Turning the tassel is a major milestone, and graduates aren’t the only ones celebrating hard work and dedication. Family and friends want to celebrate the big accomplishment, too.

Following the formal pomp and circumstance, people like to party it up. And as much as graduates appreciate traditional gifts, what they really appreciate is money.

Extra cash helps graduates face new financial challenges with less stress, whether they’re planning to earn another degree, pay back student loans, or move to a new city.

But how do people ask for a monetary graduation gift without looking rude or tacky? Can you ask for money? 

Similarly, if you know someone who’s graduating, what’s a fun way to give money as a gift or pool money for big-ticket items?

Navigate graduation money and clear up any confusion with Braid. Here, you’ll discover:

  • Why monetary graduation gifts are always a good idea
  • How people ask for money as a graduation gift
  • What Braid Money Pools are
  • 3 fun ways to give money as a gift
  • How much money should I give for graduation?
  • How to gather contributions for a 529 plan with Braid

Start your free Braid Money Pool to send or collect monetary graduation gifts

Why monetary graduation gifts are always a good idea

Ask any graduate what the best graduation gift is and they’ll say “Money!” 

Post-grad life comes with new financial obligations and that can be stressful. No matter how much graduation money you get (or give), it offsets a wide range of expenses like:

  • College tuition
  • Graduate school tuition
  • Fees for bar exams, board certifications, etc.
  • Gap year expenses, like airfare, lodging, etc. 
  • Unpaid internships
  • Moving expenses
  • Big-ticket items, like home goods and appliances, etc.

How do people ask for money as a graduation gift?

Money is the #1 graduation gift. So, if you send out graduation announcements and people plan to give a gift, there’s a good chance they’ll give money. 

But asking for money in the wrong way can feel tacky and rude. How do people navigate this situation so the graduation gift hits the mark?

Whatever you do, don’t ask for money in the graduation announcements. It makes people less eager to give a gift. 

That doesn't mean you have to cross your fingers and hope for the best though. You can still guide people to consider giving a monetary gift. Here’s how.  

1. Share your story

One way to inspire people to give a monetary gift is to share the student’s story in the graduation announcement. For example:

  • After graduating from high school, what’s next? A degree? A big move? How do they plan to use their gifts, talents, and skills? 
  • After earning a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree, what’s next? Share the focus of your studies and how you plan to use them moving forward. Are you pursuing a higher degree? Are you moving to another city?

Let people feel your pride. Make your excitement tangible. When people feel like they’re involved in this important milestone, they’ll feel proud, too. They may even feel inspired to give graduation money, too. 

2. Welcome both traditional and monetary gifts

Are you planning a graduation party? The invitation might be the best place to share the kind of gifts that guests can bring.

For example, tell people that their attendance at the party is already a great gift. Then, close the invitation stating that if they would like to bring a gift, you are gratefully accepting both traditional and monetary gifts in any amount.

Whatever the approach, guests should always feel like they are choosing to give in a way that feels correct and comfortable to them

3. Make it easy for people to give graduation money with Braid Money Pools

Whether you’re the graduate, the parent, or the BFF, start a Braid Money pool for everyone’s graduation money gifts. 

Braid Pools are incredibly easy for everyone to use. Once you set yours up, all you need to do is share the pool link with family and friends so they can contribute monetary graduation gifts.

After everyone has contributed, the funds can be spent directly from the pool using the free Braid debit card that comes with it. 

New to Braid? Braid Money Pools are the best place to collect everyone’s gift money.

4. Pool money for big-ticket gifts

Graduates sometimes need specific gifts, like a new laptop or house furniture. But these gifts can cost too much for one person’s budget - including the graduate’s. Take a look:

  • Laptop or iPad
  • Chic luggage
  • Luxury watch
  • Business attire
  • Airfare tickets for gap year trips 
  • A personalized laptop bag or backpack
  • Home goods
  • Furniture
  • Cookery sets 

Even though these gifts might be expensive, that doesn’t mean they’re off limits. With Braid Money Pools, you can take them off the wishlist and make them gifts. 

It’s a win-win for everyone. 

The graduate gets to purchase exactly what they need without breaking the bank. And everyone who pitches in gets to contribute to the graduate’s life in a meaningful way. 

Ready to start your Braid Pool? Click here.

What are Braid Money Pools?

Braid is a shared wallet

Braid is a dedicated place where people can collect, manage, and spend graduation money. For example, graduates can collect monetary gifts, and family and friends can pool money for a group gift or a joint money gift. 

Every pool has a pool link that you customize and share with friends and family so they can contribute. 

