Graduation is a time of celebration and excitement but can also be a time of financial stress. Between the costs of college and the expenses of life, many graduates are struggling to get by.
Whether you’re looking for graduation gift ideas for your child or a friend, you want to give them something useful, practical, and thoughtful (like money) to help them start their new chapter in life.
Cash gifts are always welcome, and graduation money gift ideas can come in many forms. You can get creative and have DIY graduation money gifts like money lei or money jar, or give cash and gift cards with one of these unique money gift boxes.
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Fun And Creative Graduation Money Gift Ideas
If you’re stumped on ideas, here are 19+ cute and fun graduation money gift ideas to make your loved ones’ graduation day more memorable.
1. Creative Money Box For Graduation
I don’t know about you, but I love saving money. That’s why I think this unique piggy bank is a meaningful way to show your love to your graduate.
This ceramic money jar is shaped like a graduation hat with a raised tassel on top and metallic-looking text that says “College Fund” at the bottom.
It’s a practical and cute gift for your graduate who wants to start saving up for future expenses. As a nice touch, you can put some dollar bills or coins inside before giving.
Want more adult piggy bank ideas to help your favorite graduate save money and better track their finances? Check out this list here.
2. Money Cake Box For Graduation Parties
Graduation is a big occasion for a student, but it’s also a big deal for parents and family members who want to show their love and support.
Why not add some fun and excitement to the graduation party with a cake that has secret dollar bills inside?
The money cake box will be hidden inside the yummy cake, and the graduate will have no idea you are giving them cash until they open it up and pull out the Congrats Grad cake topper.
This is the perfect alternative to giving cash as an extra present, whether they are graduating from high school or college.
3. Magnetic Money Clip Holder For Him
Are you looking for graduation money gift ideas for him? A chic money clip wallet is a practical and stylish way to show him your support. He will surely appreciate extra space for his credit cards and cash.
The leather money clip wallet looks cool when paired with any outfit, whether he’s wearing jeans or khakis. It’s also small enough that it won’t look out of place in his back pocket when he wears shorts.
Money wallets or money clip holders are not only a man’s best friend but also one of the most valuable and functional gifts you can give to a graduate.
4. Money Tree Gift Holder For Graduation
The next time you want to gift cash to your friend or family member who’s graduating, consider this money tree gift holder that represents good luck, wealth, and abundance while they are on their way to becoming independent adults.
It’s a cute way to give cash or gift cards during graduation parties, as it adds an element of fun and whimsy to your gift-giving experience.
This money tree comes with LED lights that make it look more festive in the dark. And your graduate can display their graduation pictures or other small trinkets of their interests with convenient photo clips. Best of all, the bendable tree branches are easy to arrange in whatever they like: heart shape or circle, they decide.
If you like more money tree gift ideas, this post has a wide selection of options, ranging from pretty green leaf plants to DIY money trees for your high school or college graduates.
5. Graduation Cap Mug
This eye-catching mug is excellent for a grad who loves their morning cup of joe or tea. The lid shaped like a graduation cap with a tassel will always remind them of their graduation day.
There’s nothing quite like a cute mug to make your grad’s world brighter. It’s even better if you combine that with a bundle of cash or a gift card.
Your graduate will have a blast opening up their gift and seeing extra rewards placed inside their new favorite cup.
6. Hello Kitty Graduation Card With Surprise Cash Inside
Who says you can’t be cute, fun, and creative with your graduation money gift?
This Hello Kitty graduation card is just that. It features Hello Kitty wearing glasses and a cute graduation cap while holding her diploma proudly.
Not only can you make the recipient smile and remember their big day for years to come, but it’s also a great way to say “congratulations” to your graduate who is a big fan of the iconic character.
It’s also the gift that keeps on giving! This Hello Kitty graduation card doubles as a money holder, allowing you to give cash or gift cards in one clever package. So you can support her as she moves into the next chapter in her life.
I love how you can personalize this gift by adding your own text and cash gift for a fabulous surprise!
In addition to this cute gift, I also have a dedicated list of adorable Hello Kitty gift ideas to please your recipients.
