Wednesday, June 12, 2024

30 Best Money Gift Ideas To Surprise Your Loved Ones

Cash is king and an excellent present for a relative or friend for birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, and other significant events. However, simply stuffing an envelope with a wad of bills or a gift card.

Many thoughtful money gift ideas can exhibit your appreciation for that special someone. It can also create memories and spark exciting conversations.

Best Money Gift Ideas

Below are many creative ways to disguise cash in unique crafts and gag gifts. You get to decide how much money to include and you can let your imagination run wild. 

1. Box of Chocolates

box of chocolates

Credit: Pinterest

Chocolate lovers can find a box of chocolates filled with bills and coins as an unexpected yet satisfying treat. Simply reuse an empty chocolate box and fill it with money. Consider getting a heart-shaped box if it’s a Valentine’s Day gift.

To borrow a line from Forrest Gump, one of my favorite movies,” Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” Including different dollar bill denominations and coin values in the box produces an assortment. 

Including silver coins in the mix can be another sweet treat that collectors will appreciate.      

2. Cash Bath Bombs

jewelry candles

Credit: Jewelry Candles

A cash bath bomb is a fun idea for those who love relaxing in a warm bath and also for kids. You won’t have to make this gift, as it arrives premade from Jewelry Candles

Each bomb contains a waterproof wrapper containing a minimum $2 bill. The manufacturer states that some mystery balls contain as much as $2,500 in cash. However, most customer reviews indicate that most single bombs and multi-packs only contain a $2 bill.

3. Cash Bouquet

cash bouquet

Credit: It’s Always Autumn

Instead of only giving a flower bouquet, you can supplement it with a cash bouquet. Referencing the above image, It’s Always Autumn uses 25 bills, bamboo skewers, scotch tape, and additional basic crafting supplies.

Here is a YouTube video about folding bills for a money bouquet by KK House. It shows four different folding methods to help you make it quickly and elegantly.  

4. Cash Can

cash can

Credit: It’s Always Autumn

Dads and grads may love the novelty of a cash can. First, open the tin can at the bottom and drain the contents. After it dries, put money inside and seal it up. As it looks brand new, the person can open it from the top to see the surprise inside. 

Another option is to keep the top open but decorate it to conceal the contents. Designing a label for a special occasion can make this the perfect money gift idea.

5. Cash Vitamins

cash vitamins

Credit: DIY Inspired

Filling an old prescription or vitamin bottle with money is a fun idea to “keep the doctor away.” Many of us have several old canisters at home, and you can use different ones to hold different dollar amounts. This is similar to taking different vitamins to boost your body in various ways.

While I haven’t tried gifting cash vitamins, my wife’s grandfather calls jelly beans his vitamins. So, one year, the grandchildren gave him several bottles labeled “Pappy’s Vitamins.”   

6. Cash in School Supplies

cash in school supplies

Credit: Pinterest

A witty back-to-school idea is to incorporate money with school supplies. One idea is to wrap crayons, colored pencils, or markers with dollar bills. Another option is to use a dollar bill as a bookmark in textbooks or other reading material.

You may make this gift for students, teachers, and graduates. This is a fun way to help people use the money to buy what they need to get through the academic year.

7. Cash Mason Jar

cash mason jars

Credit: My Home Based Life

Taking an empty jar and hiding money and other goodies inside helps fund a hidden gift jar. You may include the money with their favorite candy or other small Christmas gift ideas.

Another option is filling the jar with coins and bills. Next, have the recipient guess how much money is in the jar. Perhaps the amount is equal to their age if it’s a birthday gift, but you might use only pennies, nickels, and dimes to make it harder to guess.

8. Cash Scavenger Hunt

scavenger hunt

Credit: Hallmark

My children love going on scavenger hunts, whether the prize is for cash, gifts, or their favorite snack food, as they search for multiple clues until finding the reward. You can print customizable clues that you leave at various indoor and outdoor spots. 

We usually write a handful of clues and place them through our house. Some go outside to gain more hiding spots if it’s fair weather. You can adjust the number of clues and the complexity based on the age of the participants and property size.   

9. “Cheddar” Cheese

cheddar cheese cash

Credit: Etsy

You can attach printable designs to a cheese bag for birthday “cheddar” or “birthday cheese” to have fun with the slang term with money. 

Other possibilities include “birthday dough” or “birthday bread,” where you place money inside of a bread wrapper, cookie box, or something similar. You can print out the design and trim it to size before adding the critical ingredient of money.  

