What's an appropriate cash gift amount? — The Bump
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What's an appropriate cash gift amount?

DH's little sister and her boyfriend just had a baby last week. They did not have a shower, but instead are having a "meet the baby" celebration next month. At our shower two weeks ago they gifted us a $200 play yard. We were waiting until the meet n' greet to give the baby our gift. Word through the grapevine is they are in need of monetary gifts as they've received a lot of hand-me-down baby gear and do not have the space (they're currently in a 1 bdrm apt) for anything else nor are they really in need of anything else (except maybe a glider).  If we do decide to do the cash gift option, what's an appropriate amount? I would think the equivalent of what they gave us which is $200, but DH says this is his little (and only) sister so we should be more generous. He wants to give them $500, we are certainly in a position to be generous, but I don't want them to feel bad if we gave more than they were able to give us. Does that make sense? So I was thinking a nice compromise would be to buy them a glider and then maybe an additional $200 cash gift as "baby's birthday fund..etc" or something. What do you ladies think? Yes, we are a very close, loving and generous family :)

Re: What's an appropriate cash gift amount?

  • For our siblings, we gifted them the same amount they gifted us. If they are in need of cash, and you have the means, I would think it would be ok to give more. However, giving so much more might make them feel uncomfortable.
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  • I agree with PP. Also, when you are in need, specially for your child, I think all pride goes out the window and they will be thankful that you were able to help them out. I saw give as much as you can, and if you really feel bad maybe give a monetary contribution and then figure out what else do they need (diapers, baby food, formula, bottles, bouncer, etc) and help along the way, sometimes the big surprise comes when you have unexpected expenses later on

    hth

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  • I say if you can afford it, go for it!! That is a very generous gift:)  I'm sure they will appreciate it.
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  • If you feel weird about giving them $500 in cash then why not give them $200 in cash and the rest as something like a savings bond?  
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  • I think that is a great idea if you are getting them something that they need as well as giving cash.  Don't worry about what you spend, people give what they can give.  I find that I end up spending a lot more on friends and family when it comes to those things, but it is because I have the means to do so and I love to spoil my close friends and family!  :-)
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  • I support the idea of the savings bond as well.

    You might also consider several gift cards to places you know they will shop - BRU, Target, grocery store, etc. 5 gift certs for $100 each don't seem as overwhelming as a $500 check. 

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  • imageMelleTX:

    I support the idea of the savings bond as well.

    You might also consider several gift cards to places you know they will shop - BRU, Target, grocery store, etc. 5 gift certs for $100 each don't seem as overwhelming as a $500 check. 

    I really like this idea and was thinking something like that.  You could do the $200 check and then $300 over three gift cards.  There are always unexpected surprises/items you thought you didn't need and want, and gift cards would be great for that.  And while it is a silly perception thing, but I agree that gift cards don't feel as overwhelming as a big check. 

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  • imageflorquevedo:

    I agree with PP. Also, when you are in need, specially for your child, I think all pride goes out the window and they will be thankful that you were able to help them out. I saw give as much as you can, and if you really feel bad maybe give a monetary contribution and then figure out what else do they need (diapers, baby food, formula, bottles, bouncer, etc) and help along the way, sometimes the big surprise comes when you have unexpected expenses later on

    hth

    This is exactly what I was going to say.  Give them the $200, and find other ways to give them the rest (I had a few friends buy me healthy groceries when DD was a newborn and it was the best gift EVER).  Bring them dinner, buy the boring stuff like diapers and wipes, and they'll be appreciative. 

    ETA: this is super generous of you!

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  • It is a sibling, you can give whatever you want.  With my family I always seem to give more than receive (I sure hope my 4 siblings dont mind!).  So I think 500 is fine if that is what DH wants to give and you have it to give.
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  • I agree with PP about doing some cash, and maybe a gc to like Kroger or something and just say to "buy more diapers, formula, or whatever!" Play it off like that, so they can still get groceries or soemthing if need be.  So very generous of you and your DH, and I think they will understand you guys are in a position to give and they will be grateful.



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  • If I were in your position (it's H's little sister and you can afford it), I'd just give $500.  Don't buy the glider.  They can get a used glider for $100 or less.  Giving them cash gives them that flexibility. 

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  • In my family, GCs are kind of poo poo'd (I'm Filipino).  I think the suggestions of GCs are nice, but only you know your family and what they would appreciate.  I know in my family and culture, cash is preferred over GCs.
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  • I would do the cash. If they really need it then it would be the most practical.
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