One of the most popular questions on SavingAdvice this time of year is how much cash should one give a high school student for graduation.

There are a lot of variables that need to be taken into account, but there seems to be a basic consensus that the appropriate amount of cash to give depends on how close the person is to you. The general rule is the closer the person is to your family, the more the cash gift should be.

How Much Do You Give A High School Graduate Who’s An Acquaintance

When you receive an announcement in the mail that someone is graduating from high school, it’s important to remember an announcement is not the same as an invitation. There is no obligation to send the graduate cash or a gift unless you want to (a congratulations card or small gift will suffice). If you do decide to give something in this situation, cash or similar in the $20 – $30 range is appropriate.

How Much Cash Do You Give When Invited To the Ceremony

Unlike a graduation announcement, it’s considered good manners to give a gift to the person graduating when receiving an invitation to a high school graduation whether you attend or not. Again, it depends on how close you are to the person, but a cash gift in the $20 – $50 range is usually appropriate.

How Much Do You Give A High School Graduate Who’s A Distant Relative

If you have received an invitation from a distant relative to attend a graduation ceremony, a cash gift in the $50 range is appropriate.

How Much Do You Give A Graduate Who’s A Close Friend or Relative

For those who are close to you and graduating from high school, a cash gift in the range of $50 – $100 is most often appropriate. If the person is part of your immediate family, the gift should be appropriate to what your family does in gift-giving situations.

Should I Give A High School Graduate Cash?

What is the best gift to give a high school student graduating? In general, if you don’t know the person well, you can stick with cash, a check or a gift card. There are other great graduation gift options as well. A gift is appropriate if you know the student well and know what he or she would like, but for those who are in doubt, it’s best to stick with money.

What Should Graduates Who Receive Money Do?

For those on the receiving side of cash or gifts for graduation, it’s appropriate to send a hand-written thank you card for each gift you receive. Even in this day and age of computers, it’s still not considered appropriate to send a thank you by email or text message.

For more great Savingadvice articles, read these:

Ten Great Financial Gifts For The College Graduate

Great Hand Written Thank You Cards

What Should You Give As A Graduation Gift

(Photo courtesy of m00by)