How To Ask For Money Instead Of Gifts For Birthday


In today’s world, where material possessions abound, many people are looking for ways to simplify their lives and prioritize experiences over things.

When organizing a children’s birthday party or, for that matter, celebrating any family member’s birthday, a way to adopt this mindset is by requesting cash instead of physical gifts.

But how to ask for money instead of gifts for a birthday without feeling awkward or rude? 

To ask for money instead of gifts for a birthday, politely mention your preference on the invitation, share reasons, and use creative phrasing. Express gratitude for contributions graciously.

Affiliate disclosure: As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the art of how to ask for cash for a birthday gift. We’ll provide you with many examples of how to ask for monetary gifts on birthday invitations.

Requesting money as a birthday gift is a widely accepted practice in numerous cultures, even when celebrating a child’s birthday. It enables you to receive funds that can be utilized for various purposes, such as saving for special treats, supporting a chosen charity, or managing daily expenses. 

Nonetheless, the way you go about asking for money holds significance. Here are eight thoughtful insights to help you ask for monetary contributions instead of traditional presents for a birthday or any other milestone celebration.

1. Have The Courage To Ask For Cash

Be direct but polite in your request for monetary gifts. Express your gratitude and explain your purpose for the funds, whether it’s a milestone purchase or a charitable donation.

Setting the Right Tone

When you decide to request money, it’s crucial to do so with thoughtfulness and consideration. Here’s how to set the right tone:

  • Communicate Early
  • Explain Your Reasons
  • Assure Thoughtfulness

Pro Tip: Avoid coming across as demanding or entitled. Requesting money should be done politely and with gratitude.

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2. Address Your Wish For Monetary Gifts In Your Invitation

Include a polite and concise message on your birthday invitation, indicating that you would appreciate monetary gifts. Be sure to express your gratitude in advance for their generosity. This direct approach ensures that your guests are aware of your preference before the celebration.

Sample Phrases to Put on the Invitation

To make your request for money instead of gifts more appealing, consider using creative and heartfelt or amusing phrases or poems on your invitation. Here are some examples:

Example 1

“Your presence is the best gift, but if you’d like to give more, a contribution to our dreams would be cherished.”

Example 2

“Instead of gifts, we kindly request your financial blessings to help us start this new chapter of our lives.”

Example 3

“Join us in celebrating and consider making a small donation to support a cause close to our hearts.”

Sample Phrases to Put on an Invitation for a Child’s Celebration

Example 1

“While gifts are sweet, your generous financial support would be the icing on the cake for our child’s celebration.”

Example 2

“Gifts or not, your presence warms our hearts, but if you’d like to give more, a cash gift is what we implore.”

Example 3

“Your generosity is a gift in itself. If you wish to contribute financially, it would be graciously received.”

Sample Funny Phrases to Put on the Invitation

Opting for humor when conveying our preference for cash gifts adds a lighthearted touch to our request, making it all the more enjoyable for our guests. Here are some examples:

Example 1

“Gifts are lovely, but cash is king – help us reign over a great birthday celebration!”

Example 2

“In the spirit of simplicity, we kindly suggest a cash contribution instead of gifts – it’ll spark smiles, not clutter!”

Example 3

“Gifts are like calories, and we’re on a cash diet for this birthday!”

Sample Funny Phrases to Put on the Invitation for a Child’s Celebration

Example 1

“While toys are fun and bright, we kindly request your ‘birthday cash’ to take flight.”

Example 2

“Our toy chests are bursting, so we thought it best, for [Child’s Name]’s birthday, ‘gifts of cash’ are our request.”

Example 3

“To avoid the toy overload, ‘money gifts’ is the yellow brick road!”

Sample Poems to Put on the Invitation

Adding a poetic touch to your request can make it more heartfelt and appealing. Here are some poems to consider:

Example 1

“On this special day, we don’t need presents galore,

A small contribution is what we adore.

For dreams and adventures, our hearts are aligned,

Your gift of money would truly be kind.”

Example 2

“In lieu of gifts wrapped with bows,

A financial contribution, if you choose,

To celebrate and make memories anew,

With your generosity, our dreams come true.”

Example 3

“On this day of joy, let’s change the tradition,

With your kind gesture, we seek a special mission.

