Why I Love Getting Cash For Presents

Some people don’t like getting or giving cash as a present.  People use reasoning along the lines that it is impersonal and doesn’t show a lot of thought going into the gift.

Depending on the person, I completely disagree.

What do I mean by ‘depending on the person’?  Simple, if you know the person feels that way, don’t give them cash.  But, if the person isn’t of that mindset, I see no reason why cash isn’t a great gift.  My wife and I would never give each other cash, for example.

Personally, I love getting cash.

For my last birthday, my parents gave me cash as a birthday gift.  They will ask me for a list, and if there’s stuff I really want, I’ll send it over.  Sometimes, they’ll come up with the gift, other times they’ll give cash so that I can buy something, or if there’s nothing I want specifically, they’ll just give me the cash with the instruction that I spend it on something for myself.

My parents know me well.

This past birthday, I really had nothing specific I was looking for so when I got their money, I set it aside.

This was great and worked out well just a few short weeks later.

My wife and I spent a couple of days on Mackinac Island.  For those who aren’t familiar, it’s a great little island with lots of fudge shops and great views, and amazing scenery located in Up North Michigan.  It’s also notable in that there are no cars allowed on the island.  All transportation must be done on foot, on bike, or on horse (or for those brave enough to weather a Michigan Up North weather, snowmobiles are allowed).

It’s a great little place and we went up there a while back  to celebrate our fifth anniversary.  We actually went a few weeks after our anniversary, right at the end of September.

As such, many of the shops, especially those who were selling clothing, were clearing out their inventory for the season.   This meant some pretty nice deals.

I had been looking for a new fall/spring jacket for awhile.  The one I have that I wear regularly is a few years old and is definitely starting to show some signs of wear.  It wasn’t a high priority, but for the right deal, I was definitely open.

We walked into an outdoor clothing shop and saw that pretty much everything in the store was 40% off.  I looked around and found that they had a great selection of jackets, including some North Face jackets (I became a North Face believer fairly recently), and including one that looked great on me.

Things on ‘the island’ are typically marked up a little bit, which is pretty much expected because of the transportation costs of getting things there.  Plus, it’s touristy.  So, I found that this jacket would normally retail for $149 in most stores and was regularly priced at $155 in the store on our trip.

But, with 40% off, that suddenly made it $93.

Now, $93 for a coat isn’t cheap and isn’t something I am normally used to paying.  I’ve lately realized that North Face makes a pretty darn good coat, they stay in style, and they hold up very well.

So, this was a great deal!

And having some money set aside from the cash that my parents gave me for my birthday made this easy when it came to figuring out if I could afford it.  I absolutely could!

So, I am now the proud owner of a new fall/spring coat that I also got at a great deal!

Thanks to my parents for the amazing gift of cash which I turned into this amazing coat!

How do you feel about giving or getting cash as a gift?

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20 thoughts on “Why I Love Getting Cash For Presents

    • There are times and gifts that are absolutely perfect, but if I’m struggling to get something, then money (or gift cards) is just fine with me!

    • If you put it into savings, then you could add it up and get something really cool after a while that you might otherwise not think of buying.

  1. Cash as a present is awesome! I love it, but my family rarely gives it to me because they think it is impersonal. I tend to get gifts that I don’t want, think are a waste of money, or just plain bad. If I got cash, then I get to choose what to spend it on. I do give gift cards to people that like to shop in certain places. I even give prepaid cards to some, so they can use them anywhere. I wish everyone would just give me cash as presents.
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    • You have to be careful with the prepaid cash cards because often you’ll get charged a fee up front and sometimes they’ll have service fees in place that will diminish the value over time if the recipient doesn’t use it. That’s another reason I prefer cash, nobody will come take it from you as a punishment for not spending it!

  2. Of course I don’t begrudge getting cash. If a person can’t figure out a gift for me, it’s obviously nicer than getting something I wouldn’t like. There’s definitely deadweight loss in terms of marginal benefit if people depend on others to make their purchasing decisions.

    But I think a well-planned gift can be much more appreciated than a similar sum of money. For example, while I’ve managed to get it free by way of an AMEX deal (yes, I’m hard to buy for), the #1 gift I’d want for Christmas is Halo 4. If I got it, I’d appreciate that gift much more than $60 cash.
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    • I agree, if it’s well planned and something you want/need, the gift is great. It’s just when you really don’t want anything that much at that moment, but maybe could use the cash to get the game that you know you’ll want three months from now.

  3. My mum gives me cash for Christmas and Birthdays. At 32 I feel like I’m a bit old to get cash, and would be fine with a card or a small gift. I like getting it because it is virtually impossible for people to be inside your head and know the perfect gift you want so badly. When I get a gift I don’t like and know it’s expensive, I feel bad for the person spending so much on me for something I won’t use.
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    • My favorite part of your reply was that you said ‘my mum’. I always love that! My wife’s best friend is godmother to our daughter, and she lived in England for a few years but has since recently moved back. She gave our daughter a gift for her christening engraved ‘From your Godmum’. I love it.

  4. My parents recently started giving us cash in cards for birthdays and our anniversary, as both my hubby and I are hard to shop for. Plus I KNOW my parents spend as much money as they can to buy our lil’ guy “gifts” pretty much all year ’round (most stay at their house). I’m appreciative of their helping to take care of him and whatever they spend on him, so I don’t mind them giving me cash. I add that to my “me stuff” savings to buy myself something that I know I want. Plus since my hubby is a frugal (sometimes painstakingly so ;D ) shopper, we know we can usually wait to get a great deal on something we want.

    • I think setting it aside and identifying the gift you purchased to the person that gave you the cash is key.

    • My parents actually included a note one time indicating that their wishes were that I spend it (not save it) and for something for myself (as if I did ‘spend’ I’d often get something for the kids or something). They knew how much I typically fell into the same pattern and while they love how much I watch spending or apply money to debt, they also wanted to see me do something that I might not otherwise do when making a decision with the money. I waited and eventually did find some stuff to buy just for me.

    • I typically buy bigger ticket clothing items, like nice shoes or a nice jacket, or a bunch of new winter clothes all at once. It definitely goes toward spending that, while practical, is stuff I would otherwise avoid or postpone.

  5. Cash is a great gift. I would rather have money to buy something I need rather than a gift I probably won’t use. My husband is a North Face junkie. It is expensive, but you can find deals. When you are finished with it, North Face has great resale value on Ebay, so that makes it an ever better buy.
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