Every year I try to find a neat way to gift money to the kids in my life who prefer receiving cash instead of an actual gift.
It may seem rude to some, but I don’t think it is!
What is inappropriate or tacky about giving someone exactly what they want and need the most for a birthday, Christmas, or graduation?!
Keep reading for 10 awesomely creative & fun money gift ideas for kids of all ages….
….from the 9 year old who wants to pick out his own Nerf Gun at Target to the teenager or college kid who needs spending money!
Creative & Fun Ways to Give Money to a Kid
These are easy DIY presents that don’t take much effort but are so impressive.
Here are a few creative ways to give money to a kid between the ages of 8 and 12.
1. Money Notepad
This is probably my absolute FAVORITE way to gift money.
It’s a little DIY that has a HUGE impact on the recipient because it’s so unique and cool. It would be a unique stocking stuffer.
You’ll need a few supplies which I outlined in the post How to Create a Real Money Notepad.
If you already know how to do this and simply need the special glue that makes it all work, here’s where you can buy the padding compound >>
And here’s the simple way I wrapped up this money notepad – I just put it in a pretty Christmas envelope and called it a day!
I personally think the DIY money notepad is SO COOL that you could give it to an adult (friend, co-worker, etc) as a cool surprise gift.
I think I’ll take one to my friend’s annual Christmas party where we do a holiday present exchange (white elephant style). Pretty sure this one will be stolen the max number of times! 🙂
2. Money Mailbox
I found this money mailbox at the Dollar Tree and knew it had to be on this list!
It’s an unexpected item that allows you to hide the gift in a fun way!
The mailbox is interesting enough that you don’t technically need to wrap it up. No one will guess the surprise inside.
3. Christmas Ornament Money Gift
This one doesn’t need much explanation! It’s so creative and couldn’t be easier!
Just grab an ornament at the dollar store and put the filling + cash (rolled up tightly) inside and you’re done!
4. Bucket of Rolled Up Christmas Cash
I call this what to get when you have no clue what to get someone! 🙂
A bucket full of cash (whether it’s a roll of bills or just thrown into the bucket really quickly), is a super easy DIY last minute present!
I personally think this is a great option for a 13-year-old or perhaps for a 14 or 15 year old kid. Just seems right to me.
Cute & Fun Ways to Gift Money to a Teenager
I used to always use cash gifts to buy gas as a teen. I loved driving places, but I couldn’t fund my own adventures! LOL
As a high schooler, I LOVE LOVE LOVED receiving cash as a gift. When I got to college, I had a side job so I didn’t need it as much.
5. “Treat Fund” Mason Jar
I couldn’t believe I found this “Treat Fund” mason jar at Dollar Tree of all places!
I love having a frugal way to wrap up cash because then I can give a bigger amount instead of wasting it on the container it comes in.
We styled this gift two ways – in one option we put about $10 – $15 worth of dollar bills in it. And in the other version, we used coins, which you’ll see below.
What a fun way to gift money to teenagers!
6. “The Only Thing Better Than a Box of Face Masks”
I thought this was a super clever original idea. If you need ideas on how to use up all those boxes that your masks came in, well this is it! HA
Your recipient will be surprised in a good way!
Most of these mask boxes are rather large, so you can give a large monetary amount inside.
However, if you only have $10, then you can still make it work – just use tissue paper to take up some of the room AND maybe roll up the bills so they look really cool.
7. Large Bucket Filled with Dollar Bills
I put this bucket under the teen section because it holds SO MUCH cash when you roll up the bills this way! AND it’s super impressive!
It’s a little bit tricky to get the dollars to stay rolled up so I found that a little piece of painter’s tape on each one does the trick (it holds the cash in place and doesn’t tear the paper when you take it off).
Hint: the tighter you roll each dollar bill, the more monetary value you can fit in the bucket! I got this bucket at Dollar Tree, so the container itself isn’t expensive.
Awesome Idea: Giving Coins as a Gift!
I don’t know a single child of any age who doesn’t like counting coins! I have fond memories of dumping out my grandmother’s coin bucket and spending lots of time trying to add it all up.
I thought it would be cute to make a couple of ideas be all about giving coins instead of dollars.
8. Old Teavana Containers Make Perfect Coin Collectors
It it okay to be frugal when it comes to Christmas or birthday presents? I say yes! 🙂
When I first saw this Teavana tea bag container with an easily removeable wrapper, I KNEW it would be perfect for this blog post.
I didn’t count up the value of the change in this one, but I’d say it was a good amount because is was really heavy!
9. Mason Jar Full of Coins
Jars full of coins are really worth way more than you think!
How much do you think we fit in this jar???
We counted it, and turns out this jar – filled to the brim with a random assortment of dimes, nickels, pennies, and quarters – held $22.36!
I couldn’t believe it.
Now this is a gift I can get behind – just grab a mason jar and start putting random change in it throughout the months leading up to Christmas and you will have accidentally, automatically saved up a good chunk of change for an actual gift to give a deserving child in your life!
I promise you they will flip over this!
Annoying Ways to Give Money as a Gift!
10. “Something Practical” Trash Bags Hidden Money Gift
This came to me while I was thinking of unique ways to hide money inside of something unassuming.
What better than a completely boring roll of trash bags! LOL
It could be super annoying or offensive until they realize what it is, but that’s half the fun of it! It only took me a few minutes to make the money hidden inside.
