Is It Good to Give Money As a Gift?

Whether it’s a birthday celebration, school graduation, or holiday, giving out gifts is one cool way to celebrate. Money is a common gift idea, but we often fall into the dilemma of whether to give it as a gift or not. This confusion arises from suggestions that there’re better ways to go about it. So, is it good to give money as a gift?

Money is an excellent gift idea. However, that depends on the situation and your relationship with the person you’re giving it to. For some people, there’s a better way to give out a gift than handing out some cash. While children may enjoy getting cash gifts, other gift ideas may be better for newlyweds or on certain occasions like wedding anniversaries.

In this article, we’re going to look out for when to give money as a gift and when to go with other options. We’ll also compare giving out a cash gift and gift items. The information provided will help you make the right decision whenever it’s time to get a loved one a priceless gift.

Is It Good to Give Money As a Gift?

Money as a Gift

Kids love the idea of money as a gift on their birthdays, but that won’t always cut it for a wife on her anniversary night. However, giving money as a gift isn’t appropriate for every occasion. You should know when to consider the idea and when not to. To be on the safe side, avoid giving financial gifts to your romantic partner – on any occasion. 

Also, you’d stay out of a lot of trouble if you maintained the same policy when giving a gift to family friends, or close friends – except for important events like school graduations and weddings.

Another question that often comes with money gifts is how much to give. The simple answer to that is: don’t ever go beyond what you can afford. Of course, you might want to make an impression of being financially stable, but that façade will be meaningless when finances take a dip. On the other hand, if you can afford more, don’t give less because you think the person doesn’t deserve it.

Is it a Good Idea to Give Money as a Gift?

There’s no straightforward answer to that question. It all depends on the situation, the relationship between the individuals involved, and a lot more. While it makes a great idea in certain circumstances, it completely falls flat in others. 

 Let’s use two scenarios to illustrate.

Scenario 1: There are two great friends, who’ve been best of friends for like forever. It’s Christmas season, and as the tradition is, friends and family are supposed to exchange gifts. One of them spends the entire month thinking of what to get for the other friend and eventually settles for one. At Christmas, she happily brings out her gift and gives it to her friend. In return, the friend hands over some cash to her as her gift.

Now, you don’t need a movie of this scenario to tell the reaction of the friend who put a lot of thought into getting a gift. Her friend’s gesture of handing her cash shows the little thought she put into it. It’s clear, therefore, that a money gift is inappropriate in this kind of situation.

Scenario 2: There are two friends who’ve been together for quite a while. One of them gets a job offer in another city and needs to travel down. The other party knows that her friend can hardly afford that trip. Instead of gifting her restaurant gift card, she could give her some cash.  In this scenario, a money gift is appropriate. The friend going on a trip is going to need it more than anything else, considering the circumstances.

When to Give Money as a Gift

1. Weddings

New couples will always need some more money. Many cultures around the world promote money as the perfect gift for newlyweds. You can tow that line, but more creatively, with gift cards or gift funds. 

If they have a gift fund set up for honeymoon or home purchase, you can contribute to it. Otherwise, consider getting a gift card. That will enable them to make purchases of the items that they so dearly need.

2. Holidays or Trips

While there’re other creative ways to give a monetary gift, you can always tick to giving out cash. Maybe your friend needs to go on an international trip; you could get them some cash in the currency of their travel destination. You could also hand out cash to children during holidays and that can help them learn about money.

To make the cash gift even more thoughtful, add some flair by presenting it creatively. You can put the cash in a chocolate candy box or some ice cubes. There are several Do-It-Yourself ideas on the internet you can check out.

3. Graduation

Whether a teenager is just graduating from high school or leaving college, they’re always going to need some money. Money gift is appropriate for both occasions and you’d be doing a lot of good writing a check or handing out cash to your graduating cousin or niece.

4. Condolence Visits

This may not sound very popular, but money is an acceptable gift during condolence visits. Sometimes, people find themselves in challenging financial situations after losing a loved one. You could help ease that burden by presenting a cash gift in an envelope or a condolence card.

A Gift Item as a Gift

Giving out gifts in the form of items can present some problems. What does the person like? The question arises because there’s every chance you don’t know what they like. Another big question is, “Is the person ever going to use the gift?” What’s the point of giving them the gift if it’s going to end up in the basement or even the dumpster?

If you know the person very well, then you have a completely different scenario. You’ll be able to tell what they like and all. That way, you cut by half the chances of the item ending up useless to the recipient. 

Some situation requires that you put in thoughts, care, and affection. Of course, a money gift will always prove useful, but some people need more than that. 

However, there are so many people on the other side of the divide who believes gift items aren’t proof of how much you care about someone. If you love someone, you don’t need presents to show that. Also, if you cared deeply about how affectionate gifts can be, you should make them yourself. That’s a better way to demonstrate thought, care, and affection.

Instead of rushing to the shop to get a fancy item, why not get a holiday card and write a thoughtful message on it? Also, you can do a combo of a handmade gift and cash.

When to Give Items as a Gift

There are certain occasions where giving money as a gift isn’t a good idea. Understanding these situations will save you from making bad and regrettable decisions. A wrong step could be misinterpreted as a lack of care, respect, or thoughts. That underscores the importance of putting some thought into any gift you intend to give.

