25+ Clever Ways to Give Money as a Gift


Money is a perfect gift for most occasions, and there are few people who may dislike receiving extra cash they can use as they please.

Even if you know the person you’re sending money to will appreciate the gift, you might feel like sending them a card with cash or a check can be a little boring. Perhaps you’re interested in more creative or clever ways to give money.

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If so, keep reading ahead. We’ve got tips on numerous creative ways to give money, helping you turn a common gift or donation into something a little more special.

Creative Ways to Give Money to a Child or Teenager

There are plenty of reasons to give a kid or teen money as a gift. Consider adding a creative spin on the gift with these ideas.

1. Give a ‘diploma’

This is an ideal and creative way to give money to a recent grad. Roll up cash or a check like a diploma, and tie a ribbon around it. Sure, it’s simple, but it fits the occasion.

2. Bring home a ‘special treat’

This is a cute and creative way to give money to a younger child. Bring home their favorite fast food treat and surprise them by hiding money in the box or bag, along with the food.

You’ll need to place the money in a small plastic bag and tape it to the inside top of the box or side of the bag to keep it from touching the food, but this can be a fun trick to brighten a child’s day.

3. Tape it to the dashboard

This creative way to give money is perfect for a teen celebrating getting their driver’s license. When they head out for their first unsupervised drive, surprise them by taping cash or a check to the dashboard.

4. Stuff it in a report card envelope

Some schools mail final report cards, and some parents check them before their kids even know they arrived.

Maybe you’re that type of parent. Maybe you’re also very proud of your kid’s grades. Reward them by resealing the report card envelope and pretending you haven’t opened it yet. A kid dreading to see their grades will love to find cash (along with a “great job!”) message when they open it.

5. Dress up

One of the cutest creative ways to give money to a small child is to do so dressed as one of their favorite characters. What kid wouldn’t want to receive a gift from a favorite cartoon hero?

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Fun Ways to Give Money as a Gift

All people, from romantic partners to old friends, enjoy receiving money as a gift. They’ll enjoy it even more if you give them money in one of these creative ways.

6. Hide it in a candy jar

Cheer someone up with a glass jar filled with their favorite candy. Bury a small plastic bag with money inside to sweeten (no pun intended!) the surprise.

7. Trick them

This is a creative way to give money to someone who shares your sneaky sense of humor. Mail someone money, but use an envelope with an official-looking message that reads “URGENT: OPEN IMMEDIATELY.”

This ensures they’ll open the gift as soon as they receive it, while also giving them a harmless little scare.

8. Give money ‘tissues’

Looking for a get-well gift idea? Send someone a tissue box containing cash instead of actual tissues.

9. Ask for ‘help’

Show a loved one you appreciate the ways they support you in your daily life by asking them to “help” with a chore, hiding money accordingly.

For instance, maybe your partner is taller than you, and you rely on them to help you grab items from high cabinets. You could hide money with a “Thank You” message in one of those items.

10. Pack their wallet or bag

If your relationship with a partner or loved one is trusting enough that you know they’d have no qualms with you going into their wallet or purse, pack it full of money when they’re not around.

Use small bills so you can include enough cash that they’ll notice it.

Creative Ways to Give Money as a Christmas or Holiday Present

Holidays offer the perfect chance to give money in creative and festive ways. Consider these examples!

11. Stocking stuffers

This creative way to give money as a Christmas gift may seem a little weird to some, but to others, it’s a perfect gag. Surprise a loved one with a twist on the traditional stocking stuffer idea by stuffing a pair of socks you know they plan on wearing soon with some cash.

12. Pick a tree

Consider this idea if you like to turn gifts into arts and crafts projects. Design a diorama that resembles a lot where someone would purchase a Christmas tree, with dollar bills folded into triangles and propped up to look like trees.

13. Hang ornaments

If you typically ask a loved one to help you hang ornaments during the holidays, fill a clear one with a removable top with cash, and write their name on it.

Place it in the bag or box where you usually keep your ornaments, choosing a spot where you’re sure they won’t miss it.

14. Plan an Easter egg hunt

Easter is another fun time to give gifts for some. Bring out an adult loved one’s inner child by filling plastic Easter eggs with cash and sending them on a surprise Easter egg hunt around the house.

15. Wrap holiday bonuses in small boxes

Many companies give all employees small holiday bonuses in the form of gift cards. Surprise your employees by wrapping these bonuses in small boxes.

Creative Ways to Give Money for a Birthday or Another Special Occasion 

A good occasion to give money is also a good occasion to be creative. These ideas can help.

16. Give a ‘boring’ gift

Play a harmless prank on a young person’s birthday by giving them a “boring” gift, such as a pair of socks, with money hidden inside.

17. Show sympathy with a picture

Giving money on an occasion that’s “special” for sad reasons can be difficult. You might wonder what the right funeral gift money amount is, or if you should even include money in a sympathy card.

That said, if you know someone who lost a loved one would appreciate the gesture, send them a framed picture of the loved one among family and friends, and tie a small envelope with money inside on top of the picture, positioning it near someone’s arms or hands so it looks like they’re presenting it as a gift.

18. Fill up some balloons

This is another fun and creative way to give money during a birthday celebration. Most party stores carry perfectly clear balloons you can fill with confetti.

Add in some cash and challenge the birthday haver to pop them and collect their “winnings.”

19. Cheer them up at work

Do you know someone who sadly has to report to a retail or hospitality job on a special day, whether it’s their birthday, Mother’s Day, or any similar occasion?

Cheer them up by stopping by and making a purchase. When it comes time to pay, hand them a gift card first, instead of your actual debit or credit card. Just make sure you actually pay for your purchase too!

20. Add some fun to a meal

Serving someone breakfast in bed or simply making their favorite meal is a common way to celebrate a special occasion.

When the meal is over, deliver the “check” as if they were at a restaurant, surprising them with money or a gift card instead of a bill for the meal.

Creative Ways to Donate Money for a Special Cause

Whether you’re making a memorial donation or simply donating to a cause that’s important to you, it never hurts to donate in a creative manner. The following are some ways you can do so.

21. Donate in someone’s name

Making a donation in the name of someone who either would have strongly supported a cause, or having a little fun by donating in the name of someone opposed to a good cause, is a fun way to make a basic donation more creative.

22. Put on a show

If you’re a talented performer, or you know people who are, raise even more money for a donation by organizing a variety show and donating all the money from ticket sales.

23. Play trivia

Jeopardy! often broadcasts special episodes featuring celebrities donating their winnings to charities, with the amount of money donated based on their performance in the game.

Put a twist on this by deciding on an amount of money to donate to a cause ahead of time, then host a trivia night, with the plan to donate 50 percent of the sum in the name of the winning team, 25 percent in the name of the second-place team, etc. This can help spread awareness.

24. Declutter

Inspire your loved ones or friends to give to charity (and declutter their homes) with a spring cleaning challenge.

When they’re cleaning their homes, they should identify items they no longer need, selling them online and donating the proceeds.

25. Organize a charity backyard BBQ

Plan a simpler version of the charity dinners popular among the rich and famous by hosting a backyard BBQ with a jar where guests can deposit money to donate to a cause.

You may want to encourage everyone to make a donation to place their money in envelopes, so no guests feel ashamed of not donating as much as others.

Creative Ways to Give Money: Ideas Worth Keeping in Mind

Giving money as a gift or donation is rarely a bad idea. If you’re tired of putting cash in a card or handing it over discreetly, hopefully these tips will simply help you do so more creatively. 

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