Graduation is one of the most exciting times for a young person. It marks the end of one chapter in life and the beginning of another, whether the graduation is from pre-school, high school, college or graduate school. Yes, the ceremony is important and significant, but what a lot of graduates really want are the hard-earned graduation gifts showered upon them at this time. (And who can blame them!) Finding the right gift can be rather tough for the gift giver as it all depends on the relationship. However, no graduate has ever rejected good old-fashioned cash. So, here are some clever ways to give money as graduation gifts.

Give money in a bucket, box, or  jar

Just handing the graduate a card full of money is acceptable, but it lacks the pizazz and thought of a well-crafted money holder. With a few extra moments spent on Pinterest, a variety of inexpensive and interesting containers can be found.

There’s the bucket, as demonstrated by eighteen25

IMG_0724_graduation gift idea web copy

Or what about this great “stache” jar that could be filled with various bills? You can get the decal for the jar here

stache jar

And finally, this ingenious box of money put together by Allred Design Blog

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Give money as a hidden surprise

More clever ways to give money involve hiding it or packing it in a manner that it’s discovered later. Imagine the delight of a college student upon receiving one of these little surprises in the mail:

They think they are just getting an umbrella, but really…it’s raining money! Via Cook & Craft Me Crazy

its raining money

What graduate wouldn’t love opening a box of chocolate to find this instead (thanks to Life As Mom)?


And my favorite, as a reader, is to buy any book full of inspiration, tips, motivation or humor and bookmark a particular page. Naturally, when they open to that page they can find the lovely pressed bills inside.


I realize that the temptation to buy an actual gift is strong, and sometimes that can be the right fit for a graduate. However, graduation is one of the only times that the gift of cash is not only appreciated but acceptable. And the best part about the gifts above is that the amount of money is rather secondary to the experience of receiving it. With these clever ways to give money, everyone walks away smiling. And what better way for the recent graduate in your life to begin the next phase of life than with a smile & a little extra cash. 🙂

Avatar for Ayse Gider

Hi, I'm Ayse! I am a mom of three wonderful children and originally began working as a librarian. Now, I love to write! I am an avid coupon finder, deal expert, and lover of anything that can save money without compromising on quality.