Your father was there for you his entire life. He worked hard to give you a stable household. He taught you right from wrong enough to keep your criminal record relatively clean. And he showed up for every single one of your sports games and school functions despite the fact (you’re old enough to hear this now) he found them a little boring.
Now Father’s Day is right around the corner and it’s time to show some appreciation for all of dad’s dedication and sacrifice, and you’re having a having a tough time scraping up enough money to buy a decent gift. But you can’t simply give him nothing. There’s no need to stiff him on the one day when you’re supposed to express your gratitude. With a little ingenuity you can find a way to make him feel loved even if your checking account is dangerously depleted.
Here are five frugal gifts you can give if everything on your dad’s wish list is outside of your budget.
1. A Really Great Picture Of You
When was the last time your dad got a snazzy photo of you? A real picture, not some candid shots he only saw because you put them on Facebook. Be honest: it was taken on picture day in school, and it’s so old that fashion trends have changed two or three times since the day it was shot. Sound about right? If the framed image of you on his desk is wildly out-of-date, why not give him the gift of a brand new picture?
All you have to do is dress up in your finest clothes, brush your hair, find a spot with good lighting, and ask a friend to take a few shots. You don’t even need a fancy camera — the one your phone is fine. (If you’re REALLY broke, ask to use your friend’s phone.) He will be surprised when he sees a fine photo of his pride and joy pop into his email inbox on Father’s Day.
2. Free Yard Work
Is your dad the type of guy who loves having a neat backyard, but hates actually having to maintain it? Turn Father’s Day into a day of rest for your dad by doing all of his outdoor chores for him.
Mow the grass, trim the hedges, pull the weeds, and do everything else that is necessary to convert the outside area of your dad’s home a botanical sanctuary. If you really want to go the extra mile, do some of the work that really makes a backyard look like it’s been handled by a professional like edging the lawn.
3. A Letter
Back before the Internet and mobile phones, when communication was more difficult, people wrote long letters to their loved ones to keep them informed and express their feelings. (Have you ever read love letters written by Civil War soldiers? You should. They’re beautiful.)
Give your dad a blast from the past by taking the time to compose a thoughtful letter. (A long one — like a 1000 words or more.) You can use it to remember some of the happiest times of your childhood, explain how much he means to you, and just let dear old dad know how you’re doing. Give your letter an extra old school feel by writing it longhand and sending it via snail mail.
Don’t underestimate the power of practical gifts. If your dad is like most grown men, he can afford to buy new socks, but he puts it off because he doesn’t really want to drive to store just to get something so trivial. For just a couple bucks, you can save him a shopping trip and keep his feet comfy for months.
Have A Great Father’s Day
Without a supportive dad in your life, there’s no telling what might have happened to you! You could have even ended up with a criminal record online if your dad wasn’t there to kick your butt during those rebellious teenage years. Thankfully he was, and you stayed out of trouble (for the most part).
It’s not about the money. It’s about showing that you’re thinking about him. As long as it’s obvious that you care, he will have a wonderful Father’s Day!