How much do you give for high school graduations? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 37 Old 05-29-2011, 09:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I’m afraid I may be a little out of touch.  We live in the Chicagoland area.  The past few years some of my friend’s children have graduated and I gave between $50-$100; depending upon the relationship.   I rec’d a couple of invitations for graduation parties this year.  My sister's husband feels it is common to give $150 and even more if there is a special relationship (like a Godparent) – this sounds high to me.  My sister agrees with me and we are debating with her husband.

 

(But then, I graduated in 1983 when most people gave $20 and a few gave $50 - maybe now a day’s $150 is reasonable!)

 

TIA

 

 

edited - corrrection

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#2 of 37 Old 05-29-2011, 10:25 AM
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Recently I just gave a book to a high school graduate.  I think whatever works for you--and your budget--is fine.  $100 seems really high to me.


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#3 of 37 Old 05-29-2011, 10:26 AM
 
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!00$ would be my top limit for a niece or nephew. I'd probably give 50$ to a good friend's child.
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#4 of 37 Old 05-29-2011, 01:16 PM
 
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Around here, I'd say the range is up to $150. The $150 end would likely be parents/grandparents etc. with most close friend/relatives giving around $50 and others giving less. Usually if it's under $25 or so, people give gifts instead of cash.

We ourselves tend to give/spend $10-50 depending on our budget & our relationship with the person (and we stick to 'gift instead of cash if under $25'). We are kind of just starting out (only graduated a few years ago ourselves) so it's hard to give what we feel is expected... We actually skipped a grad party recently in large part because we just couldn't afford to give anything (twins graduating, and were invited too last minute to even buy a small gift), so we haven't been to one in a while...

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#5 of 37 Old 05-29-2011, 02:49 PM
 
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I gave my best friend's daughter $50. I wanted to give $100 but really couldn't afford it at the time. 


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#6 of 37 Old 05-29-2011, 04:00 PM
 
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That's a thing? Here high school graduations are pretty much a non-event. You might get a gift from your parents when you graduate university, but that's about it. Huh.

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#7 of 37 Old 05-29-2011, 05:06 PM
 
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IME, it really depends on how close the giver is to the graduate as well as the giver's budget. I've never known kids from "middle class" families to get more than $20-50 as a graduation gift from a family friend. Grandparents or other close relatives might give more, but probably not more than $100.


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#8 of 37 Old 05-29-2011, 06:23 PM
 
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Wow.   I got a box of chocolates and flowers from my mom for high school graduation, my dad patted me on the back and said 'well, we pretty much expected you'd graduate high school'.

We give books ourselves. 

 

So . . . I find $150 kinda high.  I personally think that graduations have less expectations on any amount than other occasions and would give what you want based on relationship - it' just nice to celebrate the event.  If anything people should really save higher amount money gifts for something like graduating college, IMO.  

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#9 of 37 Old 05-29-2011, 06:39 PM
 
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yeah, but if they are college bound, then they need a little money to get them started on paying the bills. it's a fundraiser. (and if they aren't going to college, they need money to get an apartment, etc. again -- a fundraiser.)


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Quote:

Originally Posted by ElliesMomma View Post

yeah, but if they are college bound, then they need a little money to get them started on paying the bills. it's a fundraiser. (and if they aren't going to college, they need money to get an apartment, etc. again -- a fundraiser.)



Yes, this. If the graduate is college bound and largely responsible for thier own bills, then HS graduation gifts are usually seen as such.

 

If a family member or child of close friend graduates, I usually give $100.


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#11 of 37 Old 05-29-2011, 09:12 PM
 
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yeah, but if they are college bound, then they need a little money to get them started on paying the bills. it's a fundraiser. (and if they aren't going to college, they need money to get an apartment, etc. again -- a fundraiser.)


 

I don't look at it that way. Maybe I'm cynical, but I highly doubt most kids who have just graduated high school thumb through their gift money and think, "Hells yeah, this is gonna help keep my new place nice and cool this summer." Maaayyybe some kids-- possibly ones from families that can't help them as much financially, as the previous poster suggested-- use the money for some responsible purpose, such as paying their college tuition, but I think in a lot of cases kids use it as fun money. And why shouldn't they? It's a gift.