7. Graduation-Style Gift Box With An Amazon Gift Card Inside
The only thing better than giving cash to celebrate your grad’s big day?
Whether it be a high school or college graduate, give your recent grad an Amazon gift card in a graduation-style box to help them start their next stage in life.
Your grad is leaving the nest and spreading their wings. This gift card makes it easy for the hard-working graduate in your life to buy whatever they want with their graduation money, such as a new notebook, an aromatic natural soy candle, or even the latest book by their favorite author.
8. Money Puzzle Box For High School And College Graduates
Want to give your high school or college graduate cash, but you don’t know how?
You could write a check and hope they spend it on something fun, like new speakers for their car or concert tickets. Or, if you want to make things more fun and memorable, wow your grad at the graduation party with this magic money puzzle box.
The brain teaser is made of high-quality wood, which also serves as home decor. When the recipient sees the rewards through the acrylic, they will be much more motivated to solve the puzzle.
Once they get their hands on the money, they can use the box to store other items, such as concert tickets or movie passes.
If you get a grad who is into puzzles, they’ll also love this collection of money puzzle boxes.
9. Coffee Tumbler For Medical School Graduates
Graduating from medical school is no easy feat.
If you are looking for a gift that can celebrate the success and dedication they have put in toward fulfilling their dream of becoming a physician, this stylish and sturdy coffee tumbler is perfect.
Whether they’re an avid coffee addict or need a way to stay awake during those long work hours, this graduation gift will help them kick their caffeine habit and keep on going.
You can also fill it with your secret cash, some sweets or chocolates, and a special message to ensure your gift is received with glee.
For those grads who are coffee lovers, we have more creative coffee gift ideas here.
10. Light Bulb Cash Holder For The Brighter Future
Light bulbs are a classic symbol of intelligence, discovery, and invention. It’s also a creative way to gift cash to graduates who have just taken that next step and are ready to start blazing trails in their careers.
The bulb-shaped money holder will remind your grad how much you believe in them when times get tough. You can fill the plastic light bulb bottle (100ml or 200 ml) with dollar bills, coins, or small goodies, but don’t worry—you can’t break it. It’s plastic!
Don’t forget to get creative by wrapping different colored tissue paper around the bulb or adding ribbons or bows to make them even prettier.
11. Adventure Fund For Graduation
Graduating is one of the most exciting moments in a person’s life. The commencement speech, the cap and gown, and their parents crying tears of happiness make for a truly unforgettable experience. But once it’s over, what happens next?
If you want to create beautiful memories when they start their new life, why not give them a unique graduation gift that will allow them to explore the world?
It could be this adventure fund shadow box filled with cash so they can use money from this box as part of their travel budget and develop a habit of saving.
You can also add some gift cards or their favorite currency into the slit of the box to give your grad something extra special for their graduation party.
12. Graduation Money Gift Basket
If you’re looking for a fun and creative way to give cash, consider putting together a lovely money gift basket. This is one of the most clever ways to give cash for graduation because it combines all the classic elements of a gift basket—but with an added twist!
You only need a basket, some wrapping paper, ribbon (or other decorative materials), scissors, tape, and all the items you want to put in the basket.
Whether you add some delicious chocolate truffles or other yummy treats, ensure you include things that reflect your grad’s interests, so they will appreciate it when it is opened during their graduation ceremony. And don’t forget to place the classic cash or gift cards inside.
DIY Graduation Money Gift Ideas
13. Graduation Money Rosette
Graduating from high school or college is an exciting time. It’s the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. Instead of spending your hard-earned money on graduation gifts and parties, why not give your graduate a DIY money rosette? It’s a fun way to show how proud you are of their accomplishments.
14. Creative Money Lei For College Graduation
An elegant money gift for a college graduate is a money lei. They are perfect for grads going off to live on their own—whether they’re moving into an apartment or just out of the nest. You only need a length of ribbon, paper, tape, and some fun bills!
You can even add additional decorations like flowers if you want. For more inspiration on how to make this creative graduation gift idea work for your graduate, check out the step-by-step tutorial above.
