Thursday, Apr 25, 2024

Gift Ideas for Adults Who Can Buy Whatever They Want


A box wrapped in white paper with a red ribbon.

As you ease into full adulthood and middle age, you may face a difficult problem—what gifts to give your friends and family who have enough money to buy whatever they want. You may first face this problem with your parents, but as your siblings and friends also achieve strong financial standing, you may struggle with gift ideas for adults who can buy whatever they want. Here’s how I’ve handled that problem as I’ve gotten older.

In general, think of gifts that are gifts of time or that enhance the person’s interests and hobbies.

Gift Ideas for Adults with Children

Most parents feel they never have enough time. You can gift them time in one of these two ways:

Babysitting Passes

You could offer to babysit for free a few times during the year. Then the parents can go out, and they only need to pay for their date, not babysitting, which can be VERY expensive.

Taking the Kids Out

Alternatively, you can take the kids out for a fun day. This is a present for the whole family—the kids have fun, likely having a full day of activities and quality time with you. Meanwhile, the parents have a day to do what they would like to do, whether going out for a date or staying home to clean the house and work on the lawn without being interrupted by their kids.

Gift Ideas for Your Parents

As parents get older, one of the items most of them crave is time with their adult children. You can give that to them in several ways:

Take Them Out

Parents may spend less and less time with their adult children because the “kids” are busy with their own relationships and careers. Your parents will likely love a day out with you, doing whatever activity they and you enjoy, whether going fishing, out to eat, to a movie, or antiquing. Spending quality time with them is a priceless gift they will appreciate for years to come.

Get a Subscription to Storyworth

Storyworth is a company designed to capture family history. You buy your parent(s) a subscription, and each week they are sent prompts to answer about their lives. At the end of a year, you have your parent’s life history.

I bought this gift for my mom for Mother’s Day one year, and we had so much fun with it. She wrote some stories I didn’t know about, and we looked through old pictures to decide which ones to add to the book. We bought two copies—she now has a hardcover copy of her story, and I have one to share with my family. Your parents will appreciate having the chance to reminisce in an organized way and knowing their stories can be shared with extended family if they choose.

Do Their Lawn Work

If your parents are older and struggle to care for their yards, you can come over once a week and help them with lawn care, snow removal, etc. This gift of service is practical, but it also shows your parents how much you care about them to take time out of your busy schedule to help them.

Gift Ideas for Frugal Adults

My husband and I are financially comfortable, but we rarely splurge on ourselves. You may know people like this. For this type of person, buy them gifts that let them treat themselves in ways they are too practical to do normally.

Coffee Gift Card

These individuals might love coffee, but because they’re practical, they make it at home with a frugal brand of coffee. For this type of person, a Starbuck’s gift card is the perfect treat because they won’t buy expensive coffee on their own.

Pampering Gift Card

Or, consider a Bath and Body Works gift card. A practical person might buy regular lotion and soap at the store, but with your gift card, they can buy expensive, scented soaps and lotions that they would never buy for themselves, even if they had the means.

I remember years ago reading that each Christmas, Amy Dacyczyn’s aunt bought her a gift basket of nuts because she loved them but would never buy them on her own because she felt they were too expensive.

Gift Ideas for Adults Who Love to Cook

If you have someone on your list who loves to cook, consider some of these gifts:

Homemade Vanilla

For the baker, make a few batches of homemade vanilla. However, this is not a last-minute gift idea. For the best vanilla extract, you’ll want the mixture to sit for six to 12 months before gifting it to someone.

A Food Box

Another great idea is to buy a food box. This could be a box like ButcherBox or GoodChop that includes prime cuts of meat. Or, you could get a meal box such as Blue Apron or Hello Fresh. These boxes contain the ingredients to make a few meals. This is perfect to use during a busy work week—all the ingredients are included; the recipient just needs to cook them up for a tasty meal.

Eat2Explore Box

If the adult foodie has kids, consider an Eat2Explore box. This subscription service lets you sample foods from all over the world. You choose a box, say Japan, and your gift recipient will receive three Japanese recipes and all the spices and sauces to make the dishes. An adult can make this box with younger kids, or tweens and teens could make it independently for their parents.

Final Thoughts

Coming up with gift ideas for adults who can buy whatever they want is challenging. However, remember that not all financially comfortable adults, especially frugal ones, splurge on themselves. They may enjoy the finer things but generally pass them up. That’s where your gift comes in. Also, most people appreciate the gift of time.

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By: Melissa Batai
Title: Gift Ideas for Adults Who Can Buy Whatever They Want
Sourced From:
Published Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2023 21:09:39 +0000

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