No wrapped presents, no ribbons of blue,

Your financial support will help dreams come true.”

Sample Poems to Put on the Invitation for a Child’s Celebration

Example 1

“Your little one’s laughter and joy light up our day,

But if you wish, a small gift of cash we’d gladly sway.

For future adventures, toys, and games so grand,

Your contribution helps us take a stand!”

Example 2

“Gifts are nice, but for a child’s special day,

Help us kickstart a bright, new birthday.

With your cash blessings, dreams will take flight,

Let’s make this kids’ celebration truly out of sight!”

Example 3

“Come join our kid’s party, it’s going to be a blast,

But gifts of cash, we hope you’ll cast.

To lend a hand to a cause so dear,

Together we’ll make a difference, have no fear!”

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Pro Tip: Last-Minute Requests – Avoid asking for money at the last minute, as it can be seen as an afterthought. Plan ahead and include the request in your invitations.

3. State Your Reasons For Asking For Money Instead Of Gifts

When sending out invitations or discussing your preferences with guests for your party or your child’s celebration, it’s helpful to kindly explain why you prefer monetary gifts over traditional presents.

Your reasons might include planning a special adventure for your child, supporting a charitable cause, or working towards a particular financial goal. Sharing these motives can help your request resonate with your guests.

If you’re planning a charitable donation, announce your intention to donate a portion of the monetary gifts to a charity or cause. This way, guests can feel that their contributions are making a positive impact beyond your family celebration.

If you have a business or creative project you’re passionate about, you can ask guests to support your endeavor as their birthday gift. Offer them a partnership or ownership stake in your venture in exchange for their financial contribution.

Additionally, you can frame your request in a way that suggests the money will benefit both your family and your guests. Explain how their contributions will enhance your family life or create memorable experiences that they can share.

Caution: Ensure that guests who may not be able to give money feel welcome to attend without feeling pressured to contribute financially.

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4. Spread the Word Using Third Party (Friends and Family)

Let your friends and family help you convey your preference for monetary gifts. Inform a close friend or family member about your wish, and they can subtly communicate it to the other guests on your behalf. This indirect approach can ensure your message is received without directly asking for money.

As mentioned earlier, it may be simpler to gather the confidence and directly express your request. However, if you feel uneasy about directly stating your preference, you can wait for your guests to inquire about your birthday wishes.

When they do, politely mention your desire for financial contributions.

Here are some examples of how to politely mention your desire for financial contributions when guests ask what you’d like for your birthday:

Example 1

Guest: “Hey, what can I get you for your birthday?”

You: “Oh, your presence is a gift in itself, but if you’d like to contribute, I’m saving up for [mention your goal], so any financial support would be appreciated.”

Example 2

Guest: “I want to get you something special. Any ideas?”

You: “You’re too kind! Actually, I’m working towards [mention your goal], so if you’d like to help with a contribution, that would be wonderful.”

Example 3

Guest: “I’d love to bring you a birthday gift. What are you hoping for?”

You: “Your presence at my celebration is the best gift, but if you’d like to make a gesture, I’m collecting funds for [mention your purpose], so any contributions are welcome.”

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5. Make It Easy For Your Guests To Give You Money

Use a Cash Registry Website

One of the most convenient methods to ask for money is by setting up a cash registry on websites designed for this purpose.

These platforms allow you to create a list of specific financial goals or items you intend to purchase with the collected funds. Share the registry link with your guests, making it easy for them to contribute to your birthday wishes.

These are 3 examples of such sites:

Set A Cash/Check Box At The Entrance

For those guests who prefer to give physical cash or checks, consider placing a designated box at the party venue entrance where they can discreetly drop their contributions.

This way, you can accommodate both online and offline monetary gifts without putting anyone on the spot. Make sure that there’s someone you trust who can keep an eye on the box.


6. Be Careful Not To Come Across As Greedy

While it’s acceptable to ask for monetary gifts, be mindful not to come across as greedy or entitled. Express your gratitude genuinely and ensure your request is polite and considerate.

If you’re concerned about appearing greedy, consider offering a small token of appreciation, like a thank-you card or a homemade treat, in return for monetary gifts. This shows your guests that you value their generosity.