15. DIY Money Jar For College Graduates
Let’s be honest; money is the ultimate graduation gift. And if you want to give your grad a little extra love, why not make it fun?
Crafting an adorable money jar is a great way to show how much you care about someone. Plus, it encourages them to save their hard-earned cash or gift cards until the next time they need a little extra spending money. It also makes a perfect home decor item after all those bills have been used.
This project requires minimal effort but will mean so much more than any old boring card or cash gift. All that’s needed is some glue and tassels, an empty glass jar, and a graduation cap cardboard cutout.
Once you have your cap lid and all the supplies ready for your DIY project, fill it up with cash and decorate it with whatever else suits your fancy.
16. Homemade Graduation Money Cake
When it comes to graduation parties, the cake is often the centerpiece. And while the classic sheet cake or bundt cake are great options, they can be a bit boring.
Why not impress your graduate and their friends by making a money cake with dollar bills?
This cake will surely be the talk of the party if you invite people over for graduation festivities.
17. DIY Money Jar With Graduation Cap And Dollar Bill Diplomas
This is probably one of the cutest graduation gifts I’ve ever seen. The idea is simple: take an empty mason jar with a lid and decorate it with a graduation cap and dollar bill diplomas.
You could also add a personal touch by writing some inspirational words and putting them in a little frame next to the money jar.
It’s such an easy way to say, “Congrats!”
18. Graduation Balloon Bouquet With Money inside
Do you know what’s great about graduation? The graduates get to throw their caps in the air and celebrate with their friends and family. They can also get colorful and festive balloons.
But did you know that there are ways you can use those balloons to celebrate in a more creative way?
You can fill the graduation balloon with cash and other small items.
If you want to make your own DIY graduation balloon bouquet, here’s a tutorial I found on YouTube that will get you inspired.
19. Cute Money Graduation Gown
If you’re looking to give money in the form of a graduation gown, you can use origami to make an adorable gift. This step-by-step tutorial teaches how to fold dollar bills into a cute graduation gown.
20. Money Graduation Cap With Tassels
A graduation cap made from money will be perfect for any grad, especially if they love origami and crafts. You can easily fold the bills into a paper hat and add some tassels or ribbon to decorate it further.
FAQs On Money Gift Ideas For Graduation
How Much Money Do You Usually Give For A Graduation Gift?
There’s no right or wrong answer to how much money you should give for a graduation gift.
Some people would go above and beyond in their gift-giving with their family or close friends ($200 or more), while others give modest amounts ($50 – $100).
If it’s someone you don’t know very well, maybe just $20 or so will suffice.
Whether it’s $20 or $200, it’s all about what works for your budget and your relationship with the graduate.
If you want to put an extra special spin on your gift of cash (and let’s be honest: who doesn’t?), consider one of the fun and cute ways of giving cash for graduation gifts in this post above.
Is $100 Enough For A Graduation Gift?
A $100 graduation gift is a good amount, but you can always give more if you want to. Don’t feel like you need to spend a lot of money on a graduation gift. Cash or gift cards are also great ways to show your love for someone without breaking the bank.
How Do You Give Money As A Graduation Gift?
There are many fantastic ideas that you can present cash in style during their graduation party.
Here are a few examples.
- Place cash in a puzzle box.
- Make an origami graduation cap with dollar bills.
- Create a pizza money box.
- Send them the equivalent amount of cash as “gift cards” for restaurants, movies, and clothing stores.
- Gift an Amazon Prime membership with one year of free unlimited streaming video/music and more.
Final Thoughts On Graduation Cash Gift Ideas
No matter how you gift cash, your graduate will appreciate the sentiment behind it as it comes from people who care about their success in life.
The newly minted graduate can use this cash as they see fit, whether it be saving up for a new car or paying off student loans. Whatever their preference may be, the best part about these fun graduation money gift ideas is that they will have them laughing and smiling when they open their present.
If you enjoyed this article, share it with your friends. Let them know how much fun it can be to gift cash. And don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest here for more great posts like this one!