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PUTTING THE SPARKLE INTO GIVING CASH AS A GIFT TO TEENS
Here’s a bunch of creative ways to give money to a teenager so that the act of handing over cold, hard cash doesn’t kill the Christmas or birthday festive vibe.
Yes, the truth is that for many kids, once they get into their teens, the gift they appreciate most is money. But where’s the fun in just handing over cash in an envelope?
Having done a little research and successfully tried out a few methods myself, I’ve discovered that it is possible to add a little sparkle to giving cash as a gift.
CREATIVE WAYS TO GIVE MONEY TO A TEEN FOR BIRTHDAYS AND CHRISTMAS
Here is my roundup of fun and creative ideas for giving money as a gift to the teenagers in your life, none of which involve simply gift cards!
1. MONEY PLUS
My preferred tactic is to combine a monetary gift with a non-monetary surprise, like tickets to a concert or a little luxury beauty or grooming gift. It’s a great way to add a little magic to an otherwise boring transactional process. It also means I still get to do one of my favourite things, which is to hunt down the perfect gift.
2. THE MONEY SCAVENGER HUNT
Yep, make them work for it!! I’d suggest this is a scavenger hunt that needs to be done at home or in your garden; otherwise, you might find the money disappears before it’s found!
Create a series of clues or riddles that lead the birthday teen to discover increments of their total cash gift dotted around the hunt zone.
Either give them a clue sheet at the start of the scavenger hunt or leave the next clue with each stash of cash.
3. FAKE IT UNTIL THEY MAKE IT
Another idea that works super well for 13-year-olds receiving money as a gift for the first time or for a sweet sixteen is to hide the money in a fake something or other, like a chocolate box.
Given that, thanks to TikTok, Toblerone is a thing with teenagers at the moment, how about stuffing a Toblerone box with cash?
4. PIZZA DOUGH
Ok, so you get that ‘dough’ is slang for ‘money’, yes? Well, how about using a pizza box as a pun-tastic way to give your teenager a wedge of dough?
5. MONEY MAZE PUZZLE
Now, this gift possibly has as much chance of annoying your teen as enthralling them, but I’ll tell you anyway… give them their money gift inside a money maze puzzle.
They will have to use skill and perseverance to get to the money within.
6. MONEY DOES GROW ON TREES
How about creating an actual money tree? Festoon a Christmas tree with DIY baubles filled with cash, or fill one large bauble with a wedge of cash.
Or you could use a cute little money gift holder like this one.
7. COLD HARD CASH
Now, this is a corker of an idea! How about freezing a stack of money in a block of ice? You will need to place it in a clear waterproof bag first and then pop the bag into a decorative mould to create a block of ice.
Present your teen with a block of ice and a tiny ice pick, and they can hack away to get to their gift.
8. MONEY BALLOONS – THREE WAYS
I have to give mention to money-filled balloons, which is a very mischievous way to gift a teenager money.
You’ll need some transparent balloons. Carefully insert the cash into the balloons before blowing them up. Your teen will need to pop each balloon to retrieve the money inside. It’ll make for some brilliant photo opportunities that they can POP (pun intended) onto social media.
Personally, I love a confetti-filled balloon and think they’d make great money holders!
If you don’t fancy the furore of multiple balloons being popped, you could opt for this more sedate single balloon option…
Or you could create a balloon bouquet by filling confetti-filled balloons with cash and then inflating them with helium.
9. CUDDLY MONEY
A super cute way to gift money is to stuff it inside a cuddly toy. You will need to feel confident you can perform a delicate operation on the cuddly toy, especially if you want it to be kept afterwards.
The operation will involve opening the cuddly toy up along a seam, stuffing the money inside and then using fabric glue to seal the toy back up (don’t sew it back up unless you intend your teen to tear their way in, which is a bit gruesome).
10. REAL FORTUNE COOKIE
If you’re good at baking, perhaps you could create a batch of fortune cookies, and then you could place a little promissory note inside one as a delicious way to present your teen with their money gift.
Here’s an easy-to-follow video guide to making fortune cookies at home.
11. FLORAL MONEY BOUQUET
How about giving a bouquet of flowers and money? Whilst you can create a bouquet of money, I think that a bouquet of roses (and/or other flowers) and money is far more beautiful and meaningful. It’s also more practical because it involves fewer banknotes.
Here’s a lovely, easy-to-follow tutorial showing you how to make your own floral money bouquet.
12. POP IT IN A PURSE (OR WALLET)
Now, this is a very practical gift, but if you choose well, your teen will prize their new wallet or purse (almost) as much as the money itself.
Simply choose a wallet or purse to buy and then stuff it with banknotes or write a little promissory note and pop it inside.
BEFORE YOU GO…
Stop by my Gift Guides for more inspiration and ideas to help you find the perfect gifts for your friends and family.
JUST TO REASSURE YOU, IT ISN’T BEING LAZY TO GIFT A TEENAGER MONEY
Giving money as a gift can feel like a very lazy way of gifting, even if your teenager or a teen you know has asked for cash instead of a gift.
So, in case you feel unhappy about simply doling out cash, here’s a list of reasons why teens actually really love receiving money as a gift.
1. IT GIVES THEM FLEXIBILITY
They can use the money to buy whatever they want. They may well be saving up for something big, in which case you are helping them reach their goal.
2. IT GIVES THEM A SENSE OF INDEPENDENCE
Giving a teenager money gives them a sense of independence, especially during the early teen years. It can be a lovely feeling to be able to choose to buy something without having to ask for it or ask permission.
3. SAVING FOR THE FUTURE
Let’s face it: many kids today have the privilege of being showered with gifts and stuff throughout the year. So, giving money is a great way to give them something that they can put towards their future. Think along the lines of a college fund or helping them save up to buy their first car.
Hello, I’m Luci, founder of Mums Make Lists (Est. 2011). Over the last decade or so, I have combined my experience as a mum, journalist and shopping editor to create useful guides and lists of ideas and inspiration to make it easier for busy parents to plan and host kids’ parties and find great gifts. Read more.