What’s the Best Way To Give Money as a Gift? 7 Easy and Fun Ideas

Senior man giving present to his wife.
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In a world filled with digital gift cards and instant money transfers, the way you present a cash gift can elevate it from ordinary to extraordinary. Whether it’s for a birthday bash, graduation day, someone’s big “I do,” or just because, there are fun and creative ways to make your money gift the talk of the party.

7 Best Ways To Give Money as a Gift

Money, often seen as a straightforward and impersonal gift, can be transformed into a thoughtful and memorable gesture with a dash of creativity. Even though it’s still basic money, how you give it can make all the difference. Check out these seven inventive ways to gift money:

  • A money bouquet
  • Personalized gift card booklet
  • Money puzzle box
  • Money-filled ornaments
  • Cash-filled fortune cookies
  • A treasure hunt
  • Money-filled soap or candle

1. The Money Bouquet

Combine the elegance of a flower bouquet with the practicality of cash for a delightful surprise. Use crisp bills, which you can get from the bank, and fold them into origami flowers. Attach each “flower” to a floral wire stem with clear tape. Intersperse real or artificial flowers and greenery for added beauty, and then secure the arrangement with a ribbon. Presenting it in a decorative vase or wrapping will make it even more special.

2. Personalized Gift Card Booklet

Even though gift cards can sometimes feel generic, creating a booklet tailored to the recipient’s tastes and hobbies can turn it into a heartfelt gesture. Start by considering their favorite restaurants, shops or online platforms, and purchase multiple gift cards in varying amounts. Craft a booklet using quality paper, designing pockets or sleeves for each card. For a personal touch, jot down a note on each page, suggesting how they might enjoy the card — some ideas are “For a date night,” “For your next read” or “Treat yourself.”

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3. The Money Puzzle Box

Add an element of fun and challenge by enclosing your cash gift or check in a puzzle box. Available online or at specialty gift shops, these boxes typically require the recipient to solve a puzzle to access the treasure inside. It’s an engaging way to elevate the excitement of receiving money. To complete the experience, pair it with a playful card that prompts the adventure awaiting inside.

4. Money-Filled Ornaments

Transparent holiday ornaments or decorative balls can be more than just for decoration. Imagine the surprise when a loved one discovers that the ornament hanging on their tree has folded bills inside. Money-filled ornaments not only serve as inventive gifts but also become cherished keepsakes, commemorating occasions like graduations, birthdays or festive seasons.

5. Cash-Filled Fortune Cookies

Fortune cookies, traditionally associated with imparting wisdom, can also hold money inside. By carefully placing a rolled bill within the cookie and sealing it back, you can create an unexpected delight. Presented in a decorative box, these cash-filled treats merge tradition with novelty.

6. Treasure Hunt

A treasure hunt transforms the act of giving money into an exhilarating experience. Instead of a simple handover, you can curate a series of clues or riddles that lead to the hidden prize — the money gift. This adventurous approach, whether set in your house or all over the city, is sure to captivate the recipient’s interest.

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7. Money-Filled Soap or Candle

If you’re crafty or into DIY projects, there are endless ways to add a personal touch to your gift-giving. One such method is embedding a monetary surprise within everyday objects like soap or candles. You’ll need simple supplies to make this — clear glycerin soap, wax, molds and dollar bills. As the soap is used or the candle burns down, the concealed cash eventually emerges, offering a delightful surprise.

Good To Know: Gift Giving and Taxes

If you’re leaning towards a generous amount, it’s worth noting tax implications. In 2023, the IRS allows an annual gift tax exclusion up to $17,000 per recipient. If you gift more than that, you might need to file a gift tax return.

Before giving a large amount of money, it would be a good idea to talk to a tax expert.

Final Take

In gift-giving, it’s not just the amount but the presentation that counts. A creative twist can turn a simple money gift into a cherished memory. It’s the effort and imagination behind it that truly leaves a mark.


Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about giving money as a gift.
  • What is money as a gift called?
    • Money given as a gift is often referred to as a "cash gift" or "monetary gift." In specific cultural or ceremonial contexts, there are unique names for such gifts. For instance, during weddings in many cultures, money gifts might be referred to as a "dowry."
  • What is the best way to give money as a gift?
    • The best way to give money as a gift depends on the occasion and the recipient's preferences. While some might appreciate the convenience of a digital money transfer or gift card, others might find joy in a creatively wrapped cash gift.
    • Some innovative methods include:
      • A money bouquet
      • Personalized gift card booklet
      • A treasure hunt
    • These ways of giving money can make the gift memorable and show the recipient that thought and effort were put into their gift.
  • How do you wrap money as a gift?
    • There are a few creative ways to wrap money:
      • Origami designs: Fold bills into shapes like hearts, butterflies or shirts.
      • Hidden in sweets: Insert money into a box of candy, replacing a couple of the sweets.
      • In a book: Use a hollowed-out book to hide the money, making it a surprise for the recipient.
      • Money jars: Fill a jar with loose change or folded bills, perhaps layering it with colored sand or confetti.
      • Gift inside a gift: Hide the money inside a small, practical gift, like a wallet or a purse.
  • What are the five rules for gift-giving?
    • Some rules to keep in mind when gift giving are:
      • Know the recipient: Tailor your gift to the recipient's tastes, hobbies and needs. It shows that you know and care about their preferences.
      • Stay within your budget: While it's the thought that counts, you shouldn't feel obligated to spend beyond your means. A heartfelt, thoughtful gift can be more appreciated than an expensive one.
      • Consider the occasion: Different events call for different gifts. A birthday might warrant something more personal, while a wedding might require something for the couple to share.
      • Presentation matters: How you present a gift can be just as important as the gift itself. Proper wrapping, a handwritten note or a unique delivery method can elevate the gift's perceived value.
      • Ask if you're in doubt: If you're unsure about what the recipient might like, it's perfectly acceptable to ask them directly. Some people appreciate this approach as it ensures they'll receive something they'll genuinely enjoy or need.
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Editor’s note: This article was produced via automated technology and then fine-tuned and verified for accuracy by a member of GOBankingRates’ editorial team.

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