Money Gift Etiquette
Do We or Don't We?
Money gift etiquette answers the
question, "Is it okay
to give money as a gift?"
It has been a much debated issue
and there are arguments for either
side. Tradition says that it is not a gift, because it says that you
did not want to take the time to think about, buy and wrap a present
for the recipient. Modern manners show that in many circumstances it is
indeed a great idea
In our family distance between relatives can be a
gift giving issue. We
have found that sending money or a gift
as a birthday present is,
not only cost-effective, but their family really enjoys having the
opportunity to shop for something that they normally wouldn't buy. We
have taken the time to ask what their favorite store is or something
that they are really in to at the time and send accordingly. It has
always been well received.
When a young adult graduates
from college or high school, a money gift
can be very appropriate. During this time of a young person's life,
they usually could use a little financial gift to help them either
they need, or to help them get started in their new phase of life.
Children and teenagers truly love
to receive either money or a gift
. We live in a time where children and teenagers love
to make their
own choices. Let's face it, there are not many times when a
well-meaning relative or friend can nail the perfect gift for them.
Most children and teenagers I know are very picky about what they want.
Receiving a gift card lets them know that you are thinking of them and
that you want them to have something that they truly would like, not
something they would truly like to return.
A money gift is also welcome when there is a group gift
. Gift of
etiquette is used when the group donates to a special person or a
special cause in behalf of someone. A fun way to give this type of
present is in the form of a money tree. The money is rolled into small
rolls, tied with a ribbon which is then tied onto a plant or a small
Another question that has been asked frequently is, "Is it appropriate
to ask for money as a gift?"
The answer can be simple and
at the same time. Recently our niece learned that she was accepted in a
study abroad opportunity, which can be very expensive. For her birthday
and Christmas presents she asked for cash instead of a gift card, so
that she could use it for her program. In this situation she used money
gift etiquette, because she stated
a purpose for the money
. She was
also very grateful for any amount that was sent to her.
In another situation that I learned about, a friend was asked to a
birthday party, however had no idea what to give as a gift. She asked
the friend's mother, who responded that she would like her friend to
give her daughter at least 50 dollars, so that she could spend it on an
upcoming trip. The friend used her money gift manners by asking what to
. The mother, on the other hand was quite rude in
asking for a lot
of money for her daughter. Manners are always the best way to go.
So how does one use money gift etiquette? There are so many fun and
creative ways that money can be given. I have mentioned gift cards. If
this is the method that you are choosing to give money, make sure you
know places that they like to shop, or things they would like to buy.
You can enclose it in a card with a personal message, there are cute
little stuffed animals that have gift card holders, or in a little mug.
The choices are endless. The creativity
you use will put a personal
spin on it.
Always say "thank you!" for any amount of money that someone
you. It is truly good manners to be thankful for what you receive.
When my nephew was born, my aunt gave his mother a savings bond
to start off with. It was a clever, smart way to give them money. It is
something that has grown with him and at the right time it will be
ready for him to make use of. That is a great example of
money gift etiquette.
If cash is your thing, there are also many ways that it can be given in
a classy manner
My children's grandmother has included it in their
birthday and Christmas cards. Their eyes always light up when they see
it. After a gift such as this is received there comes the inevitable
shopping trip. We make sure that they call her and express their
gratitude and share what they have used it for (even if they are saving
it). Like we discussed before, a money tree is also a fun way to wrap
The best rule to follow with money gift etiquette is to be sensitive
the feelings of the person to whom you are giving. If they are truly
against money gifts, then go another route. If not, have fun with it
and be creative. Do not go overboard and give more than you can afford.
As with all gifts...it
truly is the thought that counts