The pool link doesn’t have to look like a bunch of gobbly gook. You get to decide what it says. For example, it can include the graduate’s name, nickname, or anything else that people easily remember. 

You can share the link anywhere - via text, email, social media, and more. 

It’s easy for people to add graduation money to the pool

Giving a monetary graduation gift is a generous thing to do. With Braid, it’s easy and convenient for people to give whatever they can. 

Simply share the pool link with everyone. Then, they add money using the link and their debit card. 

They don’t need a Braid account, they don't have to pay any fees, and it only takes a minute or two. 

Spend graduation money directly from the pool

Whether you’re collecting monetary graduation gifts, pooling funds to give a substantial monetary gift, or collecting money for a big-ticket item, it’s easy to spend pool money. 

Every Braid Pool comes with a free debit card that allows you to spend pool funds everywhere Visa is accepted. You can also request a physical debit card if you prefer that.

With Braid, you can make payments or purchases for everything on the graduate checklist, like: 

  • Big-ticket group gift
  • Joint monetary gift
  • College books and supplies
  • Dorm furnishings 
  • Loan payments
  • Moving expenses
  • Fees for licensing, board certifications, bar exams, etc.

In addition to spending pool funds with the Braid card, you can also transfer funds to a bank account at any time.

Make it easy for people to give a monetary graduation gift with Braid

3 fun ways to give money as a gift 

Giving cash can feel cold and impersonal. Do you want fun ways to give money as a gift? Here are three ways Braid makes money cool and light. 

1. Send money to the graduate’s Braid Pool

If someone’s turning the tassel soon, invite them to start a Braid Pool so you and others have an easy way to give them money. 

Braid is great because:

  • It’s 100% free for everyone involved
  • Contributors don’t need a Braid account to send money 
  • It only takes a few minutes to give money
  • End-to-end encryption keeps personal data private and secure
  • Money collects in this dedicated wallet until the graduate chooses to spend it

2. Give a monetary group gift with Braid

No one wants to look cheap, but sometimes it’s impossible to give more than a small amount to celebrate someone’s graduation. 

You can fix this uncomfortable situation by pooling money with other people. 

Start a Braid Pool and share your pool link so others can pitch in. Once everyone makes their contribution, you can give money as a group gift in the following two ways: 

  • Text the pool link to the recipient. Once they download Braid, they can either spend money directly from the pool with the pool debit card, or they can transfer funds to their bank account. 
  • Collect everyone’s gift money in one pool and then transfer it to a new pool just for the graduate. Personalize the new pool with a photo and short description so the graduate feels extra special. 

3. Pool money for big-ticket items

Whether you’re graduating or know someone who is, there’s a good chance you need to collect funds to help offset an expensive purchase.

Setting up a Braid Money Pool is a great way to collect funds for anything on the graduate’s wish list. Once everyone has pitched in, share the pool with the graduate and give them much-appreciated financial support. 

How much money should I give for graduation?

Money is a great graduation gift, but how much do people usually give? It depends on the relationship with the graduate and whether they’re graduating from high school or college.

How much money should you give a high school graduate as a gift? On average, gifts range from $50 to $200 depending on your relationship.

What about other graduates? How much money should you give a college graduate as a gift? 

Most agree that giving at least $50 is appropriate for college graduates. Depending on the relationship, you can give up to $500.

Whatever amount you choose, it’s important to give what you comfortably can. Rest assured: no matter the amount, graduates always appreciate cash.

How to gather contributions for a 529 plan with Braid

Money is the most popular graduation gift for obvious reasons: education is expensive. 529 plans can help. 

A 529 plan is an investment account that is designed to grow funds for education. Funds can be withdrawn tax-free and used to offset specific expenses, like tuition and fees, student loans, off-campus housing, and more. 

Usually, parents open a 529 plan for their children and make regular contributions in it. But Braid makes it possible for anyone to pitch in to the 529. 

Is putting money in a 529 considered a gift?

Yes! Friends and family are usually happy to contribute to a 529 plan because their gift grows over time and supports your child’s academic future.

What is the best way to contribute to a 529 plan?

Handing over cash can feel impersonal. So, instead of turning parties into an opportunity to exchange money, family and friends can contribute to the Braid Pool. 

Once everyone adds money to the Braid pool, you can deposit it into the 529. This way, everyone can socialize and have a good time without focusing on money. This also allows you to collect funds without mixing them up in your bank account.

Asking for money can feel strange, but people usually want to give monetary graduation gifts and support the student’s endeavors. 

With Braid, it’s easy to give and receive money as a gift. It’s also the ideal tool when you want to pool money for big-ticket items or contribute to a 529 plan. 

Celebrate your graduation with your free Braid Money Pool today!