Monday, November 10, 2014

Money Monday--Giving Cash

 The holiday's are here. Its almost time when we as Americans lose our minds (you know we do) and start shopping. It seems as if we treat shopping as a sport, pitting one store against another, beating each other out for the best deal.
I made the decision earlier this year that I want to get ahead of the holiday's and get most of my shopping done by the end of November, so that way I don't have to fight the holiday crowds and limit my exposure to the chaos.
A few weeks ago, my husband and I sat down and created our list with the money we have saved throughout the year, and allocated dollar amounts to each person that we were buying for. 
With the exception of a few gifts, the majority of what we are giving is either cash or gift cards. 
For some of our best friends, each year we send a card with a Visa gift card, and tell them to enjoy a date night on us. 
For many of our family and friends, rather than shopping for a "gift" we end up giving them cash. We try to give it in a creative and fun way, but in the end its just cash. 
When my husband I were first married, we used to spend a lot of time shopping for a gift for each other. But, over time, we began to realize that we each are a bit picky, and would rather be given cash to spend as we like. In our monthly budget, we each get a certain amount of fun money, but sometimes, that is simply not enough for the things we want, so we are able to supplement with money we received from Christmas/birthday's throughout the year. 
For us, giving someone cash is a great gift. We don't ever want someone to feel obligated to use or keep something they don't want, so why not allow them to spend money however they want. 
I know that some folks consider giving cash or gift cards tacky, or a cop out, or unsentimental for not buying a specific gift. For us, we don't feel that way. I think giving someone cash, and with it a well written, thought out, and meaningful card means more than a trinket.
There are certain things that I have received in my life that mean the world to me, and I would never part with. But, there are very few Christmas gifts that I was given that I remember. 
Tell Me: Do you give cash and gift cards to people? Is the practice trash and tacky, or do you think its practical and smart?


Anonymous said...

I generally don't give cash or gift cards unless I have to, but I definitely enjoy receiving them. Like you, I'm kinda picky and I don't like "stuff," so I'd rather you give me cash to buy the running watch I want or a gift card to Target so I can pick up all my household needs there and save the cash for the yoga studio membership or something. It sounds like you still manage to make the cash gifts feel purposeful, which I feel like is all that matters. No one wants to feel like an afterthought on Christmas Eve!

Stefanie OConnell said...

I'm ALWAYS happy to receive cash. So many options!

christina neumann said...

Personally, I'd rather give gift cards or money. Then the person can do what they really want to do. I do like to give Starbucks cards too and some restaurant ones. This year I'm giving my son $cash to put towards his buying a computer.
Plus, I love getting gift cards . It feels like I can splurge a little.

Ashten said...

I am that person that ALWAYS gives a gift card. I seem to waste a lot of time trying to find the perfect gift, getting frustrated, then buying a gift card. Giving someone the perfect gift is more fun but everyone loves a gift card.

~Carla~ said...

I personally don't think cash or gift cards are tacky if given to the right people.. some would shudder to receive those, others don't. I'm always game for a GC or cash.. haha!! I give gifts to those I know prefer gifts, GC/Cash to those who appreciate it!

Natalie @ Budget and the Bees said...

While I enjoy receiving cash and spending it how I want, I've received some incredibly thoughtful gifts that I didn't know I needed or wouldn't have purchased myself. Those are the things I remember. If I can come up with something to give that fits that criteria, it's my first choice. If I can't think of something the recipient would love and cherish, I'll go with a gift card over something that will collect dust on a shelf.

Kirsten Indebted said...

I try hard not to do gift cards or cash. I fo find it impersonal but on the other hand, I LOVE getting them LOL! We recently decided that most of our family doesn't need anything, so we send plants and flowers to the older folks, shop my sister's Amazon wishlist, and ignore everyone else ;-)