How to Ask for Money Instead of Birthday Gifts (Via An Invitation!)

It sounds awkward, off-putting and for some, rude, but as a parent, I find monetary gifts more practical and sensible than physical birthday gifts. 

My daughter certainly doesn’t need any more toys, clothes, books – I can get that for her and then some! But how to ask for money instead of birthday gifts?

How do you delicately do it creatively, without turning off other parents? What can you say in the birthday invitation that won’t sound too pushy or desperate?

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. In this article, you’ll find practical tips and sample phrases you can use to ask for monetary gifts, in a decent and approachable manner. But first…

What are the Types of Monetary Gifts?

Here are some monetary gift ideas you can ask your guests:

  1. Cash: The simplest and most versatile option.
  2. Gift Cards: Your kid can choose their gifts from their favorite stores!
  3. College Fund Contribution: The most practical gift you can ever give your child. Hopefully, they would want to attend college someday but that’s another story.
  4. Savings Account: A thoughtful gift that encourages financial literacy for your little one.
  5. Donation to Charity: If you don’t need anything for your kid and your child is genuinely happy with what they have, then charity it is!

Creative Ways to Ask for Money Instead of Birthday Gifts (In a Birthday Invitation)

Here are some polite and creative ways to ask for monetary gifts via birthday invitations:

  1. “We hope to see you at the party! Your presence is a gift enough but if you would like to bring a gift, here are a few things he/she is into these days: ” Then put the link or a QR code for scanning, that will lead them to your Amazon Gift Registry.
  2. “…Your presence is a gift enough but if you would like to bring a gift, we’d appreciate some gift vouchers from [Child’s Name] favorite stores:” Then list down the names of the shops.
  3. “…Your presence is a gift enough but if you feel inclined, we’d appreciate some gift cards from [list down the name of shops or ecommerce stores)”
  4. “Instead of presents, we’re collecting contributions towards [his/her] education fund. Any donation will be greatly appreciated!” Then provide a link to your kid’s 529 plan.
  5. “In lieu of traditional gifts, [Child’s Name] is saving up for (can be college fund, laptop, or any expensive necessities). Any amount would be greatly appreciated!” Then provide your PayPal email.
  6. “For [Child’s Name]’s special day, we’re skipping traditional gifts and instead would like to collect funds for (his/her) savings account. Any amount would be greatly appreciated!”
  7. “For [Child’s Name]’s special day, we’re skipping traditional gifts and instead would like to collect funds for (Name of Charity/ Organization). Any amount would be greatly appreciated!”
  8. “Your presence is the greatest gift. But if you’re inclined, pick a charity from this list to gift to. Let’s help those truly in need, Together, we’ll do a good deed!”

Extra Tips Before Asking for Money As A Gift

Discuss this with your kid first

If they’re old enough, tell them your plans about asking for money for what they want, like a new laptop or gift cards to their favorite shop. Or what they’ll need in the future, like a college fund.

Make sure that your child is on board with this idea

It’s their birthday and they might not appreciate monetary gifts yet that are going to their educational fund.

Don’t force your kid

If they don’t feel like giving to a charity or contributing to their college fund or any other funds, don’t force it then. But do explain to them the spirit of generosity or the value of thinking long-term for their future. Just don’t guilt them into choosing a monetary gift.

Don’t ask for too much

Don’t list down expensive gifts in your Amazon gift registry or specifically ask for 100-dollar cash as a birthday gift. A $20 gift (maximum) on a gift registry would do and any amount would be fine for a cash gift.

Asking for Money Instead of Birthday Gifts Is Not Rude, Tacky Nor Desperate

I know every child would want a birthday gift, but what if 4 people bought them the same, exact gift for their birthday? That’s a waste of money on the gift-giver part!

So it’s so much better to just get some monetary gift. You can do it in a polite and fun manner, one that’s not cringey and awkward.

Just remember, the ultimate goal of a birthday is to celebrate your kid – gifts or no gifts! So if you invited someone and they don’t even RSVP just because they find monetary gifts tacky, then so be it. If they attend but they give a physical gift, that’s still fine too – hey at least they’re there with a gift to celebrate your kid’s birthday!

And if they do follow your request for a monetary gift as a birthday present, thank them and give them some extra cake or treats. 😊