10. Cold Hard Cash

cold hard cash

Credit: Sunburst Gifts 

This money gift idea takes the expression “cold, hard cash” to the next level. First, place the money in a Ziploc bag before adding water to create a frozen Tupperware container. Be sure to leave enough room for the water to expand as it freezes.

Leave the container in the freezer until it’s time to open gifts. It’ll be fun to see the reaction once they discover what’s inside and how to open it. 

11. Emergency Cash

emergency cash

Credit: TidyLady Printables

Like a fire extinguisher glass case, you can frame a legal tender inside a picture frame or a shadow box. TidyLady offers a printable border with a slot to mount the bill.  

This gag gift can be suitable for many events, including starting an emergency fund. If the recipient ever needs to use the cash or wants to switch which bill they wish to showcase, they can easily access it by removing the frame backing instead of breaking the glass.   

12. Hide Money in a Book

money book

Credit: Ideas 2 Live 4

I love reading books, so this gift idea is an excellent way to conceal money instead of just slipping a few bills into the book. Consider finding a book by the person’s favorite author or series.

Next, you can cut several pages until you reach the desired depth and use Mod Podge or a similar adhesive to glue the pages together. It’s now ready to be one of the best places to hide money around your home.

If the thought of cannibalizing a good book for a gift makes you nervous, you can also purchase a book safe. This product has a hidden compartment to store valuables with the exterior appearance of a book.

13. Hide Money in a Game

hide money

Credit: Instructables

You can hide money in a person’s favorite board game or card game. It may involve carving and gluing some of the pieces or accessories. For instance, you might get a deck of cards with a false bottom. 

Regarding board games, you might hide the cash in a box of trivia cards or find a way to incorporate it into the playing board.

14. Gift of Stock

stock gift

Credit: Stockpile

You may prefer giving a money gift that can create long-term wealth. One option is buying stocks for kids through custodial accounts. For example, my parents invested money from my grandparents when I was a child. I didn’t necessarily appreciate it at the time, but I do now after several decades of compound interest.

I also like Stockpile, as you can provide a gift card for stock or crypto. One possibility is gifting fractional shares of a child’s favorite brand. You can buy up to $200 without gifting fees or debit card fees and help the recipient start investing. 

15. Money Balloons

money balloon

Credit: Pinterest

Money balloons are relatively easy and inexpensive to make. Include money inside a transparent or opaque balloon and see what’s inside. This idea is classic for grads, newlyweds, birthdays, and other special occasions. 

You can also have fun customizing the designs and colors to make an ornate gift. It’s possible to fill with air or helium. 

16. Money Cake

money cake

Credit: Little Blue Egg

Celebrate special occasions by rolling dollar bills and stacking them to make a money cake. There are a few different ways to accomplish this, but Little Blue Egg recommends using a cake platter and foam tiers to have multiple layers.  

Next, paint the top of each tier before stacking. Finally, you can roll dollar bills to serve as frosting and pinning each into the foam. 

17. Money Clip

money clip

Credit: Pixabay

You can purchase a money clip or minimalist wallet and include dollar bills inside. Several years ago, my brother gifted me a wallet from a foreign country he lived in. I still use it to carry my cash. 

Customizing this gift can be worthwhile. It can be a monogram with the person’s name or a memorable quote. When researching ideas for this article, I laughed at this prompt, “For the money my wife and daughters haven’t taken.” 

18. Money Lei

money lei

Credit: My Pinterventures

Crafting a money lei takes more effort than other handmade gifts, but you can have a lot of latitude when crafting the final design. It’s best to have at least 100 crisp bills as they are easier to fold. My Pinterventures recommends contacting your bank ahead of time to secure a sufficient quantity.

You can string each folded bill together with ribbon or string. This craft gives you the flexibility of tying on other novelties like small candies, beads, or trinkets. 

19. Money in a Tissue Box

money tissue box

Credit: One Hundred Dollars a Month

The next time someone needs a tissue, you may hand them money in a tissue box. Start by tapping each bill end to end. It will ultimately create a roll that pulls out when you pull the top.

Writing a note suggesting exploring what’s inside is also common. Tissue boxes are easy to obtain, and you can assemble this gift idea in a short amount of time for graduates and others who may get a laugh from your creativity.  

20. Money Notepad

money notepad

Credit: Chica and Jo

Surprise your loved ones by making a money notepad. First, compile your bills—preferably crisp and new—and stack them with a straight edge. Next, apply padding compound on one end and clamp until it dries.

Once it dries, the dollar bills look like a notepad or stationery where you can pull one piece off at a time. If you’re like me, you enjoy hearing the rustling noise as you run the paper on your thumb.    