 

 


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#12 of 37 Old 05-30-2011, 12:48 AM
 
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Its going to depend. Do you live in the city the the OP or out in the boonies?  Typically if you live in a major metropolitan area things just cost more so the gift is larger.

When I graduated HS my parents had this huge party with a tent in the backyard, tons of their friends etc.  (I think it was more their party than mine), that was almost 20 years ago and I remember getting $100 from many people.

 

I think your answer is also going to vary if you have kids close to graduation age or not.  If you have kids closer to grad age you realize how expensive grad is, university is or a car is etc... you try to off set just a bit of that for the kid.

 

 

 


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#13 of 37 Old 05-30-2011, 03:22 AM
 
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I think between $20 to $50 is what I would give. Anything more than a congratulatory card is being nice and generous IMO so you should give whatever fits your budget..

I feel that $150 is out of proportion to the event. I could see giving that much if the child had to really overcome a lot of difficulties to graduate high school and would need and appreciate some more financial help.

 


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#14 of 37 Old 05-30-2011, 06:00 AM
 
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20 to a neighbor, aquantaince from church, etc. 50 for a closer family/friend. Probably 100 for my neice or nephew.

In my circle (when I was in high school) everyone used their grad money to pay for their computer for college. The year I graduated a group of moms agreed not to get all of each others kids gifts bc it would add up quick and it was like exchanging money anyway smile.gif

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#15 of 37 Old 05-30-2011, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.  

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#16 of 37 Old 05-30-2011, 06:44 AM
 
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lol.gif OK for some reason when I responded I was thinking "college graduation" even though I read hs... So I will change my answer... $100 would be about the upper limit and most people would give much less than that... Many people don't give anything for hs...

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#17 of 37 Old 05-30-2011, 06:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by SuzyLee View Post

The year I graduated a group of moms agreed not to get all of each others kids gifts bc it would add up quick and it was like exchanging money anyway smile.gif


That's a good idea.

 

 

When my children graduate, I'm not sure we will even have the party...I feel uncomfortable with it.  I like the celebration aspect but feel like it has turned into a sort of fundraiser as a pp mentioned.  It made me sad to read a pp say they didn't attend a party because they couldn't afford the gift.  I'm guessing the graduate and the family would have wanted you to attend.  I know when my parents threw my party, not everyone brought a gift and that was fine.  My parents really just wanted to have a big party.

 

 

 

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#18 of 37 Old 05-30-2011, 10:43 AM
 
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I just received my cousin's hs graduation announcement. She is registered at Target!!! (to furnish her new apartment at college). eyesroll.gif We're sending $25 and a nice card.
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#19 of 37 Old 05-30-2011, 11:49 AM
 
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I just received my cousin's hs graduation announcement. She is registered at Target!!! (to furnish her new apartment at college). eyesroll.gif We're sending $25 and a nice card.


eyesroll.gif indeed! I have never heard of someone having a graduation gift registry for college, let alone high school.

 

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#20 of 37 Old 05-30-2011, 12:37 PM
 
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nod.gif I worked the entire summer previous to furnish my college room.
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eyesroll.gif indeed! I have never heard of someone having a graduation gift registry for college, let alone high school.

 

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#21 of 37 Old 05-30-2011, 01:04 PM
 
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eyesroll.gif indeed! I have never heard of someone having a graduation gift registry for college, let alone high school.



 


I think a lot of stores promote their registries for various different events, and then people - especially young ones - think those are events where a registry is expected, because it's being advertised, yk?

 

i find the whole registry thing very alien, anyway. I've never registered, anywhere. When I got married the first time, I compiled a list of what we had and what we didn't, and gave it to my mom. If people asked what we needed, she told them from the list. When I married dh, we only had two weeks from deciding on a wedding date until the actual wedding, so the whole thing was quite informal. People brought gifts based on what they felt were good consumables and/or things that my ex had probably taken with him (lots of linens, a few new frying pans).


