OP here, Thank you for all the replies.
We do not live in a large city. Our children are not close to graduation age.
The graduate’s situations are all different. Most are middle class families; one is from a very wealthy family. Most have catered parties in their yard with tents and bands. A few are renting clubhouses at golf courses.
My sister and I both felt $150 was too much and still feel that way. My husband felt we should give everyone $100. I've decided to give one child more and the other less because of the differences in our relationships. We cannot make it to either party. The child we are giving more to comes from a very wealthy family and is paying none of her own college expenses. The boy from the other family is paying for all of his expenses so my husband feels we should just go ahead and send him more too (we have not seen him since he was 3 and have not kept in touch with his mother).
My sister, my husband and I all paid 100% of our own college and living costs (less a few small scholarships) so we know how difficult it can be. It is a gift, but many children in our area use the $$ for college expenses.
I agree any gift is nice and we should not give more than we can afford. It is helpful to hear everyone’s perspective. My sister rec'd four invites and decided to lower her gift amounts based upon the responses. She is showing the responses to her huband who wants to give $150 which is more than they can really afford. (Her husband's parents were very generous people and I think he wants to be the same.)
p.s. I looked at my checkbook for last year. We were invited to four graduations and gave $50, $65, and $100/each for twins. All four children received substantial scholarships. None were relatives - I'm not sure how I came up with such different amounts. I guess I felt more generous some days than others.
Edited by dbsam - 5/30/11 at 7:04am