High School Graduation Gifts

Cash Is King When It Comes To Graduation Gifts

Graduation season is right around the corner, which means lively parties beginning in May and continuing through August. I can already smell the barbeque on the grill!

There are many ways to congratulate a senior for this monumental achievement. That perfect gift can be a time-honored tradition like Hawaiian jewelry, family keepsakes, or cash.

A Fundio survey discovered the total amount spent on graduation gifts in 2014 in the United States was $4.5 billion. Most people expected to spend a total of $98 on graduation gifts, with the average dollar amount spent per recipient at $52.

It can be difficult to find the right gift for a graduate whether it is family, friends, neighbors or acquaintances. How do you decipher the current trends for gift giving and determine the amount you are comfortable spending?

It is important to remember a high school graduation announcement is not the same as an invitation. There is no obligation to send a gift if you receive an announcement. A congratulations card or small gift will suffice. However, if you are invited to attend the graduation ceremony, a gift is always appropriate.

Cash has always been king when it comes to gifting young adults. They usually know far better than the individual giving the gift what they really want or need. They may also need the cash to purchase items for college, their dorm or new apartment.

Consider the amount of graduation gifts you plan to give throughout graduation season and reflect on your budget. Gift giving—whether cash or something else—is a nice gesture, but do not overextend yourself by being too generous.

If you decide to gift cash, here are suggested amounts:

  • Acquaintances $10 – $25
  • Friends $25 – $50
  • Close friends and family $75 – $100

 For those who prefer giving personal gifts, here are a few ideas that are sure to please any graduate:

  • College spirit wear. If you know the college or university the graduate will attend, apparel with school’s name and logo make a fantastic gift. Who wouldn’t be thrilled to proudly wear their new colors?
  • Noise-cancelling headphones. This is an ideal gift for listening to music on the way to work or class or while studying in loud dorm rooms.
  • Special lessons. Perhaps there is something the graduate has always wanted to try like flying lessons, culinary or art classes, professional golf, hula or dance lessons, etc.
  • One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book. Options are available on Amazon.

When all the festivities are over, it will be time for the graduates to write all those thank you cards. Please consider handwriting all your cards as it is more meaningful to the recipient than sending an email or text.

Congratulations and best wishes to all graduates!

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