Getting money as a gift is always great, especially as an adult. When we had a certain age, we usually stop wanting toys and can use cold hard currency much more flexibly for whatever we please. Even better, we usually start getting money is a gift as we enter adulthood so we can pay for more expensive things like houses and cars.
However, this does mean that most of us have no idea how to thank someone for money. Not to worry; we’re here to help!
How to Thank Someone for Money
Let’s face it; in our society, talking about money is a bit of a social faux pas. You aren’t really supposed to discuss your paychecks, how much you need, and especially how much you want people to give you.
We’ve made some progress though – now you can send people money using prepaid cards (and it’s so easy now to convert the balance to cash in your bank account). But the fact remains that we’re still not culturally accustomed to thanking people for money in person.
To that end, it’s usually better to write a letter or email to thank somebody for giving you money.
This accomplishes a couple of things. For starters, it does let the person know you acknowledge and appreciate their gift. For another, it prevents you both from having an awkward conversation for you have to avoid direct numbers about money. Even better, the letter or email shows that you put a little more effort into the gratitude than a simple conversation.
Whenever you write a thank you letter for money, it’s a good idea to focus on a few fundamentals, like:
- good grammar
- perfect spelling invoice (use spellcheck!)
- maybe a bit of artistic decoration or an emoji if you’re doing it online
The point is to make a nice thank you note instead of something that was clearly just thrown together at the last minute. If you cobble something together, the person you are trying to thank will likely detect the shoddy workmanship and feel a bit insulted.
Good Rules of Thumb
No matter how you’re thanking someone for money, there are a few rules of thumb you should always follow that will prevent you from sounding dumb or ungrateful.
Think of Specifics
First off, when writing your thank you note or email, think of specifics that will tell the person you wrote the note by hand (or at least individually). These days, it’s all too easy for someone to copy and paste a thank you note template and send it to a dozen people. This is especially likely if the person needs to send lots of thank you notes to a bunch of people for a celebration like a wedding.
Thinking of specific things and maybe writing a little story about what happened that day and what you talked about will show the person you care about them and their contribution. It’ll also bring up their own memories of the day and make them feel warm and appreciated.
If possible, you should think of other things besides them giving you the money when describing the story or saying how you feel. Remember to use the person’s name once or twice (preferably at the beginning and end of the letter or email). All in all, this tip is about keeping things unique and personal rather than generic.
Explain The Benefit
It’s fine to talk about the money that someone gave you a gift. But you don’t want to just glorify your new money and say how it’s great just because. In fact, most people give money as a gift for a specific purpose.
Think of the classic example: a wedding where people either give the wedding couple things they can use in their new life together or money. In a lot of cases, family members give money specifically so the new couple can move in together, buy a house, pay for a baby, and so on. In these cases, the money has a specific use in mind on the part of the giver.
It doesn’t hurt to tell the person you’re thanking exactly what you plan to do with the money… So long as it’s something along the lines of what they intended. While it’s your money at the end of the day, and you can do whatever you want with it, your grandma and grandpa who gave you money for your new college textbooks won’t be too thrilled if you tell them you spent it on an Xbox!
So in summary, feel free to explain the benefits of the money directly brings your life. Tell the giver how it took a load off of your shoulders and help you pay the bills or how it let you save up for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But… maybe don’t explain how you used some of the money for something they wouldn’t necessarily approve of! A little understanding of the giver in question goes a long way, here.
Thank for Other Things, Too
Additionally, it’s a great idea to thank the person who gave you money for things other than the cash itself. For instance, if the person in question came to your birthday party, you should thank them for attending and spending part of their day with you. This shows that you aren’t just concerned with money and don’t you the person as a kind of biological ATM.
Of course, if they gave you money but also provided help or give you gifts in other forms – like other presents or they helped get your celebration perfect before the guests arrived – then you should acknowledge these contributions as well. Again, it’s about showing your gratitude altogether, not just focusing on the money they gave.
Remember, someone who gives you money is doing so out of an expression of their love and appreciation for you. The money is just a tool for that. So the gratitude you express should also be a general expression of the feeling, not focused on money above all.
Things You SHOULDN’T Do!
While there are plenty of things you should do when writing a thank you note for money, there are several things you should avoid, as well!
Don’t Overdo It
First off, don’t overdo the thanks and gratitude. If you fill your thank you note or letter with tons of exclamation points, a million versions of “thank you” that you found from the thesaurus, and a bunch of hyperbole, the person reading the notes will likely roll their eyes. They know that they didn’t just give you the lottery; they were just trying to help and give you a bit of extra cash.
It’s already a great thing that you’re writing a thank-you note. Thank them for the money and then move on to the other positive ideas we described above. In most cases, saying thank you twice for the money itself is a perfect amount: once at the beginning of the note and once at the end as you wrap things up.
Don’t Ask for More Money!
Whatever you do, don’t ask for more money! We can’t believe we have to say this but there are some people who don’t think things through! If your grandma only gives you $10 for your birthday, your only job is to say thank you for the $10 and move on. Don’t even think about asking her for 30 more dollars so you can pick up a new videogame of the store.
Remember, people don’t have to give you money and a lot of the time they’ll give you what they can base on their own financial needs. Asking for more is not only rude but it also disregards the fact that they need that money for their own bills, food, luxuries, you name it.
Even if you have a particularly rich aunt and uncle and suspect that they gave you less money than your sibling or another family member, don’t ask them for more. Asking for more never results in getting more money and only makes you look selfish.
Don’t Offer Money in Return
Finally, lots of well-meaning people will offer money and return to the person they’re thanking for the gift. While the intentions might be pure, this is ill-advised for several reasons.
Offering money to the person who gave you the gift is almost like regifting… But it’s to the person who gave you the present initially! You wouldn’t directly give your uncle back the gift he gave you, right? Offering to pay people back makes things uncomfortable all around, as they have to refuse you in order for their gift to matter at all.
In addition, offering to pay the money back to the person who gifted it in the first place makes it sound like a cash transaction or loan. The person who gave you money as a gift isn’t a bank expecting to be repaid (or at least they aren’t supposed to be!). Don’t treat them like a lender breathing down your neck, waiting for payments or else they’ll raise the interest rate!
All in all, thanking someone for giving you money as a gift is a great idea and one of the best ways to show your maturity and gratitude for such a gesture. But you have to be careful when navigating the social oddities of our culture!
How have you written notes taking people for monetary gifts in the past? Let us know in the comments and tell us your strategies or share your general outlines for your favorite thank you emails and letters!