Is cash a good gift?

by Kristina on June 18, 2015 · 5 comments

Good morning Dinks.  With wedding season and graduations upon us you may be trying to find the perfect gift.  Handing a newlywed couple or a recent grad an envelope full of cash can be a great gift to help them ease in to the next phase of their lives.  But is giving cash as a gift in bad taste?

As a recipient I love getting envelopes full of cash, but now that I’m in my 30s that rarely happens.  My Dad likes to send gift cards, which I consider cash, as well as candy and other sweet treats on my birthday.  My mother always buys me pyjamas and slippers at Christmas so cold hard cash rarely exchanges hands.  As a gift giver I take a cue from my parents, I prefer to shop, wrap and hand over a pretty box with a bow.  And herein lies the dilemma.

How do you feel about giving cash as a gift?

New grads

Recent grads – both high school and college – need money as they head off to school or look for a full time job, but they also need a lot of stuff.  Starting life on your own in a compact dorm room or tiny apartment takes a bit of creativity and it also costs a lot of money.

Cash can help new grads buy those things; but giving them actual gifts ensures the money is spent wisely and makes sure they actually get the stuff they need.  If you have a new grad in your life would you give them cash or gifts?

To your parents

What do you buy someone who’s had 50 or 60 years to collect and acquire all of their favorite things?  An envelope of cash so they can buy more stuff seems appropriate, but at the same time is it weird to give your parents cash as a gift?

My sister and I try to find really great gifts for our parents and by that I mean good books for our Dad and pretty flowers for our Mom.  However sometimes we resort to buying a gift card to their favorite restaurants.  In plural because they’re divorced and have different dining habits.


It’s tradition to give cash to the bride and groom, mostly to help cover the costs of the wedding, fund their honeymoon and give them a little financial boost to start their lives.  But then there’s the registry.

Brides register for gifts because they actually need furniture for their new home, gadgets for their new kitchen and dishes for their new dining room.  If you give cash to the happy couple they have to go out and buy their own stuff.  If you give them exactly what they want all they have to do is unwrap the box.

Which did you prefer on your wedding day: cash or gifts?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Paul Moyer June 18, 2015 at 10:49 am

We received only gifts on our wedding day. I think this is a regional thing. I know that in the Northeast it is much more common for people to receive cash as a wedding gift, but in the South physical gifts are much more common.

That being said I would have preferred cash for my wedding. We got a lot of nice stuff but we would have been much better a few thousand dollars to start us off.

2 Kathy June 18, 2015 at 11:30 am

I usually give gifts but if someone is wanting a chain saw….I swear this was an actual request….I’ll give them a gift card to Lowes or Menards. How do you wrap a chain saw?

3 Heather @ Simply Save June 19, 2015 at 4:04 pm

I’d feel weird giving my parents cash, but I try to do gift cards instead. It feels slightly more personal and can still be used like cash if it’s for a place with a lot of options. I personally LOVE receiving cash or gift cards as gifts.

4 James June 19, 2015 at 7:48 pm

Cash is always a good gift. Just be sure to put it in something nice, like little cash envelope or a nice birthday card.

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