How Much Cash Should I Give As A Graduation Gift?
It’s graduation season again, so our refrigerator has been filling up with invitations to graduation parties for our family members and the children of some of our friends. For each graduation invitation, we’re assembling a card and monetary gift. The hard part is figuring out the appropriate amount to give each person. For me, what the rule of thumb for graduation gifts is based on what kind of relationship you have with the student.
So, how much cash should you give as a graduation gift? Here are some factors to consider.
Is Cash An Appropriate Gift For A High School Graduate?
There certainly are many great graduation gift ideas, but unless you know the graduate very well cash could be the better option. The graduate is either heading off to college or starting their life off as an adult. In either case, cash is needed and appreciated!
How Much Cash Should I Give An Acquaintance?
Many people will invite casual friends or coworkers to their child’s graduation. An appropriate cash gift here is in the $30-$35 range.
How Much Cash Should I Give A Close Friend?
How much cash should I give as a graduation gift to a close friend? If you are invited to the graduation ceremony, an appropriate cash gift is in the $55-$80 range. When selecting an amount, take into consideration your relationship with your friend. The closer the friend, the higher in the range you should consider for a gift.
How Much Cash Should I Give My Child’s Friend?
Your child’s friends may invite you to their graduation if they have gotten to know you over the years of their friendship. If you know the parents, use the range for an acquaintance or close friend. If you don’t know the parents, a gift in the $25-$30 range will suffice.
How Much Cash Should I Give A Distant Relative?
When graduation reception invitation lists are made, it’s typically customary to invite grandparents, aunts, uncles and similar age cousins. Some people may go even further than that along the family tree. These people may be actively involved in the graduate’s life, some may not. If it’s a relative that is distant or one that you have not been actively involved in their life, think of a cash gift in the range of $35 to $50.
How Much Cash Should I Give A Close Relative?
If you have a close relationship with the graduate, have been active in their life, or have a special role in their life (example: Godparents), consider a cash gift of $55-$110.
Fun Ways To Give Cash
Lastly, you’re probably reading this and thinking you’ll give your grad some cash in an envelope. But there are lots of fun alternatives to the standard cash or check in a plain envelope type gift:
Here are some ideas:
- Get a cool graduation themed box and put the cash in there. Amazon has some good ones
- Tuck cash into a photo album or craft book
- Fold the cash into a cool origami shape
- Blow up balloons and put some money inside
- Give them a calendar and tape money into each month
- Give away a piggy bank filled with stuffed bills and change
- Roll up some dollar bills and arrange them like a cake. Tie it up with a ribbon
- Get a box of chocolates, take out the chocolates and replace with cash, like this:
Having some good guidelines like as the ones in this article will help you determine how much cash you should give a high school graduate. That being said, never give more than you can afford, and don’t eat too much cake!
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Brock is a software engineer by day and personal finance blogger at night. He is a fitness junkie and enjoys grilling and smoking meat. Married with two children, Brock strives to improve his skills as a husband and father, and is always on the lookout to stretch his family’s budget as far as he can.