21. Money Pez Dispenser

money pez

Credit: My Frugal Christmas

Pez dispensers are a timeless gift idea. You can choose from seasonal dispenser designs and candy flavors. Typically, you load them with Pez tablets to eat and enjoy, but you can sneak a pleasant surprise inside with money to buy a treat for later.

Rolling a paper bill and inserting it securely into the dispenser is easy. Consider leaving a hint to look inside to find the money.

22. Money Pizza

money pizza

Credit: Pinterest

A money pizza can also be an exciting gift with plenty of possibilities to personalize for graduations and birthdays of any age. Ask for a clean box from the giftee’s favorite pizza shop and arrange the various bills to appear as slices. People add multiple coins to serve as toppings.

Feel free to customize the box by attaching gift cards to the inside of the top lid. Other ideas include writing “fresh dough” or something similar. 

23. Money Tree

money tree

Credit: Holidappy

After completing this craft, you can finally say that money grows on trees. There are several designs; you can roll and fold bills like branches and leaves. One option is attaching them to a foam cone to look like a Christmas tree.

If you have limited crafts time, buy an imitation tree and tape or clip the dollars to the branches. This alternative design is an excellent option during any season.

24. Money Origami

money origami

Credit: The Daily Dabble

There are many options for crafting money origami with easy and complex designs. You can fold the bills into figures that the gift recipient will enjoy. 

Some options include dollar t-shirts, hearts, fish, butterflies, and stars. There are many free how-to tutorials and videos for the designs you’re looking for.

25. Money Umbrella

money umbrella

Credit: Missionary Mail

It can be raining money by stringing paper bills to an umbrella. Feel free to make each strand longer to simulate multiple “raindrops.”

You can give money to help start a rainy day fund or another clever purpose. It’s also a fun way to gift a new umbrella if the recipient needs a replacement. 

26. Money Wreath

money wreath

Credit: Sugar Bee Crafts

A money wreath can commemorate a graduation or birthday. It can also have a seasonal flair for Christmas, fall, or spring. Buying a foam wreath ring is usually the easiest way to make this craft. 

You can wrap bills of multiple denominations and keep them in place with pins. A personalized sign mentioning the person’s name or the reason for the celebration can also be added.

27. Photo Album with Money Pictures

photo album

Credit: Pinterest

Gifting a photo album in today’s digital age might feel boring, but the “photos” can be worth a look. That’s because you slide paper money into each photo sleeve. 

This can be a fun way to display rare dollar bills or give a gift for any occasion. 

28. Piggy Bank

piggy bank

Credit: Pixabay

A piggy bank is another classic way to save money by storing coins and bills. Many designs are available online, and you can also check local stores.

In addition to loading it up with loose change, you can personalize the design. For example, a family member hand-painted my daughter’s name on her piggy bank as a birthday gift.   

29. Play-Doh Money

play-doh money

Credit: What Mommy Does

If the children in your life are like mine, their eyes light up and their imaginations go into overdrive when they see a Play-Doh container. These are not just any toy; they contain “play dough” (pun intended) to buy the good stuff.

You can roll up multiple bills and stuff them into the Play-Doh. It’s not a bad idea to have some unopened containers to enjoy the malleable putty until they can go to the store. 

30. Wall Decor

wall money

Credit: Michael’s

There are numerous money wall hangings that you can give. It can be easiest to buy one from a store, but you can get creative with artistic pieces to display in an office, public business, or a private study. 

Starting from scratch can be good if you have the tools and materials. Modifying an existing article is another possibility. The best option depends on your resources, skills, and the recipient’s interests. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are several questions to consider when comparing the best money gift ideas.

How do you give money in a cool way?

Money leis and money origami are beautiful and can require plenty of assembly time, which makes them more unique. If the recipient loves a good joke, a gag gift like “cold hard cash,” an emergency case, or a tissue box can be better.   

Is money a good gift for someone?

Money is important and a cash gift can provide flexibility for the recipient to spend it on things they need or when they are ready to use it more efficiently. It’s also helpful when buying locally is cheaper to avoid shipping costs. Finally, giving a money gift demonstrates that you want to provide a thoughtful gift and that the person is unique to you.   

How do you gift dollar bills?

There are many ways to gift dollar bills, some of the easiest being a photo album containing currency, a money-filled wallet, or slipping bills into balloons. You may also enjoy producing ornate crafts or gag gifts to create memories.  


These money gift ideas can be the perfect option for significant life milestones when simply stuffing cash or gift cards into an envelope is not an option. 

The recipient is bound to love one of the options mentioned above, and it’s a fun project for all involved.  

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