It seems every time we catch our breath, there is yet another darn occasion that requires a monetary gift! Birthdays, graduations, weddings, christenings, and because we are older, folks really do expect us to gift more money!
Being more seasoned does not mean we always know how much money is appropriate to give as a gift.
One important thing to know is that no one should ever ask for cash as a gift! The decision to give cash should always be with the giver, and never the recipient. Asking for financial gifts makes a person look greedy and tacky!
Well, here are a few rules of etiquette to follow when gifting money to celebrate an occasion:
Weddings–-The old adage of matching the cost of the affair per head is obsolete; your gift should not be about reimbursing the couple for their wedding day. An easy rule of thumb is to stay within the average range of $75 to $200. According to wedding etiquette experts, guests should always donate what they feel best commemorates the event, considering their budget and relationship with the couple. If you’ve been invited to a wedding with a date, $150 is more appropriate as a gift. Again, think of your relationship with the couple. For closer friends and family you may want to consider going to $200 or higher, again, only if your pocket allows it.
Do you give the couple cash or a check? If you have the choice between giving cash or a check, it’s really a tossup. Giving cash is easier for the couple, but you may not have the exact amount of cash you want to give lying around, so a check might be easier for you.
Destination wedding–While your inclination might be to skip the gift, given how much it is costing you to attend the wedding, tradition states that any wedding invitation comes with the obligation of sending a gift to the couple. If the wedding is particularly expensive, you can opt to send a lesser amount of money instead of the usual amount you might spend for a non-destination wedding. Comparatively, you may present the couple with a sentimental gift such as a handmade photo album, decor for their home, or even pay for an excursion on their honeymoon. Gestures such as these are often less expensive yet equally meaningful.
Graduation–Consider giving a cash gift in the range of $25-$100, depending on how close you are to the graduate. However, cash offerings for college graduates tend to range from $100 to $500.
Birthday–Here are some customary money gifting suggestions you can choose to follow:
- For sisters, brothers, and cousins–upwards of $25
- For grandchildren, nieces, or nephews–13 and under, $25 to $50; age 14 and up, $50 to $75
- For sons and daughters–$50 to $100
Retirement party–It may not be required or expected to offer a gift to the retiree, but it is good manners. Experts say it is best to celebrate the conclusion of a long career with a retirement gift instead of money; give them something that recognizes their passions and hobbies. Dig a little into their likes or future plans and gift accordingly.
Christening— How much you’re expected to give as a christening gift often depends on the closeness of your connection to the child. If you are to be his godparent, you might be expected to give a significant gift of $100, $150, or even more if you can afford it. If you are another close relative, $50 might be the ticket.
But wait! Is there an occasion when a cash gift is NOT appropriate?
Well, according to etiquette experts, it is certainly not a good move to give significant others cash for any occasion (don’t beat me up, I’m only the messenger). Giving your mate cash or even a gift card tells them that you took the easy route and were too lazy and inconsiderate to actually give a present some real thought.