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#22 of 37 Old 05-30-2011, 01:15 PM
 
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Depends on the relationship. I have several nieces and nephews and I am really close to some, but not others. For their hs graduations in the past I gave $50 with exception to my oldest newphew who received $200 because he also turned 18 the week before and also finished his eagle scout which was a large honor. We also didnt have kids at  the time, both of us had good jobs, and we also spent many events and time with him growing up so of course we were proud! When he married a few years back, I also gave him $250 which I know the young couple needed. But again, we are directly involved in their life.

 

I have another favorite nephew (I am his favorite aunt btw...;>) and he will graduate hs next year. He will also get a larger check than some of his cousins or other family members. No one knows this but his parents and him and us. Thankfully he is an only child so no predcident is started. But again I am in his life and will also tour colleges with him this summer.

 

College grads- $100 or again  more depending on the situation.


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#23 of 37 Old 05-30-2011, 05:08 PM
 
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I think a lot of stores promote their registries for various different events, and then people - especially young ones - think those are events where a registry is expected, because it's being advertised, yk?

 

Yes, that makes sense. I've just never heard of kids registering for gifts for HS graduation. It seems weird, but marketing is a powerful tool. Suggest it's the norm, and soon it will be!

 

i find the whole registry thing very alien, anyway. I've never registered, anywhere.

 

There's just something that smacks of entitlement about registries that kind of rubs me the wrong way. I know some people like them because they take out the guesswork, but meh. I shop off them occasionally, but the whole registry thing just feels icky to me.

 


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#24 of 37 Old 05-30-2011, 05:29 PM
 
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The last graduation party I went to was for the son of a friend. I didn't really know the kid, had just run into them a few times at their house. I gave $20 cash.

 

Forgot to add: this was two years ago.


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#25 of 37 Old 05-30-2011, 08:29 PM
 
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If we are actually attending the party, I make up a "college survival kit" that has some laundry detergent, a laundry bag, first aid kit, a few rolls of quarters, some unbreakable dishes and microwave friendly food, along with a card and a gift card to Target or Walmart.  I put it all in a small Rubbermaid container.

 

If we don't attend, I send between $50-$100, depending on the relationship.

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#26 of 37 Old 05-31-2011, 04:58 AM
 
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If we are actually attending the party, I make up a "college survival kit" that has some laundry detergent, a laundry bag, first aid kit, a few rolls of quarters, some unbreakable dishes and microwave friendly food, along with a card and a gift card to Target or Walmart.  I put it all in a small Rubbermaid container.

 

If we don't attend, I send between $50-$100, depending on the relationship.


Ditto this. 

 


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#27 of 37 Old 05-31-2011, 05:39 AM
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Man, I should have held a graduation party for my kid! I totally didn't even know this was a thing... wonder if it's too late? wink1.gif Of course, most of our friends are starving grad students, so it may not have worked anyway...

 
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#28 of 37 Old 05-31-2011, 10:51 AM
 
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I might add, I give that amount for friends and family. But we moved into our new neighborhood one week and our new friendly neighbor watchd us knock down our house for the first few weeks during our inital remodel. He saw us with no kitchen and invited us to his son's hs graduation party the following day and so we could meet the other neighbors. We were thrilled, got a hot meal and met a lot of our new neighbors who are friends of ours now. I gave the son $25 in a card. His mother said there was no need to bring a gift but they had been so nice to us, so I did.


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#29 of 37 Old 06-01-2011, 05:11 AM
 
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I would give between $25 and $50. I would give them more if it was a close relationship and I knew the kid was planning on paying for their own college / vocational school.

I grew up in a family where HS graduation was expected and anything less was unacceptable. Graduation from college was worthy of a celebration but not high school. I'm sure that has something to do with how I view HS graduations today.

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#30 of 37 Old 08-28-2011, 06:26 PM
 
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we cant afford much so i do 20.00


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