Cheap but meaningful stuff in London?
November 23, 2008 8:11 AM   Subscribe

A friend of mine just got his first paycheck (£20) and he wants to get a small keepsake instead of just pissing it away. He's already got a Swiss Army knife, so any recommendations on a small tchotke he can get for about twenty quid? FWIW, he's in London, and has pretty much the widest range of interest ever, so go crazy.
posted by Tamanna to Shopping (18 answers total)
Stocks! Not a physical item, but since it's his first paycheck, I assume he's got a long life of money-earning potential ahead of him, and I like the statement that he'd be making by investing the first dimes he earned.
posted by lizzicide at 8:25 AM on November 23, 2008

Frame the paycheck as a memento. It might not mean much now, but it will be a good memento and conversation piece when he is established in his career and it's hanging in his office.
posted by Andy's Gross Wart at 8:45 AM on November 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Get a gold coin.
posted by watercarrier at 8:46 AM on November 23, 2008

He could buy pint glasses or a drink shaker to remember to throw more parties at home and drink at the pub less. Otoh, I'd say any such items should be purchased from a £1 store, for similar reasons, so maybe he should just visit the local pound stores & see what's available?
posted by jeffburdges at 8:47 AM on November 23, 2008

Silver or titanium chip-fork, a lighter or a pair of cufflinks.
posted by Iteki at 8:52 AM on November 23, 2008

I'd also go with a coin. He couldn't get much of a gold coin, if any, but a vintage coin (maybe from his year of birth) would be sweet. Or, a bunch of pound coins or notes from his year of birth which he can eventually pass on to kids and grandkids?
posted by Pennyblack at 9:00 AM on November 23, 2008

He could consider something useful for something he's interested in, and that will last well. For example, if he's into cooking he could get a pretty good knife for £20 that would last for years. Or if he's of a more practical bent, a nice set of ball-end hex keys.

It may just be me, but I tend to put trinket type things away 'safely' and forget about them. I can tell you where my kitchen knife is, and where by hex key set is. The miniature calligraphy set my cousin brought back from Japan as a gift, not so much.
posted by Mike1024 at 9:03 AM on November 23, 2008

A compass would be functional as well as carry with it the symbolism of charting a new course and finding his own path.
posted by des at 9:17 AM on November 23, 2008

Seconding Andy's Gross Wart, I say frame it. I had direct deposit for my first paycheck and I've always regretted not having something I could frame (the pay-stub we got instead just wasn't the same).
posted by Charlie Brown at 9:27 AM on November 23, 2008

I bought myself a watch for my first anniversary at my job and I really like having it. It's my first "adult-looking" watch (ie not digital, not made of plastic, not featuring Dr Seuss characters or a calculator) so I thought it was appropriate. Don't know how much watch you could buy for 20 pounds - but it's worth thinking about.
posted by crinklebat at 11:13 AM on November 23, 2008

Simple wooden flute. If his interests are that wide ranging that they include a little music making.
posted by amtho at 11:19 AM on November 23, 2008

Maybe he could get a bottle of port, and save it for the day he retires.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:17 PM on November 23, 2008

With my very first "serious paycheck" I went out and bought a set of socket wrenches. My mother scoffed saying something like, " couldn't wait to spend it, huh?" About a zillion oil changes and God knows how many other odd jobs later, it's probably the best investment I've ever made.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 12:30 PM on November 23, 2008

step one: hold up paycheck, have buddy take picture
step two: open savings account
step three: put future checks in said savings account
step four: profit!!
posted by silkygreenbelly at 1:42 PM on November 23, 2008

A lighter.
posted by stresstwig at 3:52 PM on November 23, 2008

Ooh, yes, branching out from Kid Charlemagne's comment: a cool multi-tool; either a Gerber or a Leatherman's tool. Très useful.
posted by amtho at 9:14 PM on November 23, 2008


Save it up with next weeks pay packet and buy a weekly tube ticket :-)
posted by lamby at 5:28 AM on November 24, 2008

a zippo
posted by phritosan at 8:21 AM on November 24, 2008

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