Father’s Day is coming up fast. I have a gift all wrapped for the Dad in my life. But my teenagers prefer to leave all such matters to the very last minute. At that last minute, they will also be very short on cash. I’m not planning to take them to the mall, hand them money, and handle this for them. But I do plan to have some inexpensive or free last-minute ideas at the ready when they come to me desperate for something they can wrap and hand to Dad.

Microsoft Office 2013

I gave my two students a subscription to Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium ($99 a year) to share because I want them to do well in school. I rely on OneNote (included in that subscription) to take notes and keep track of research projects. It’s a great student tool. And this latest version of Office also comes with Word, Publisher, Excel, online storage for their files, and a million other useful student tools. That subscription is good for five computers, though, so they could easily gift one to Dad so he can work smarter, too. That won’t cost my teens a thing.

A Better Digital Card from Paperless Post

Dad starts every day with a cup of coffee and the news and his email delivered to his iPad. So the kids can start his day right -- even before they even crawl out of bed -- by sending him one of these wonderful cards from Paperless Post. Not cartoonish or smarmy, these cards are all class. And they simulate the experience of opening a paper card right on a digital device. So Dad can get a created-by-the-kids card without the angst associated with what to do with it – Keep forever? Throw away? -- once he’s opened it. Many are free. Some cost a few PaperlessPost.com coins. Packages start at $5 for 25 coins.

A Good Audio Book for his Commute

Whether Dad commutes by foot, train, bus or car, listening to a good book while he does so will transform the time he spends getting to and fro from wasted to “me” time. My teens can’t afford to buy Dad a three month subscription to Audible.com ($45.) But – with a last-minute chore list and some help from me -- they can scrape together $20 for a good book on Amazon that will play on an the Audible app on Dad’s phone. When my kids ask me for a suggestion, I’ll recommend any of the rather dark hard-boiled mysteries by Adrian McKinty narrated by Gerard Doyle. Or perhaps the wonderfully narrated by Colin Firth version of Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair. Either will have Dad happily setting off for work…and perhaps walking a bit further to enjoy another chapter.

Christina Tynan-Wood writes the Family Tech column for Family Circle, and is the author of “How to Be a Geek Goddess.” You can find her at GeekGirlfriends.com. Follow her on Twittter!