he’s visited, or a smattering of beers with interesting names, you can give him a tasting treat that beats Budweiser.
3. Magazine Subscription. Does your dad dream of owning a Harley? Does he like to read fix-it tips? Travel? There are so many specialty magazines that Dad might love. Buy a year’s worth of dreaming by giving him a subscription to a magazine he wouldn’t otherwise buy.
1. A Day Pass Away. Whether it’s fishing, golfing, hiking, why not give Dad permission to get away for a day and enjoy his favorite hobby? Perhaps give him a coupon and a packed lunch for one special day.
2. Movie Night. Father’s Day coincides with a lot of summer movie releases. Treat Dad to some movie tickets — Entourage, Terminator: Genisys, Pixels, or Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation are some of this year’s sizzling hot summer movies.
3. Boating. Get Dad on the water with a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard at www.boatinginboston.com, located at eight different locations around the Boston area, from Hopkinton to UMass Boston. Rent a double kayak, canoe, or pedal boat for $25 or under for an hour.
The simplest, low-cost gifts can be the best ones. Yes, the handmade cards and gifts are always a hit – and dads appreciate them a lot. But as kids get older, dads like to receive something that says you know who they are and what they love. It doesn’t need to cost a lot to count a lot. Got any other ideas? We would love you to weigh in. Just leave a comment below. Happy Father’s Day!
Make Dad happy by showing him you know how to build — a budget! Dad's love budgets!