4 Ways To Ask For Money Instead Of Gifts For Birthday

Your birthday is a couple of weeks away, and you know your friends and loved ones are about to shower you with so much love and adoration. Somewhere along the line, you realized you’re not big on birthday gifts anymore because they either give you things you never use or get you some motivational books, kitchen utensils, or appliances you already have. 

I know your loved ones mean so much to you, and you wouldn’t want to do anything that might upset them in any way. Like telling them the gifts they gave you for your last birthday ended up in some stranger’s house. I know for a fact that you’d appreciate a gift more if it’s something you want, need, or have longed to have. 

Imagine a situation where you’re given a list of items to choose your desired gift from. The best part of this is if you’re unable to find the perfect gift, there would be a close second and third that is just as perfect. Unfortunately, the odds of this ever happening is 10 in a billion. 

How To Ask For Money Instead Of Gifts For Birthday?

Your birthday is fast approaching, and you’re thinking of a way to turn this gift problem around. I call it a problem because I understand the anxiety that comes with figuring out what to do with all these birthday gifts I do not need. 

You, me, and several millions of people would prefer getting cash on their birthdays instead of gifts that they barely like. Is there a polite way to ask for money? What are the ways to ask for money instead of gifts for your birthday? 

Below are four practical ways to do this. 

Put It On The Invitation

The popular expression, “if you want something, just ask; the worst that could happen is a rejection,” applies to this point. If you would prefer cash gifts for your birthday instead of presents, put them on the invite politely. 

With this strategy, everyone goes home happy. Your friends and loved ones would not have to spend hours searching for the perfect gift just for you to receive it with a fake smile then give it out a few weeks after. Also, you won’t necessarily have to lie about loving the gift. 

For this plan to be perfect, you should provide a compelling backstory that shows why you’ve chosen only to take cash instead of presents. This way, you don’t come off as being insensitive and rude. A backstory could be very short and detailed. You could tell them how special your birthday gifts have always made you feel, but now that you’re older, you’d appreciate cash presents more. 

Don’t forget to tell them how much you value their presence at your birthday party. You definitely would not want to receive a birthday invite that reads, “you’re welcome to my birthday party; please come with cash gifts only.” It comes off rude. So the key is to be polite and friendly. 

Also, remember that gift-giving is an option. It’s not something you force people to do. You might need to put that in the invite before making your cash request. If your guests feel like they can’t attend your birthday party without coming with gifts, it puts you in a horrible spot. 

Talk About It 

Your friends and loved ones are probably paying close attention to your conversations because they want to identify that item you’ve been raving about for months. Why not give them an easy way out? When the opportunity arises, talk about how you’d prefer cash to birthday gifts this time because you’d appreciate it more. 

You might need to talk about wanting cash for your birthday multiple times before they get the message; I know for a fact that it would be worth it in the end. My recommendation is that you only talk about this when it comes up. Talking about not wanting presents for your birthday out of the blue might send the wrong message. 

As I mentioned earlier, gift-giving is not compulsory. Don’t box your friends and loved ones in. Ensure that your approach is not forceful. 

Wait For Them To Ask You

This point is a tricky one. Why? Most times, people always want to surprise you on your birthday, and that’s fine. The gesture shows how much they care about you and want to make your birthday special. What if they get you something you already have? Like a box of cooking pots, books, or home decorations. 

You can save them the look of disappointment by outrightly telling them what you’d want for your birthday if and when they ask you. Before you do this, ensure that a gift-giving relationship exists. Telling a total stranger you want cash gifts for your birthday is both awkward and frowned upon. 

Provide An Avenue For Them To Give You Cash

One very effective way to successfully request cash instead of a birthday gift is by providing an avenue for them to do so. People find it difficult to give cash gifts not because they can’t afford them or because your demands are outrageous. They might not know the perfect amount to offer. 

Buying you a gift might be easier for them. They know what to buy, where to get it, and how much it costs. It saves them the headache of wondering if it’s perfect or not. On the other hand, a cash gift takes every protective layer of confidentiality away. Every amount might appear too small. If you want to make things easier for them, provide an avenue for them to give you cash without any difficulty attached. 

You could create a crowdfund link that only requires them to input their name and a message to you along with the cash. 

To top it off, you could summarize what you intend to use the cash for and how much you appreciate them in helping you achieve this goal. This gives them a reason to proceed with the cash gift without second thoughts. 

Now that we’ve covered the various ways to request cash gifts instead of presents, some factors must be considered before jumping into the cash request to avoid ruining your relationships. 

Some people find it very offensive when you tell them you’d appreciate cash gifts instead of presents. I particularly don’t see anything wrong, but that’s just my perspective towards the situation. 

The factors include :

  1. Read The Room Before Making Such Requests

If your friends and loved ones are going through a difficult time, you should not try to be smart about making birthday requests. The best thing to do is allow them to give you whatever their emotions allow. 

If you’ve been trying to have the birthday conversation with them, and the response you’re getting clearly states that they’re not mentally and emotionally equipped to have such discussions, your best move is not to bring it up again. Your birthday should not be the sole reason for having a fallout with a loved one. 

  1. Choose your words carefully

The words you use to convey your message would determine people’s reactions when they receive it. If you send your message with an aggressive tone, people would immediately take offense to it, regardless of how solid your points might be. 

It is best if you consider using simple and straightforward expressions to pass your message across instead of trying to express your literary prowess.

  1. Please don’t give the impression that without gifts, they can’t get to be a part of your special day.

One mistake you have to avoid is giving your friends and loved ones the impression that if they don’t provide you with cash gifts on your birthday, they can’t get to be a part of your special day. 

Make it clear that everyone who chooses to be a part of your special day is loved and appreciated for doing so because their presence is what matters to you. Then you could include the cash gift suggestion somewhere that’s not so obvious. 

  1. Bear in mind that not everybody would be open to the idea of giving you cash instead of presents. 

Regardless of how well you craft your message, not everyone can be open to the idea of giving cash gifts. Some might find it weird and offensive, while some might be so happy about the fact that they don’t have to worry about what gift to get you for your birthday. 

I prefer cash to presents. It gives me the liberty to buy something I love. Due to this feeling, I’ve cultivated the habit of giving people cash gifts on their special days. It has taken so much pressure off me, and I barely experience gift-induced sleepless nights anymore. 

Sadly, We all can’t be the same no matter how much we try. If you prefer cash instead of gifts, by all means necessary, request it. 


With the steps provided in this article, you can strategically make your cash request without giving your friends and loved ones a wrong impression of you. Before you put any of the steps in motion, ensure you understand the receivers well enough to know what works best.