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Birthday card with a cash gift inside.

Cash Gifts? How Much Is Expected in a Birthday Card These Days?

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You don’t always have to spend time shopping in stores or online for the perfect birthday gift. Cash gifts can be just as special, if not more since the recipient has a choice of how to spend it.

However, cash gifts come with their share of questions. How much to give? What type of money? The experts at Giftster have put together this guide for cash gift etiquette.

How much to give as a cash gift

The amount to spend on a birthday gift or how much cash to include in a card can vary. Most people are willing to spend more money on people with whom they are closest. 

Though no amount is set in stone, these helpful guidelines are a good start if you aren’t sure how much to include in your cash gift:

  • Kid’s friends, $20-25: It’s unlikely you’d have your kindergartner give a $20 bill to a friend, but this is still a helpful guide if you want to give a gift card or gift certificate. 
  • Relatives, $50: You can spend a little more for birthdays of relatives, like nieces or nephews. But you don’t need to be extravagant. The key is to be consistent so you aren’t sending some relatives more cash than others.
  • Your kids, $100: If you’re planning to give your own children cash gifts for their birthdays, this is a good amount. They can buy themselves one nice gift, several small gifts, or put the money into savings.

Types of cash gifts for birthdays

A cash gift doesn’t need to be literally in the form of regular currency. There are plenty of ways to give money. When choosing how to give cash, consider how you want it to be spent. 

  • Check: Checks are a good form of cash gifts if you are hoping the recipient will use them for savings, as they are easy to deposit in a bank account. For very young children, checks are also a nice way to present money to their parents.
  • A gift card or certificate: If you know the type of store the birthday boy or girl likes the most, a gift card or gift certificate offers them a set amount of money to spend on an item of their choice. 
  • Cash: For easy money the recipient can use any time on an item of their choice, cash is a great gift. It may feel less personal, but many kids love getting cash in their birthday cards.
  • Virtual transfer: Apps like Venmo make it easy to directly transfer money. Teenagers and parents of young children are most likely to appreciate this option for receiving money. However, you can’t put it in a card, so you’ll have to get creative.

Is it acceptable to ask for cash gifts for a birthday? Absolutely. You can easily add gift cards or other money preferences in an online gift registry like Giftster

Happy Gifting!

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