FIVE CREATIVE WAYS TO GIFT MONEYGraduation season is here, which means that families throughout Maryland will be giving gifts to teens and young adults embarking on the next phase of their lives.

While money remains the number one graduation gift, you don’t have to simply slip it into a card like everyone else at the party.  Here are five ways to wrap cash, a check, or a gift card creatively:

Give the new graduate a new wallet and money to put it in by placing the funds inside the wallet, then wrapping the wallet as usual.  A piggy bank can be a fun twist on this method as well.  Just remember to drop some coins into the piggy banks as well, so it jingles when the grad shakes it!

Money origami is a fun way to give a new twist to an immediately-recognized gift.  Google “money origami” for instructions on how to fold currency to look like bow ties, frogs, and other whimsical items.  Because no cutting or taping is required, the money can easily be unfolded and spent or placed in the bank.

Instead of loading the entire gift onto one gift card, split it among several gift cards to the recipient’s favorite shops – then set up a “shopping trip” with the grad, in which the two of you hit all the stores on the list and have a nice lunch.  It’s a great way to spend time with your new grad and help him or her pick up some needed or wanted items.

Buy the new grad a book and conceal the cash inside.  While books on money management are perennial favorites for this method, any book will work – and a book from the grad’s favorite genre or series is more likely to be read.

  1. Wrap it inside another gift.
  2. Fold it up.
  3. Turn it into a shopping trip.
  4. Take it to the library.
  5. Invest.

If the sum of money is considerable or the intent is that the grad will invest it, consider purchasing a certificate of deposit (CD), stock, or other investment vehicles for the grad instead of simply handing over the cash.  A financial advisor can help you pick the tools that are right for your new grad.