I thought of two things you could say when giving this gift:
- Thought You’d Like Something Practical for Christmas / Graduation / Your Birthday
- A Trashy Gift Just for You (okay, so this would need to be for an older teen or college student, but it’s hilarious!)
11. Money Bar of Soap
I could see this being the perfect gag gift for a dirty Santa Christmas gift exchange!
These special cash-filled bars of soap by Baila Designs on Etsy are the perfect way to surprise & confuse your gift recipient! LOL
I bet it would actually be pretty irritating to be able to see the money inside but not get to it without using the soap first. 😉
Choose any denomination: ONE, FIVE, TEN, or TWENTY dollars in the drop down box before checkout.
Let’s Keep Going with Other Interesting Ideas!
I found several more awesome ideas around the internet for you to consider.
12. “Official” Bank Notes from the North Pole
I could totally see my 9-year-old being so enthralled with this gift!
It’s such a cute & interesting way to give cash.
Get these cash envelopes from Little Beane Boutique on Etsy right here >> Personalized Christmas Money Envelopes
These money envelopes come in several designs so you can choose different ones for different recipients. The reindeer/candy cane design below is my favorite.
13. Bag of Dough
The PrintablesReadyNow shop on Etsy offers these adorable bag toppers that you simply staple to a small baggie full of rolled up bills.
The topper is only a few dollars and is very impressive, which makes it an awesome away to present a birthday gift to anyone.
Some cash gifts are irritating, but this is quite the opposite. It’s so adorable!
14. Money Holder Christmas Ornaments
I found these cute & simple cash ornaments on Etsy & just love the idea of nestling these into the tree for your gift recipient to grab.
This is a great gift for anyone who’s hard to buy for. If you’re unsure, cold hard cash is always a good bet! 🙂
15) Cash-fetti Money Popper
This idea is SO COOL I had to include it as a bonus! How cool would it be to see the look on your recipient’s face when they pop open these bad boys?!
You could give this to someone for just about any festive occasion, from a birthday, graduation, wedding, Christmas, or even a baby shower!
Picture used with permission from Posh and Sparkle on Instagram (source)
16) “Cheddar” Cheese Envelopes
This idea is so hilarious, I just can’t stop laughing!!
You can actually buy these “cheddar” cheese envelope templates for a few dollars on Etsy, then print them out as many times as you’d like at home.
All you need is a printer, some paper + color ink, a glue stick and a sense of humor! LOL
Go to Idea #15 in this post about more brilliant money gift ideas to find out more about them + to get links to these envelopes on Etsy.
17) The Whole Caboodle!
First of all, let me apologize for how blurry this picture is!
I was so excited to show off my brand new creation, that I must have been shaking the camera! LOL
Here is my latest money gift creation – it’s a beast! I grabbed a Caboodle like this one (if you’re a mom like me, I KNOW you KNOW what this is! 🙂
My girls looked at me like I was crazy as I explained how this was THE thing to have when I was a kid. Everyone I knew had one!
Well, anyway, after I explained how awesome Caboodles are, I showed them the money inside, and they thought THAT was super cool. HA!
This was really easy to do – it just took a little more time than usual AND a bit more cash than most other ideas I have on this page.
By the time you count up all the one dollar bills, coins, and a couple $2 bills thrown in there for good measure, this adds up to about $50.
A pretty awesome present for any deserving young lady if you ask me!
My daughter will likely use this Caboodle as her dance makeup storage unit after the holidays, so it’s actually a practical gift for more than one reason.
TIP: If you use a full size Caboodle for this, you’ll find that it takes a LOT of money to make it look full. I recommend using fillers like crinkle paper and tissue paper as shown below. It really makes a difference and also looks cool.
18) Bag Full of Cash
I made this simple bag of cash for the last White Elephant gift exchange I attended, and it was a BIG HIT!
It’s so easy to make – – here are the instructions>> DIY Bag of Cash White Elephant Gift
What to Write When Giving Money as a Gift
What do you say when gifting money? I think the best message to write on the card that goes with your money present is a cute pun. I like to play on words like “Thought you could use some dough!” with the playdough gift.
If you cant’ think of anything good to say, you could just say “Merry Christmas! Love, Me” in the card because the gift is self-explanatory! Who said you needed a reason to give someone spending money? 🙂
I hope you like this list and found a funny handmade gift idea or maybe something practical to give a special person in your life!
How Much Cash is a Good Gift?
The coolest thing about cash as a gift is that a little goes a long way!
How much you give depends on the recipient, in my opinion. A little kid would be happy with a few dollars. And a teenager would be okay with a $10 / $15 / $20 money notepad.
There’s really no upper limit, but honestly these kinds of presents are more cute than anything else, so I don’t think you need to give a huge monetary amount to make an impression.
I personally give the kids under age 12 or so in my life $10 or $15. And I give the older teens and college students $25 or $50. It’s just my personal rule of thumb. Hope that helps!
More Examples of Gifting Money:
I love writing about unique gifts, so I have even more ideas in this series!
- 30 Non-Toy Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids - 10/31/2023
- 50+ Fun Family Christmas Gift Ideas for Every Budget - 10/31/2023
- 19+ Creative Birthday Money Gifts - 08/04/2023