So on what occasions should you completely ditch the idea of giving money as a gift? Here are some of them:

1. Dating or Wedding Anniversaries

It’s another year of your incredible relationships and it’s worth celebrating. To mark the occasion, you pop out some dollar bills or write a check? No way! No partner wants to receive cash on their anniversaries. You have the entire year to give them as much as you want to.

An anniversary is a special moment and they’d be expecting a thoughtful gift. So, the best thing to do is get a gift other than money. You could get a lovely bouquet for her or a nice tie for him. 

2. Birth Delivery Present

Commonly referred to as push presents, your wife deserves one after the birth of your baby. Of course, it isn’t going to be cash. A nice piece of jewelry will do.

3. Professional Colleagues and Clients

It would be weird if your colleague gave you money as a birthday present, wouldn’t it?  It’s even more absurd if a client sends across a check as a holiday present. Some things appear out of place – and rightly so. 

Giving money as a gift in a professional setting may come across as an attempt to buy your way into their good books. That isn’t the type of representation you would want to have. It’s safer, therefore to buy a simple gift – if the company policy allows.

4. Gifts for an Older Person

Even though the intentions might be right, it appears bizarre to still give money as a gift to a much older person. Such gesture could easily be misinterpreted and it’s best to avoid that. Instead, go for a nice gift item you know they’d like. Older citizens would appreciate gifts that make their lives easier.  

Money or Gift Item: Which is Better?

It’s often hard to decide on which to go for. As we’ve seen so far, your decision should depend on the unique situation and the relationship you have with that person. While money might be appropriate for one occasion, it may come across as inappropriate for another occasion. 

Also, you might want to consider the advantages of both in making your decision. Many people think a cash gift is a go-to option for many people who don’t want to put in any effort into getting a good gift. While you cannot completely rubbish that, there are more valid reasons why giving money as a gift is a better idea.

Why You Should Give Money as a Gift

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why a cash gift might just be the better idea:

1. Practicality

No matter how you look at it, a cash gift never turns out to be a waste. People are always going to find a way to use the extra dollar they get. On the other hand, a gift item may start piling up dust as soon as you drop it. When people receive cash gifts, it saves them some money on certain items that they need, like groceries.

2. Saves You a Lot of Time

There is so much time and headache that goes into trying to getting a friend or loved one a gift. What are they going to like? How much is it going to cost? Where do I get the item? Should I wrap the gift or not? With a cash gift, you probably only have to think of an envelope.

It even becomes worse when you have to shop gift items for several people. Let’s say you have a total of 20 friends and family members to buy an Easter present for. If you spend 20 minutes shopping for each of them, that’s over 6 hours in total that you’re going to spend on shopping. You could avoid all of that if you simply hand out cash gifts.

Why You Should Give a Gift Item

In some cultures, like in Russia, where giving money as a gift is forbidden, you have no option but to stick with gift items. However, that’s only an extreme reason you should get gifts instead of money.

Here are some reasons you should consider giving gift items to your loved ones:

1. Shows Thoughtfulness

Putting in effort and time to get someone a gift a demonstration of how much you care about them. That’s why many people place more value on gifts than money. If you want your gift to reflect thoughtfulness, then opt for an item instead of money. There are many gift ideas to choose from and your eventual choice should be something the recipient will love and appreciate.

2. Helps You Get Loved Ones What They Need

You know your little nephew has desired a PS5 all year. You could surprise him with one on his birthday. Gifts make for an excellent way to help our loved ones get the things they need. When you gift them money, you can never be sure they’d use it to get that item. Going to the store to buy it yourself for them is a better option.

How to Pick the Right Gift

According to research, giving the wrong gift can hurt your relationship. So how do you ensure you get a good gift for the recipient? An average household in the United States spends more than $600 on holiday gifts. In the United Kingdom, the figure stands at $500. That shows the priority people place on gifts, especially during holidays.

There’s no doubt that a good gift can make the recipient happy, improve your relationship, and express how you feel about someone. However, a terrible gift can communicate the opposite effects. Like, some researchers consider it a risk to relationships.

You don’t want to end up giving a lackluster gift. Here are suggestions to help you pick the right gift for your loved ones:

  • It isn’t always about the price

While many people believe the more expensive a gift is, the better the receiver will appreciate it, several pieces of research prove otherwise. Spending more on a gift sure conveys care and appreciation, but it doesn’t often translate to high value by the recipient. What’s important is getting a gift you know the person is going to love.

  • A long-term gift always works

When you think past the spur of the moment, you’ll likely end up with a priceless gift. Opening a box with a fancy gift is always a thrill, but the excitement fades away when the gift doesn’t provide long-term value. Consider going for a gift that the recipient can always go back to. It speaks of your thoughtfulness for a long time to come.

  • It doesn’t have to be unique

We all want to be different, even in the gift we gifts. But it doesn’t always work. If you find something you know the recipient is going to love and need, get it. It doesn’t if everyone else has it. The drive to get a unique get often leads people to make poor decisions.

  • Ask the recipient what they want

This may not sound like the best of suggestions, but you’d be surprised by how much it works. According to research, people tend to appreciate gifts they asked for more than those they didn’t ask for. Of course, you want to be creative and sweep the recipient off their feet with a surprise gift. But asking them what they want removes the possibility of getting a bad gift.

Many people consider asking people what they want a taboo. The earlier you got that off your mind, the better the gifts you give. When you get what the recipient asked for, you’re 100% certain they are going to like it.