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5 Father’s Day Gifts That Won’t Cost an Arm and a Leg (and One That Will)

2012 June 13
by Aaron

fathers day giftsThis Sunday is Father’s Day. A special day set aside to pay tribute to “the man”. And while I think it’s important to remember him with a gift – it doesn’t need to be one that leaves a big vacancy in your wallet.

When selecting a gift for dad – I try and keep a few things in mind. The first is a stereotype – so I apologize in advance for it. But overall – I think the generalization probably works. Here it is: whereas I believe we remember mom’s on Mother’s Day with gifts that make her feel loved and cherish – we remember our father’s with gifts that help them feel honored and respected. It’s a guess of mine – but it may be why ties have been such a popular “go-to” gift for dads. It’s something that helps them feel honorable (what do you think? Pretty good psychology work for a personal finance blogger?) :) The second thing is significance. Perhaps it was a time when your dad helped you to learn how to cook. Or, to tie a tie? Whatever it may be – relate the gift back to a specific memory that made a difference in your life. 

So here are my picks for gifts that won’t cost you an arm and a leg and will be appreciated by your father (or the “father” in your life).

trophyAn award or trophy. As a man – I love a good trophy. I’m really not into displaying them all over the place – but there is something about ‘em that makes us feel special / honored. Perhaps you can get one made through a local trophy shop and have a significant saying on it related to your dad? He’ll love it. (approximate cost: $15-30, depending on size)

Frame a photo of your dad with his father. I wish I had one of these pics of my dad and his father – but I’ve never been able to find one. The father-son relationship is a very powerful one – and giving him this memento will probably be well-received. He may even have to excuse himself to get something out of his eye. ;) ($10-15)

personalized golf ballsPersonalized golf balls. Since I love golf – I’d especially like this gift. If you know his favorite brand of golf ball (and just so you know – the best out there is Titleist Pro V1’s – or V1x’s). You can get a dozen balls personalized with his name, nickname, a favorite saying of his OR the number he wore when playing basketball.. (a bit more on the pricey end – depending on which brand you go with: $30-60)

Create a photo memory book. I did one of these for my wife to celebrate our wedding – and it turned out great. I went through a site called Blurb – but there are others out there. Perhaps you can include photos of you and your dad when you were younger or other iconic images of your father (Here’s a bonus: enter “BLURBBOOK15OFF” at checkout to get 15% off a book through Blurb)

Personalize a wristband. These have been made popular over the years – through the LIVE STRONG Foundation and other organizations – and are still widely worn today. This company offers you the ability to personalize one for your dad with the name of his kids, or a favorite quote (just some ideas). ($5 each)

But, if you really want to go and sell that arm and a leg:

Kindle DX. This just came out – and it looks very nice. He’ll love it (just make sure you have enough bank to pay for it!). ($379)


Any other Father’s Day gift ideas you can think of that will cause him to feel honored?

(FYI: some of the preceding links are affiliate links – so if  you decide to click on ‘em and purchase one of the items mentioned here – we will get a percentage of that sale. Small – but it helps us keep the doors open.)

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Helped start Three Thrifty Guys with his friends Charlie and Mark after being inspired by how they lived their lives “on the thrift”. A designer by day, Aaron was once $40k in debt. After 5 years – he dug himself out and lives to tell about it. Aaron also blogs at the StarTribune

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2 Responses
  1. Gemma Easterling permalink
    June 13, 2012

    The trophy idea is really cute. I will have to use that one on my dad one year! This year I decided to take my father to the movies. I found a promotion by to get 2 AMC movie tickets and 20% of the proceeds will go to the Alzheimer’s Association. This is a great gift, especially for anyone who has a family member with Alzheimers. Check it out here

    • Aaron permalink*
      June 13, 2012

      Hm – that’s a great idea Gemma! Thx

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