Cap and gown season is here again and many people are looking for the right gift for the graduate in their life. Many will steer clear of buying flashy, expensive gifts and give exactly what someone fresh out of college (or high school) needs: money. Surveys have shown that most people feel that between $50 and $100 is an appropriate amount for a graduation gift. How much money should you actually be giving?
No matter what you put in the card, the graduate should feel great that you thought of them on their special day, however, you can easily be perceived as being cheap or too flashy when it comes to cash gifts. That is why it is important to know how much money is appropriate for a college (or high school) graduation gift.
First, you should know when you are expected to give a gift. If you receive a graduation announcement, it is not necessarily an invitation. If you receive an announcement in the mail, it is standard procedure to send a note with well wishes to the graduate. If you receive an invitation to the ceremony or party, it is expected that you’ll be bringing or sending a graduation gift of sorts.
When it comes to how much you should be spending on graduation gifts, a recent survey found that most people feel comfortable spending between $50 and $100. About 87 percent of people said that they felt obligated to give graduation gifts to close family. Just less than half said that they felt the need to give a graduation gift to close friends and only 6 percent said they didn’t feel the need to buy graduation gifts at all.
It also depends on which graduation you are celebrating. If your grad is leaving high school, many people feel like gifts up to $100 are acceptable. When it comes to college graduation, many people are spending anywhere between $100 and $500.
US News and World Report suggests that gift from relatives range from $20 to $50. If you’re just a friend of the family, the suggested amount of money is $15 to $50. While these are stated norms, many people plan to spend at least $100 for graduation gifts this season. There are a plethora of different ways to present cash as well. It does not have to be simply put in a card. In fact, a great way to present it is to put it in a book. Whether it be an advice book for a recent college graduate or a book from their favorite author, the grad will appreciate both the cash and the read.
When it comes to gift-giving for cap-and-gown season, many people also struggle with whether they should buy a gift or give money. The number one gift for the season is cash, however, a physical gift may be the way to go if the person you’re buying for needs something specific. Many people also scout creative and meaningful gift ideas for the graduates in their lives. You can find a lot of these ideas on websites like Pinterest.
If you are graduating this season, don’t forget to buy thank you notes. A hand-written thank you card can make all the difference in the world.
Photo: Flickr: 401(K) 2012