Dad’s certainly got his hands full.
But out of everything he does, one of his main responsibilities has always been to nudge his children down the right path to adulthood.
Along the way, your dad probably taught you some essential life lessons, such as prioritizing a good education, the importance of staying curious, and pursuing the things that interest you most. And let’s not forget his lessons on how independence comes with responsibilities — and how sometimes, you have to learn that the hard way through some tough experiences.
But perhaps most importantly, the idea of how you can do anything if you set your mind to it is one of Dad’s all-time best bits. Over the years, you’ve put those lessons to good use, growing up into a responsible adult who can take care of yourself — and maybe even a family of your own. Dads have a lot to be proud of, and when it comes to personal finance, maybe he’s seen some of his guidance come to fruition.
Sometimes, the best Father’s Day gifts are lessons learned — here are some that Dad would be especially happy about:
Your dad may have a lot of advice about spending money. Whether it’s encouraging you to take care of your needs first and wants second, spending only on things you care about or warning you against spending money you don’t have. Of course, you may have run up a credit card bill or two in your day, but getting your spending and debt under control is a feat any father would praise.
From simple to sophisticated, dads have a lot to say about saving. Yours may have told you to put something away for a rainy day, or he may have taken a deep dive into the advantages of retirement accounts and the power of compound interest. Whether you’re just building an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses or you’re maxing out your 401(k), your dad would be proud of how you’re saving to meet your needs.
Knowing the Difference Between Good and Bad Debt
While you should beware of some debt (think high-interest credit card debt) that can quickly spiral out of control if you don’t pay your bills off each month, other forms of debt can be helpful. Student loans, for example, can help you achieve your career goals and get a good salary. Or, if you’ve got a mortgage, you’re building equity in a home. Not only will your dad be proud you’re putting a roof over your head, but also that you’re using leverage to help you build wealth.
Understanding That Money Isn’t Everything
How many times have you heard your dad say, “You can’t take it with you?” Far from a call to hedonism and reckless spending, this simple adage points out that money isn’t the most important thing when it comes down to it. It’s a tool to help you live a meaningful life and accomplish your goals.
Now, just because you’re making grown-up decisions doesn’t mean you can’t call up your dad every once in a while to ask what he thinks about the weird noise your car is making or how to fix the kitchen sink. In the end, your dad will always be the guy who taught you to tie your shoes and measured your height against the kitchen door. He’s always got your back when you need him.
However, dads can be notoriously hard to shop for. This year, let your dad know that he’s on your mind with practical Father’s Day gifts that he’ll actually use and enjoy.
The Best Father’s Day Gifts:
For the Dad Who Is a Bookworm
If your dad always has his nose stuck in a book, consider giving him a subscription to a book box. Like Book of the Month, some clubs offer readers the chance to choose their books from a list of recent releases.
If you think your dad would rather be surprised, other services, like The Book Drop, do the choosing for you. You can even choose book boxes with specific areas of focus. For example, each quarter, Call Number offers titles from Black authors in Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States.
For the digitally-minded dad who’s always got his nose snuck on his tablet, consider an unlimited subscription to e-books, like Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited.
For the Dad with a Green Thumb
If your dad loves to eat what he grows, he may be a pro at knowing exactly when to plant peas or coaxing the perfect tomato from the vine. But he may have never dabbled in the fantastic world of fungi. If not, consider giving him a mushroom starter kit. Though not technically plants, your dad can grow a range of mushrooms, from delectable oysters and shiitakes to the medicinal reishi and lion’s mane.
For the Dad Who Loves Music
If your dad is a bit of a gearhead and loves music, consider a headphone amp, especially if he’s already got a nice set of headphones. Headphone amps can convert audio signals from a turntable, smartphone, or PC and boost listeners’ ability to hear musical details clearly.
For the Dad Who Loves to Cook
If your dad is a whiz in the kitchen or loves to cook on the grill, he might get a kick out of a portable outdoor pizza oven. It is far hotter than a conventional indoor oven and allows him to recreate the crispy crust of a perfect Neapolitan pie. Best of all, a portable pizza oven is no one-trick pony. It can be a versatile tool your dad can use to bake bread, sear meats, fish, and quickly roast vegetables.
For the Dad Who Loves Travel
Like something out of a spy novel, a tiny Bluetooth luggage tracker helps a father on the go never lose track of his bag. Your dad can tag his suitcase and track it on his smartphone. What’s more, your dad can use the tags on his phone, wallet, and passport to help him find them in seconds.
For the Dad Who Loves to Camp
If your dad loves to rough it in the wilderness, it’s a pretty safe bet that he’ll love cool camping gear. If he’s already covered his basic needs, consider giving him something to make camping cushier, such as a portable espresso maker for a morning jolt and the perfect crema. You might also consider a camp stove that turns fire into electricity, like the BioLite Campstove 2+, which can cook your meals while generating enough power to charge lights and smart devices.
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. Thanks for all the advice over the years and for always being there when we needed you.
Tally can help you make your father proud and meet your unique financial goals with debt payoff strategies that help your money work harder for you.