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  #1  
Old 06/01/09, 11:54 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 399
How much money to give for graduation?

The Graduation party thread got me thinking about how much money do you or should you give as a graduation gift.

My son graduated tonight and thus the parties begin. We are currently invited to three parties and anticipate a few more invites. These parties are not only for DS, they are for the whole family.

My husband's work schedule since Nov. has been that he works 2 weeks and is laid off 2 weeks. I don't want to appear cheap, but we don't have a lot of excess money to spend on graduation gifts.
Last year we gave $40-$50 per graduate, I just can't do that this year.

Do you have any suggestions as to what amount of money would be appropriate or a gift idea other than money that a High Sch. graduate might actually use and enjoy?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions and/or thoughts.

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  #2  
Old 06/01/09, 11:57 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: KY
Posts: 11,467

We might be cheap then. The most we've ever given is $25. Sometimes that's in the form of a gas card or to a particular store we know the graduate could use.

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  #3  
Old 06/02/09, 12:25 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 2,733

The best gift I received for graduating was a few old books a elderly lady adored and thought were suitable for coming-of-age (Wizard of Loneliness, Brothers Karamazov, Mayor of Casterbridge). She said they were used copies and I didn't mind at all. Probably cost her $10 and two of them (couldn't get into Brothers) are amongst my favorite books now. Otherwise, I just got cards, except a check from my rich grandmother when I graduated college. I never expected money from anyone and didn't receive any from anyone else. Didn't know that was traditional until joining HT actually...

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  #4  
Old 06/02/09, 12:53 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: MS
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Guess I'm cheap too. We give nieces and nephews $25 and a small gift (usually a book). The only graduation announcement we received this year was from my cousin's daughter. I sent her a check for $20.09...to commemorate the year she graduated!

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  #5  
Old 06/02/09, 06:37 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Susquehanna, PA
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We usually give gift cards for gasoline if they are not going on to college. If they are, we buy commissary cards or book store gift cards at their school. If we are particularly close to them, a laptop bag for their computer is a nice gift and costs less than $50.

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  #6  
Old 06/02/09, 06:43 AM
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 1,083

I really like that $20.09 idea!

Everyone is having financial worries right now...even those with lots of money are seeing it disappear. Just give what you can and include a nice note.

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  #7  
Old 06/02/09, 07:07 AM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Mid-Michigan
Posts: 4,114

Wow, I must be really cheap!

When ds graduated in 2007 we gave $15, to a few people we had closer relationship with, we gave $20. What ds received was right around that much, with a few people giving checks or gifts worth over $20. So I didn't think what I had given was too far off.

However, this year I reduced it to $10 (no close friends/relatives graduating this year). Economy is bad, dh just got a pay cut, and with the number of open houses we have been invited to and kind of 'must' attend, either they get a smaller gift, or we don't go and they get no gift at all (which seemed more rude than giving $10). Got to keep a roof over my own kids heads right now, that is more important than appearing socially 'correct' in the gift-giving department.

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  #8  
Old 06/02/09, 07:32 AM
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Location: SE Ohio
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$20 is our standard amount also. My kids received amounts from $10 to $100.

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  #9  
Old 06/02/09, 07:59 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: NC
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For friends I usually do $25. For my niece I'll probably do $100.

This graduation discussion reminded me of something. When my siblings and I graduated from high school (from 1972 to 1983) the tradition was to get luggage from our parents. I remember my older sister and brother getting the hard Samsonite luggage set, and I remember thinking then that when it came MY time to graduate, I wanted the soft, pink Samsonite set! How things change. When I graduated in 1983, I loved L.L. Bean stuff (still do), and I asked for the green duffel, haversack, and garment bag. They served me well as I schlepped back and forth to Chapel Hill, and I'm still using them to this day.

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  #10  
Old 06/02/09, 08:00 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: VT
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Ok, I'll see your cheap and raise you... we've never given graduation gifts, except one to our beloved niece. She got a string of pearls.. we swapped tractor work with a guy who is a pilot for a major company and regularly lands in the far east. He picked them up for us in China.

I had no idea I was supposed to send money. Who knew?

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  #11  
Old 06/02/09, 08:10 AM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: PA
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we give family members $100.00. we're stuck on that amount, cause that's also what we give for wedding gifts. people outside of family........$45. to $50. for a gift. that may seem poor to some, but it's what we can afford. period.

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  #12  
Old 06/02/09, 08:31 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 355

As a mom who has a graduate this year and one three years ago, ANY gift is appropriate. We've had friends who did not have jobs and came and stayed with us over night and gave my oldest the gift of singing along with his guitar during the party. What a gift indeed.

We've had others who helped by making some desserts. We've had some that gave the gift of their presence. And yes, we've had some that gave rather large monetary gifts. I had my son send thank you's to each and every one.

As far as I was concerned, the graduation party was for US to celebrate with friends and family this accomplishment. Any gifts my son got, monetarily and otherwise, were just icing on the cake.

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  #13  
Old 06/02/09, 08:45 AM
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,685

I used to give $10 to kids that I just knew through school events and $20 to personal friends. The last few years I raised that to $25 to $40 because I rarely give anyone that is not a personal friend. My nieces I gave $75 to.

My son just graduated and gifts ranged from $20 to $100, I think. $25 seemed the most common for older folks that were just friends of the family.

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  #14  
Old 06/02/09, 09:28 AM
 
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Location: The Little Chicken Ranch
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I give a $20 bill unless it is a relative, then I give $50.

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  #15  
Old 06/02/09, 09:32 AM
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Location: Lake Station
Posts: 14,759

When I graduated i got a whole range of monetary gifts. is this student heading off to college? If so then some goodies to take with them are appreciated too! Or calling cards, etc. I know I appreciated having a calling card that someone got me for a gift.

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  #16  
Old 06/02/09, 09:52 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 399

Thanks so much for the responses.

I really like the $20.09 idea for the year of graduation. I think gas cards would certainly be appreciated by most of them. Maybe a nice coming of age book for one young man in particular.
We will probably stay in the $20-$25 range, which would be more doable this year. You have given me the confidence that amount is acceptable.

These graduates are all great kids and I would love to be extra generous with them if I could. They are a part of our church family, we have watched them grow up and mature, they are special to us.

Morrison Corners- when I graduated HS my parents promised me a pair of black pearl earings, well, dad lost his job that year and I didn't get the earrings. 12 yrs later, my parents went to Hawaii and brought back those earrings for me. They remembered their promise, those earrings are special to me. I'm sure those pearls are special to your neice.

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  #17  
Old 06/02/09, 09:57 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Pawnee Nation, OK
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Why pay students for something that should be expected of them?

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  #18  
Old 06/02/09, 10:01 AM
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Location: Near Charlotte NC
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dd received anywhere from $15 to $25 from most people. Grandparents and my sis and her dh were the exceptions.

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  #19  
Old 06/02/09, 10:10 AM
Living in the Hills
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 4,534

We give a devotional book. We have five children and most of our friends have 1-3. They almost look relieved when we don't give a lot or invite them to our birthday parties.

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  #20  
Old 06/02/09, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutchie View Post
Why pay students for something that should be expected of them?
You aren't "paying" them! I doubt most kids go through high school and do all that work because they figure Aunt June might give them $20.

It is just a nice thing to do, and most teens can use the money. They might need a car, or are going off to college, or getting their first apartment. It is enjoyable to watch them spread their wings and see their excitement at getting started in adulthood.
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