If you used the money for a specific purpose, such as creating lasting memories on a fantastic trip or organizing an amazing birthday experience for your child, take the opportunity to share those wonderful moments with your guests. 

Let them know how their thoughtful contributions played a pivotal role in making these cherished experiences a reality. Whether it’s capturing the joy of your child’s first rollercoaster ride, discovering new places, or hosting a fantastic themed party, your guests will appreciate hearing about the magical moments their gifts helped create.

7. Make It Easy For Them To Say No

Acknowledge that not everyone may be comfortable giving money as a gift. Make it clear that their presence at your birthday celebration is the most important thing, and any gifts, including monetary ones, are entirely optional.

If you have specific stores or online retailers in mind for your purchases, consider requesting gift cards instead of cash. This allows your guests to contribute in a way that aligns with your needs.

Ultimately, be gracious and appreciative of any physical presents you receive. Remember that the thought and effort behind a gift are what truly matter.


Pro Tip: Specific Amounts – It’s generally best not to specify a particular amount. Let guests decide how much to give based on their own means.

8. Setting Positive Messages When Asking For Cash At A Child’s Celebration

When asking for money instead of gifts for a child’s birthday party, some might wonder if they will be conveying an inappropriate message to the child. 

Asking for money instead of gifts for a kid’s celebration does not necessarily give out the wrong message to the child. It can be an opportunity to teach children valuable lessons about financial responsibility, saving, and the importance of experiences over material possessions. 

However, the way you approach this request and the communication with the child is crucial.

To ensure that the child does not misinterpret the request, you can:

Explain the Reason

Have an age-appropriate conversation with the child, explaining the purpose of asking for money. Let them know it’s to save for something special or create memorable experiences.

Involve Them

Depending on the child’s age, involve them in the decision-making process. Let them choose what they’d like to save for or how they’d like to use the money.

Balance with Traditional Gifts

You can still allow some traditional gifts alongside the monetary ones to maintain the excitement of unwrapping presents.

Express Gratitude

Teach the child to express gratitude for both monetary gifts and traditional presents, emphasizing that it’s the thought and love behind the gesture that truly matters.

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FAQs Related To How To Ask For Money Instead Of Gifts For Birthday

1. Is it OK to ask for money as a birthday gift?

Yes, it’s acceptable to ask for money as a birthday gift, but it’s important to do so politely and considerately, explaining your reasons for the request if possible.

2. Is it OK to give money if I don’t know what to get as a birthday present?

Yes, giving money as a gift is a thoughtful option when you’re unsure of the recipient’s preferences. It allows them to choose something they truly want or need.

3. Is it rude for a parent to request “cash gifts” for a child’s birthday?

It’s not necessarily rude, but it should be done with care. Parents can request cash gifts if they have a specific purpose in mind, such as saving for the child’s future or a meaningful purchase, but they should communicate this politely.

4. Are Gift Cards considered Monetary Gifts? Is it better than Cash?

Yes, gift cards are considered a form of monetary gift. Whether they are better than cash depends on the recipient’s preferences. Gift cards can be more personal if they are for a store or experience the recipient enjoys.

5. What should I avoid when wording for monetary gifts only?

Avoid being overly direct or demanding. Instead, use polite and appreciative language. Also, avoid mentioning specific amounts and ensure that your guests feel comfortable giving both monetary gifts and traditional presents if they choose.

Final Thoughts About How To Ask For Money Instead Of Gifts For Birthday

In conclusion, understanding how to ask for money instead of traditional gifts for your family celebrations, whether through the birthday invitation or more directly, can be a thoughtful decision. It allows you to emphasize experiences and financial goals while still enjoying the celebration with your dear ones.

Remember, the key is to convey your request politely and convey gratitude for the kindness and generosity of those who opt to gift cash for your family’s special day. So, feel free to wholeheartedly embrace the practice of seeking monetary gifts for your celebrations, knowing that it aligns with your values and priorities.

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Hi I'm Ann

Hi I'm Ann

Mom to three kids, I am the proud co-founder of Easy Kids' Parties. After a career in journalism and education, I diverted my skills to creating this website, with the aim of helping all those parents out there who wish to organize amazing and memorable parties for their kids but feel overwhelmed at the idea.  Discover more...

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