Graduation season is upon us, and with it comes the eternal question: How much should you give as a graduation gift? It's a perplexing dilemma, like trying to solve a Rubik's Cube while riding a unicycle. But fear not, I'm here to guide you through this puzzling maze with a touch of humor and a sprinkle of wisdom.

The Art of Giving: Tips and Tricks

Before we cover the financial dos and don'ts of graduation gifts, let's dive into the art of giving. First and foremost, give what you can afford. If you're on a fixed income, it's perfectly acceptable to give a smaller gift. Don't go selling your vital organs on the black market just to buy a graduation present.

Next, consider the graduate's special circumstances. Did they graduate with honors? Are they facing mountainous student loans? Take these factors into account and adjust your gift accordingly. A little extra cash for academic excellence or financial struggles can go a long way.

READ MORE: Is It Illegal To Fly With A Suitcase Full Of Cash In Illinois?

Finally, timing is everything. No, I'm not talking about the perfect moment to photobomb the graduation photo. I'm talking about when to give the cash gift. Avoid handing wads of cash during the ceremony itself. Instead, opt for a heartfelt card with a personalized message. If possible, wait for the open house or mail the gift.


And if all else fails, find a quiet moment to hand them the card discreetly. Trust me, they'll appreciate the gesture even if they're still recovering from the shock of adult responsibilities.

Inventive Ways to Display Your Cash Gift

If you're feeling particularly creative, why not spice up your cash gift presentation? Try making paper money flowers or a lei out of one-dollar bills. Blow up balloons with money inside or create a money tree.

You could even tuck cash into a photo album filled with embarrassing pictures of the graduate. The possibilities are endless, and the element of surprise will surely make your gift stand out.


Middle School Graduation: A Modest Celebration

Ah, middle school graduation, that fleeting moment when kids transition from awkward pre-teens to slightly less awkward teenagers. It may not be as grand as a high school or college graduation, but it still deserves recognition.

According to the experts at Great!, skip the cash for these young grads. Instead, opt for movie passes, spa vouchers, or gift certificates. Because nothing says "Congratulations on surviving middle school" like a day at the spa.

High School Graduation: The Big Leap

Ah, high school graduation, where teenagers bid farewell to their acne-ridden days and embark on the roller coaster of adulthood. This is the time to up the ante on your gift-giving prowess. The National Retail Federation suggests that the average amount spent on a graduation gift is around $115.

But remember your relationship with the graduate matters. For friends and siblings, $30 to $75 is the sweet spot. And if you're giving a gift to the son or daughter of your neighbor or coworker, aim for the $30 to $50 range. Just enough to show you care, but not enough to break the bank.

College Graduation: The Ultimate Achievement

Ah, college graduation, the pinnacle of academic success and the gateway to a lifetime of student loan repayments. When it comes to giving a cash gift to a college graduate, you might be tempted to dip into your retirement savings.

But hold your horses! Bright Hub suggests a range of $100 to $500, depending on your relationship. For parents, $50 to $500 is the norm, depending on how much financial help you've offered over the years.

Close relatives and friends fall into the $50 to $200 category. And for acquaintances or co-workers, keep it in the $30 to $75 range. Remember, you're not their fairy godparent; you're just a generous human being.

[h/t Love To Know]

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