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The Best 16 Ways To Give Money As A Graduation Gift

Graduation is such a special time for both the graduate and their families! All the hard work and studying have led up to this moment and it’s time to celebrate the achievement.

The end of the school era opens up a world of new possibilities for young graduates. 

The Best 16 Ways To Give Money As A Graduation Gift

When big celebrations like this occur, it’s natural to want to give your loved ones a gift to show them how proud of them you are. Money is a common gift given to graduates alongside balloons, cards, and cakes. 

In this article, we are going to give you all the best ideas on how to gift a graduate money on their special day. 

Why Do People Give Money As A Graduation Gift?

Money is a popular graduation gift to give to recent scholars as they are usually embarking on a new adventure after their studies.

Whether that be the journey to college where money is usually tight or towards their savings for a more independent chapter in their lives. 

How Much Money Should You Give?

There is no right or wrong amount of money to give someone who has just graduated. Some surveys suggest that between $50 to $100 is a fair amount.

Research from 2021 found that cash was the most popular gift to give and receive amongst graduates. 

However, the fundamental factors that will influence how much is given are how much money you have to spare and how close you are to the person.

For example, nieces and nephews may not receive as much as sons and daughters. 

Do not feel like you have to compete with other parents and families, everyone has different means. It is better to live within your means than try to keep up with others.

The recipient will be grateful because of the person giving them the present rather than what it is. 

How To Give Money To A Graduate

Here are our fantastic and inventive ideas on how you can present the money to your loved one. Brace yourself as some require more artistic skill than others. 

1. In Scroll Form

Taking the bills and rolling them up to resemble a diploma is a great way to provide the graduate with a money-themed gift.

It doesn’t matter how you do this, with one bill or all of them at the same time, and tie it with a colorful piece of string.

2. In A Pizza Box

Cardboard pizza boxes are easy to find and no we don’t mean used ones. To go a step further and play a hilarious prank on your graduate you could visit a local pizza shop to ensure the box is branded. 

Spread the money out inside the box to represent the pizza and even include a funny message on the inside of the lid. 

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3. Put It In A Money Wallet

Money wallets are pockets made out of card that were created to gift people money. They are the same size as a bill which means you can easily slip them into your pocket.

For those wanting to give an under-the-radar gift, these might be for you. 

There are many different colors and designs available to mark every occasion. These can be personalized and tailored to your specific needs, making them perfect for your graduate. 

4. Create An Emergency Stash Kit

Joke gifts are another great avenue to explore. An ‘in case of emergency’ glass money box is a super fun way to give the gift of cash to a graduate.

These can come in all shapes and sizes, which means they can be filled with bills or coins. 

An alternative to this is to use a picture frame you already have laying around the house. You can easily write on a piece of backing card and create the same effect whilst saving yourself a few bucks. 

Who knows, this might even make them more careful with their money! Well, we can only hope, it’s not a magical money box. 

5. In A Funny Congratulations Card

Sometimes the simple option can be the best option. If you’re looking for a minimal fuss and time-consuming choice then a funny greetings card will do.

These can be easily found and personalized online, leaving you to pop the cash inside when it’s delivered. 

If your loved ones live far away, this is a much easier option than trying to send random objects filled with money in the mail. 

6. Put It In A Balloon

Did you know you could put money in a balloon? Suitable balloons can be found in any good party store or online marketplace.

Simply stuff the deflated balloon with the bills and then blow it up. We suggest using helium to avoid balloons being left on the floor.

With this idea, you can spread the money across many balloons or just place it in one. Whatever you do, just make sure it’s popped and not accidentally thrown out! 

7. Create A Graduation Cap Box

Another graduation-themed idea is to create a box in the shape of a graduation cap. This could just be a black square box with a large piece of black card stuck to the top with a tassel hanging down. 

There are several easy DIY tutorials online that can help you make an entire box with some black pieces of card.

Once the cap has been made, place the money inside with some fun tissue paper before presenting it to your graduate. 

