How to Properly Give Cash as a Gift

Properly Give Cash Gift Holiday Season
Mike Randall
By: Mike Randall
Updated: July 24, 2014
Our popular “How-To” series is for those who seek to improve their subprime credit rating. Our articles follow strict editorial guidelines.

No matter how great you are at picking out the right thing for the people on your list, there will always be a few recipients of cash as a gift during the holiday season.

Whether you are tipping the hardworking folks who help you all year or filling a request from a nephew heading back to college, cash is always appreciated.

That does not mean a gift of cash has to be boring. There are plenty of creative, festive, respectful or silly ways to give cash as a gift.

The important thing to remember is to keep it appropriate for the person receiving the gift.

For example, you would not want to fill a box with crumpled dollar bills for your gardener, but that might be funny to your nephew.

1. Use an envelope.

To give a gift of cash as a tip for someone whose hard work you value, it is appropriate to put it inside a card in a sealed envelope.

The card you use doesn’t have to be a boring or sappy store-bought card. Try making one that truly recognizes the work they do and the value it brings you.

2. Make it festive.

If you’re giving cash as a gift to a younger family member, you can have a little more fun with the presentation.

Try rolling up bills and putting them inside festive balloons. Then blow up the balloons so the cash is visible inside. They’ll have to pop each balloon to get at the cash, but they’ll have fun doing it.

3. Make it rain.

For a mature family member or friend, try this idea.

Buy a folding umbrella and partially open it up. Set it on the floor with the handle sticking up and fill it with crisp bills in the creases of the fabric.

When you give it as a gift, you can request they try it out or let them discover it on their own.

“It will be fun to have it

rain money when they open it.”

4. Go for the surprise.

For an older person who you want to creatively give cash to, try this.

Using a candy box that still has the empty papers inside, fill them up with folded bills of various denominations. You can get creative and try to make little boxes or origami pieces to put into the paper cups or just fold them up small.

Wrap the box and hand it to them. Of course, they’ll wonder why it’s so light but will sure be surprised when they open it.

5. Get creative.

Folding money into various shapes like fans, trees, flowers or other fun things can be a great way to give cash as a gift. You can put the folded money into any type of box, bag or even a bottle.

Alternatively, you can make a money tree and decorate it with the folded bills.

Either way, the creativity and the cash will be appreciated.

6. If all else fails..

Finally, if you have a recipient that none of the above ideas seem appropriate for, you can always slip the cash gift into a money sleeve you’ve made.

Using a piece of flannel or wool and some ribbons, you can make the sleeve as decorative as you want to.

Giving cash as a gift can be both appropriate and appreciated. Being creative with your gift shows you care and have put some thought into the presentation.

The holidays are a festive and fun time to spend with family and friends. Enjoy yours!

Photo source: