Why Do We Prefer Cash Above Gifts?
Imagine you bought a beautiful and expensive wristwatch as wedding gift for your sister. After the wedding, you ask her whether she likes the gift you gave or not. While you expected an ecstatic answer, she is not exactly pleased about the gift.
She says the gift was pretty nice, but she would’ve been more happy if you gave money instead. Because that’s what she needed the most right now.
Have you ever been in a situation like this? I have been once and it made me think why people prefer cash instead of material gifts.
And here are the different reasons I found for the love of money as gifts.
Reasons for the ‘Cash’ Love
Gifting Cash is Traditional – Giving cash or equivalent as gifts has been the custom and tradition of our country from early days. If you read the epics, puranas or the historical books, the kings, rulers and the common people used to give gold and silver coins as gifts. It is a tradition still followed and something that will always be followed. But more than being just another tradition, there are many other reasons why people choose to gift cash over other gifts.
Cash is More Useful than Any other Gift – When you give cash as gift, you are always giving something more useful.
For instance, take the example of your sister we talked about earlier. Suppose you had given her cash instead of that beautiful and expensive wristwatch. She could use the cash to pay for wedding expenses. She could use the cash to pay-off her bills. She could deposit the cash in her bank account for future use. And this is why she wished to get cash as wedding gift from you.
Your material gift, on the other hand, doesn’t help your giftee as much as cash does. At least, when it comes to paying off the bills and expenses. This is why we say, if you gift cash, it would be more useful for the recipient.
Cash Helps them Buy What they Want – Imagine you spend all the weekend to understand your giftee and buy an appropriate gift for her. You talk to her relatives and friends, you browse her Facebook page to find something helpful and you buy one in the end. You wrap it beautifully and give it to her on that special day. Now, here is my question to you. Are you sure she will like your gift? What if she already owns the gift you bought? Everything you did and the time you spend is now a line drawn on the water.
The story has a unpleasant end, yes, but there is something valuable to learn from it. And that is, again, the advantage of giving cash as gift. With the cash you give, your giftee can buy whatever they want and like. She will be happy for the cash she received. You don’t have to spend a whole lot of time and be dejected about the fact that she hated your gift. Cash is always a winning gift.
Cash Saves Your Time – Here is one of the most popular gift giving problems. You don’t have time to buy gifts. Maybe because you waited until the last minute to buy gifts or maybe you forgot about the occasion itself. Whatever the reason might be, shopping at this last minute is never a joy. So, instead of shopping on this last minute, gift cash.
This is another reason why people choose cash over any other gifts. You don’t have to run around looking for a gift on the last possible minute. Cash is always there as an alternative. Even if you are not attending the wedding, birthday or whatever the occasion is, you can always send cash gifts to the recipient through electronic transfers. Yes, you can send other gifts too through post or courier, but it won’t reach the giftee as fast as electronically transferred cash.
Cash is Always Better than Gift Cards – You might be already aware of the popularity of gift cards in our country.
Cash is the go-anywhere gift card. You can use cash to buy almost anything from anywhere. But gift cards can be used only on specific products. Cash can be given in different denominations. Gift cards are only available in specific denominations and are good for use only in specific retail stores, that too with restriction on its use.
Another advantage of gifting cash instead of gift cards is that there is no expiry for cash, whereas gift cards do. Using gift cards, you cannot shop from online either. These gift cards might also encourage you to overspend on things you don’t actually need. But when you have real cash in your pockets, you will be careful about the way you spend it.
Cash is Cheaper – Sometimes, even if you understand all the likes and dislikes of the giftee, you may not be able to buy the gift she needs. The most probable reason for this is her likes being beyond affordable. For example, she might be hoping for some modern gadgets like iPhone, but all you have in your budget is Rs.1000. In that case, it’s definitely cheaper and economical to gift cash. Don’t you agree?
In addition to this, gifting cash doesn’t require any planning. You may have to set aside a specific amount for everyone on the list, but you don’t have to spend time finding affordable gifts for every one of those. You definitely get a breather there, in terms of buying gifts.
Now that you know the benefits of gifting cash, let at look at the situations that are best suited for gifting money.
When Should You Gift Money
This question can have two different answers. The two different answers are two different situations. Let me explain.
Suppose you are buying a wedding gift for a distant relative. You have no clear idea about the likes of the recipient. When this happens, you might be tempted to buy her more common wedding gifts like kitchen utensils or dining sets. But, what you should think about is cash. Since you don’t know what she wants and you are not sure what to buy for her, giving cash as gift is the best choice.
Imagine another situation where the price of the gift you plan to buy exceeds your budget. When this happens, you can either put some extra money on the gift and buy it for her or, choose the more economical option, ie, gift cash. This tradition can always help you to save some more money.
In short, you can gift cash, if you are not sure about the likes and dislikes of your recipient or when you think the gift that you plan to buy is beyond your budget.
So what do you think about giving cash as gifts? Do you gift cash? What is your reason for gifting cash? Share your thoughts with us in comments.