“Bank of Dad” is a well-known and well-used institution in many families, with kids lined up, waiting for allowances, gas money, movie ticket requests and more. This Father’s Day, how about giving dad the gift of saving money, instead of spending it?
1) Gardening: After a long hard winter and a later spring, gardens across Canada have suffered, and many plants will need digging out or trimming down. Instead of dad investing in a garden service, volunteer to be his personal plant manager and take care of the winter’s debris and heavy digging and lifting as a great Father’s Day surprise.
2) Cooking Dinner: Teens eat dad out of house and home, but they can give some back by showing off their culinary skills and cooking up a favourite meal of dad’s. Younger kids can be recruited for table setting and waiter service. You don’t need to spend money going out to a fancy restaurant to have a great dining experience. Try bringing it home to dad instead.
3) Financial Clean Up: Financially and tech savvy young adults can find great accounting software and budgeting tools to help manage the family’s affairs and take some stress off dad. Suggest that he switches to a no-fee bank account and keep an eye out on special offers that help boost savings, to keep more money in the bank, where it belongs.
4) Mobile Management: Mobile phone plans that were purchased years ago can sometimes not make sense with current usage. Sit down with dad and figure out if family members are on the most appropriate plans, individually, and for the whole family. Check to see if anyone is eligible for an upgraded phone as well.
5) Auto Assistance: Kids who borrow dad’s car can return the favour by doing a thorough clean out that would normally cost dad quite a bit at the auto detailers. Scrub out the floor mats, wash the windows, wipe down the leather seats and throw out any garbage you might have left in there.
6) Tool Time: Dads’ workrooms can get messy, and he might find himself buying a hammer when he really needs one…just to discover two more of them behind an unused toolbox. Sort the tools out and arrange them in an easy to find system. A small inventory list can help when he’s searching for just the right screwdriver to fix something around the house.
7) Travel Management: Planning family trips can take a lot of time and effort. Help dad out by doing some of the research online and making recommendations and suggestions for trip providers and excursions. Search for deals and investigate buying tickets for attractions and events online before traveling. These are often more cost-efficient. If it’s a big trip you’ve planned as a family, travel insurance will be on the list of must-do’s before you set out. Research easy to purchase options and take one thing off dad’s already busy schedule.
This article first appeared in Huffington Post and can be found at this link: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/kathy-buckworth/fathers-day-gift-guide_b_5433813.html