8. Hide It In Another Present

When multiple presents are involved, you can use these to hide money. One example of this could be gifting someone a rather mundane object such as a travel mug and hiding rolled-up bills in the center. 

This can be a great opportunity to play a fun prank. Why not try wrapping in layers and layers of paper, starting out large and ending up with a tiny little package? This may be dependent on a sense of humor. 

We do not recommend putting money in anything that can damage or break the bills, so avoid food and anything with liquid. 

9. Get A Fake Soda Can

The look on your graduates face when you hand them a soda can as a graduation present will be priceless.

These can be found anywhere online, it doesn’t have to be a soda can it could be anything hollowed out such as a hairbrush or flashlight.  

You’ll want to make sure you add something slightly weighty to the bottom of the can to replicate the weight of a soda. A small amount of flour or sugar that won’t rattle around and give the game away. 

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10. Fill Up A Briefcase 

In true badass style, why not fill up a briefcase with dollar bills? Okay, maybe a briefcase is a bit much as you’d have to have quite a lot of money to fill one up.

But smaller versions of these can be found online or made out of card to replicate the real deal. 

Remember those little tin lunch boxes that you’d have as a kid? These are the perfect solution and make for a great mini-briefcase.

Choosing one with nostalgia behind it can be the perfect gift, perhaps there is a TV show or cartoon character that springs to mind. 

11. Money Bouquet 

Money bouquets are a popular gifting choice, however implausible they may seem. There are various DIY kits available online like the one shown here.

If you don’t want to spend the extra money then you can watch a number of tutorials to make your own version. 

Use your imagination to create something unique and personal to the special person in question. Add flowers, chocolates, or any other fun extras to make it a gift they will love.  

12. Get An Engraved Money Clip

A sterling silver engraved money clip is a cool and classy way to gift someone money. These can be kept for life and will surely make you a firm favorite on graduation day.

As these are going to cost a little more than some of the other ideas here, bear this in mind. 

Many companies will allow you to engrave a few initials or a short message on the clip, depending on the brand. Another idea could be to buy a money clip from a particular brand that the recipient likes. 

13. Put It In A Hollowed Out Book

This idea doubles up as a fun gag gift but also a smart way to hide money! Those going off to college that like to have some cash to hand will benefit from this.

Money can be kept safe and out of the way from prying eyes with a hollowed-out book. 

These books can be found in any design and can look as realistic as you’d like, with classic covers and well-known titles displayed on the spines.

Wrap the book in some paper and weigh it down with someone appropriate before gifting it for a more authentic prank. 

14. Make The Money Into A Notebook 

Making a money notebook is fairly easy to do with a few basic household items. These resemble a chequebook and mean you can tear off the bills without breaking them.

We found a great tutorial that you can use here

To make a money notebook you’ll need clean, pressed bills to make it work. Display the notebook however you like, we suggest in a fun envelope or in a small package with a pretty ribbon. 

15. Find A Printable Bag Topper

Ever wanted a big bag of cash? To be honest, who doesn’t? With a printable graduation gift bag topper, you can display cash neatly rolled up in a plastic gift bag or ‘bag of dough’ as many people like to refer to it as. 

Many of these can be personalized and altered to your specifications. Roll the bills up into neat little scrolls or lay them out flat. 

16. In A Gift Basket

A good old-fashioned gift basket might be the way to go for many. Gift baskets are the perfect way to personalize your gift to the person.

Include all their favorite things such as snacks, candy, flowers, or skin-care products along with some cash. 

The cash could be displayed using individual notes in certain areas of the basket or it could be placed in an envelope and placed neatly at the front of the basket.

This is up to you and how creative you want to get, some people like to try their hand at origami with bills.  

The Bottom Line

Although it might seem like a simple, unemotional gift, money is actually the perfect thing to give to new graduates as they can use it in the next stages of their life.

We hope you found some new inspiration with the ideas we’ve included here. Happy graduation!

Simon Lewis

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