What to Get a Guy for His Birthday, 10 Ideas for Every Budget

Guys are notoriously difficult to buy gifts for. For every man that cringes around his significant other’s birthday, I guarantee there are at least three women panicked about the prospect of getting a gift for their guy. Men seem to crave the high-end, tech toys we all know and love, but don’t limit yourself to “i-anything” gifts. Though those are great options, here are a few more ideas for what to get your guy for his birthday.

Get a Guy for Birthday image

Frugal Guy Birthday Gift Ideas for Under $30

1. IGotYouASong.com

If you haven’t heard of this site, you must check it out. After submitting your song idea in 160 characters, you get an original song all for the nominal fee of $29.99. A brilliant, original way to say, “Happy Birthday!” to your guy. For an extra five dollars, you also get an MP3. Can’t beat that!

2. Boys and Their Toys

Many men are simply overgrown kids who just happen to hold down a job. With that in mind, check out toys that older boys might enjoy. Type in “cubicle toys” at amazon.com for a plethora of items sure to entertain your significant other and his coworkers. I’ve enjoyed playing with a few of these myself, including a car-shaped computer mouse!

3. Grill Set

Because what man doesn’t like to grill? It doesn’t have to be fancy, something like this stainless steel set will do.

Mid-Priced Gift Ideas for $31 to $100

4. Book of the Month (or Cookie of the Quarter)

I’ve received this as a birthday gift a few times, and each time it’s a hit! Each month (or quarter, depending on how dedicated you want to be), you simply get your guy a book you think he’d enjoy or has been itching to read. The great thing about this is that you can make this as deluxe or as simple as you like. Hit up the used book store for an “experienced” copy of that novel he’s been wanting to read, or order the entire hardcover boxed set of Harry Potter. Be sure to include a short note explaining why you think this book is great for him. This idea also works great for baked goods…like cookies!

5. Tickets to _____

Be it a concert or sporting event, this is a gift that’s sure to please. It, too, can double as a date night, or as part of his guys’ weekend!

6. Remote Control Helicopter

See #2. Boys and their toys! My guy loves to play around with his toy helicopter I got for his birthday a few years ago. It’s been durable and provides a lot more entertainment than you’d think!

7. EcoSphere

This makes for a perfect desk “toy” but is also long-lasting, with a lifespan of 2-3 years. No feeding or water changing required for this particular EcoSphere, so it’s perfect birthday gift for a nature-loving guy who also appreciates relaxation.

Luxury Gifts (no regards to budget)

8. Guys’ Day (or Guys’ Weekend!)

I don’t know many men who wouldn’t enjoy the opportunity to hang out with their friends, no strings (or kiddos, or honey-do projects) attached. Surprise your guy with a card and then send him on his way. Be it golfing, or playing video games with his buddies, he will be sure to enjoy his well-deserved break. If you really want to go the extra mile, talk to his boss and see about getting him a day off from work to better enjoy his time with the boys.

9. The Trip

Is your guy a travel connoisseur? Is there a trip he would love to be able to cross off his bucket list? Give him the gift of a lifetime, and send him packing to a location that can’t be beat. Bonus: if you go with him, that’s invaluable couple time!

10. Kindle Paperwhite 3G + Wi-Fi

The better to read your book of the month pick! With all due respect to the traditional paper book, the Kindle Paperwhite is the best of both worlds: the ability to read his favorites while embracing his tech-savvy side.

Deciding what to get a guy for his birthday is a major pain in the butt, but with a little bit of creativity, you can find the perfect gift on any budget! If you need more ideas, make sure to check our post during the holidays with over 25 great ideas: What to Get Your Husband for Christmas.

Picture by FreeDigitalPhotos.

About the Author

By , on Mar 28, 2013
Amanda is a full-time mom and aspiring writer. When not chasing after her one-year-old or writing, she is figuring out creative ways to stretch a dollar.

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  1. Great list! I bought my husband a remote control helicopter one year as well, but unfortunately it broke within a month! Too fragile I guess. The best gifts I’ve given him include a beer dinner at a local restaurant (the food and beer were phenom!), a hand-crafted sign from a brilliant artist on Etsy, and a surprise visit from his family for his 30th.

  2. Hard to go wrong with grilling for a lot of guys. Not sure why we like it, but we do.

    Tickets to a sporting event can be good too.

    Or, sometimes spending very little money can be appealing too 🙂 This coming from a fellow personal finance blogger of course…

  3. Great article! My boyfriend birthday is coming up on the 19th and I’ve been panicking about what to give him. I’ve tried the book thing but unfortunately he always gets too busy to read and we just went on a trip so I was at a loss for what to do. I love the cookie of the quarter idea. He left his sister’s recipe for his favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookies on the table on Easter so maybe while he’s at work I’ll whip up some of those and make different cookies each month. We are both trying to watch what we eat but I love baking and he loves cookies so it’s a perfect gift. Thanks!

  4. Autographed stuff works great too. I bought my hubby an autographed novel he enjoyed and it was a big hit for $25. 🙂

  5. Kelly says:

    Some of these seem like they would be a little bit pricey but may work for a milestone birthday or something. I like the idea of giving a guy the gift of an experience like a concert or game to their favorite sports team event. Its VERY hard to buy for guys!

  6. Great gift ideas! A guy gift I’ve used before is a beer of the month package, buy it for how many months you want and they get a new exotic beer shipped to their house monthly!

  7. David Smith says:

    There is nothing wrong to give budget gifts for as long as the recipient is happy with the present. It is not the cost but the gesture that matters.

  8. Jose says:

    Don’t forget tools, All men love tools, although an RC helicopter would be nice (my wife bought me one for Christmas). Oh, did I mention tools 😀

  9. One thing I can’t stand is getting clothes as gifts. I would much rather get a hug then clothes lol. I do enjoy books and of course tools of all kinds. A guy can never be short of tools around the house.

  10. You can’t go wrong with a grill in my opinion! =)

  11. As a guy, many of those sound like great options. I would love the grill set, or a wine of the month, or gourmet food of the month kind of thing too.

  12. I think it really depends on the guy himself, because I think my significant other would really only like the grilling set, but I do like the concept behind it. I do think the song idea is really cute!

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