8 Creative (and Thoughtful) Ways to Give Money as a Gift
Giving money as a gift—or even asking for money as a gift—used to be considered tacky. But not anymore. "Money is an appropriate gift," says etiquette expert Elaine Swann, founder of The Swann School of Protocol. "Studies say that it is the most welcomed gift—the one gift that most people want."
But gifting money has a lot of questions around it. How much money can you gift to your family? How do you gift money to a child? Is just adding money to a Visa gift card a great gift? And how do you ask for money as a gift?
According to Swann, the amount of money you gift depends on your budget, your relationship with the giftee, and the type of occasion. (You'll probably be more generous with a beloved niece or nephew who's graduating from college than you would be for an occasional babysitter at Christmas.) And if you're wondering how much money you can give—without tax implications—you can currently give $16,000 per person ($32,000 per person if it's you and your spouse giving the financial gift), before you have to file a gift tax return with the IRS.
As for asking for money as a gift, it's more acceptable than it was in the past. But rather than saying "Money only, please," explain how the money might be used. "Make your request specific and purposeful," Swann says. "You might say, 'We're getting married, have everything we need, however, we're going to do renovations on our home.' Or for your birthday, you could make a request and say, 'I'm working hard to pay off the rest of my student loans!' Make it meaningful—not just a money grab."
How to Gift Money Creatively
Using Venmo, Zelle, or other electronic ways to gift cash is perfectly acceptable now, Swann says. (And if you're the recipient of a money gift delivered electronically, it's also perfectly acceptable to send a thank-you note via email.) "Show your gratitude with a meaningful email—a text may be a little too brief, and an emoji is not the best form of thank you," Swann recommends.
Here are a few more of our favorite ways to give money as a gift.
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