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What is an appropriate amount to spend on a graduation gift?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on May 13, 2008

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Photo of Sherry Siegel

“An appropriate amount would be $50, but being a broke college student myself, I would go with $20 plus drinks for the night.”

Photo of Peter Bollig

“Well, since I’m graduating, as much as they can afford.”

Photo of Robbie Sislow

“I think if it’s your parents, it should be around $500. If it’s a good friend or sibling, then it should be about $100.”

Photo of Lauren Snowden

“I’d say $50. It’s not too much but not too little. They can buy something nice without putting a dent in your bank account.”

Comments

Multidisciplinary 5 years, 11 months ago

dminear60 (Anonymous) says: Marion:Were your clothes packed in the luggage and was it sitting on the door step?------One night back in the 60's, my sister had a date, and they went somewhere out in the south part of town.The family rule was that, if she was late, she would find her bags packed on the doorstep.That evening, an ice storm moved in. They lived up by the Water Tower on Iowa.Dad had driven on Iowa, and knew they would never make it up the hill in good time.So he just set the empty cases on the porch.My sis and her date left the place on time, to find the car needed to be scraped, and then the treacherous attempt to drive up Iowa, sliding all around. Of course they were late, and she saw those bags.Oh how she must have felt.I'm told Dad was quite a card. It must have been hard, and also a lot of fun in their house.

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Multidisciplinary 5 years, 11 months ago

Tommy?(How many T. Greens can there be in this town?)

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classclown 5 years, 11 months ago

Luggage. If they already have luggage, then help them furnish their first apartment. Get some lawn chairs. Oh, and a milk crate to hold the tv.

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stuckinthemiddle 5 years, 11 months ago

I reward individualism and independence...can't get to excited about cookie-cutter kids...

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Confrontation 5 years, 11 months ago

I'd ask to see the overall GPA and award accordingly. Anything under a 3.0 doesn't deserve a gift. At 3.0-3.5, $25. Over a 3.5, $100. A 4.0 and no unwanted pregnancies? Priceless.

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ontheotherhand 5 years, 11 months ago

Marion, my folks gave all of us kids luggage, too! It was to make sure we all left for college at summer's end, I think. And we did!Robbie must have been born with quite a silver spoon to think that his friends and family are going to give him $100 for graduation. (And $500 from the folks. Wow!) I guess my family was too poor to give out that much and I did not expect them to.

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Dixie Jones 5 years, 11 months ago

marion you should of took the hint

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alm77 5 years, 11 months ago

"I like the period of time when I have taken the winter clothes out of my closet and not put the summer ones in yet!" I'm doing it backwards then cause I have all the clothes out right now. You just never know what April/May is going to bring...

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canyon_wren 5 years, 11 months ago

alm77--good choices! Just the sorts of gifts I like to give and receive. I'm not much for clutter or too much stuff, either. In fact, I like the period of time when I have taken the winter clothes out of my closet and not put the summer ones in yet! Less is more, as far as I'm concerned.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 5 years, 11 months ago

College graduation - my parents gave me roofing shingles.My friends helped me nail then down.

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alm77 5 years, 11 months ago

Canyon, well for Christmas I bought him some cologne, duct tape and WD-40. No, I'm not joking, that's what he got. And for his 16th birthday I bought him a gas station gift card. I think my "useful" gift giving (especially things to be used up) comes from my mom always having a load of crap sitting around her house, knick-knacks, As-Seen-On-TV items, too much furniture, mismatched art, I don't want to burden someone with the "What the hell am I gonna do with that?" item. I'd rather they use it up and not worry about it. I bought my mom candles once with that same logic and she put them on her shelf where she has to dust them and they just cause clutter. sigh

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canyon_wren 5 years, 11 months ago

trinity--I'm with you on the earlier graduations. It's silly enough to even HOLD them--I can't imagine folks being expected to give graduation presents. Is that actually happening? When they start things so early (kindergarten graduations, "junior" cheerleaders, etc.), what is there left to aspire to? No wonder so many young people are bored with life already.

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trinity 5 years, 11 months ago

one poster questioned whether high school or college graduation. what gets me, is that PRE-SCHOOL and KINDERGARTEN, yes pre-school and kindergarten(i'm having to attend one of each for grands)are making a fuss about "graduating"! sheeez louise. i bought the pre school graduate a cutesie fake flower with a smilie face for a dollar...that oughta do it. ;)

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canyon_wren 5 years, 11 months ago

Good idea, alm77! I gave a young friend a good quality hatchet--it seemed like something he could use, eventually. He says he still considers it one of his favorite gifts.

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alm77 5 years, 11 months ago

When my brother graduated high school, I bought him a college starter basket. I took a laundry basket threw in some towels, laundry soap, toiletries, snacks and other odds and ends he would use and use up. It was a useful, fun and wasn't too expensive.

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mom_of_three 5 years, 11 months ago

My graduate and relatives are graduating from high school. I haven't given a gift for a college graduation. Ask me in 4 or 5 years

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Marion Lynn 5 years, 11 months ago

dminear60 (Anonymous) says: Marion:Were your clothes packed in the luggage and was it sitting on the door step?"Marion writes:No but I shuffled off to KU ust as soon thereafter as I could!

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EasilyAmused 5 years, 11 months ago

I got more than $500 from my parents for graduation, but I think I would have preferred the 4 years of financial support!

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dminear60 5 years, 11 months ago

Marion:Were your clothes packed in the luggage and was it sitting on the door step?

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chemegirlie 5 years, 11 months ago

$500 from the parents? I told my parents that my graduation present was the degree! 5 years of financial support was more than enough of a present.

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le 5 years, 11 months ago

When my youngest graduates high school I will be almost 60.....with my unhealthy lifestyle...I just hope I make it that long! I wish someone would have encouraged me to stay in school..I was allowed 2 quit 2 weeks into my senior year..I have much regret 4 not getting my education! So anyone reading this that is thinking of bailing out...Don`t give up! And just be grateful 4 every thing you get in life....The greatest gift you could get is the education itself !

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cool 5 years, 11 months ago

one month of their expenses would be ideal as an aggregate total from all of their friends & family.

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coolmom 5 years, 11 months ago

my neice graduates from high school on the 25th and my hubby and i built her a computer and bought her a new 21 inch monitor. hopefully it is used in part for college lol.

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Marion Lynn 5 years, 11 months ago

I was given a set of luggage by my parents when I graduated from high school.Do you think they were trying to tell me something?

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canyon_wren 5 years, 11 months ago

No one has said whether the recipient has graduated from high school or college, though it is obvious in some of the posts. I would think that would make a difference. My means are so limited that a gift of $20 for a high school graduate is about tops, and that is only for kids that I know really well. No family members are young enough for that now! Power to those who can afford more. I should think, though, that you might motivate the graduate with a lower g.p.a. with a little more generous gift--depending upon the reason he/she didn't do better in school!

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Flap Doodle 5 years, 11 months ago

The fruitcakes from Corsicana are still less than $25.00.

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blue73harley 5 years, 11 months ago

I'm thinking somewhere in the neighborhood of one million dollars.http://www.killerclips.com/clip.php?id=79&qid=748

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mom_of_three 5 years, 11 months ago

My dad gave me $100 bucks and a dictionary, and my mom doesn't remember what she gave me, and neither do I. (wonoder if it is too late to collect now?) My eldest is graduating, along with my cousin's son, whom my kid used to play with as kids, and also a nephew in Colorado. The going rate in our house for relatives' graduations is $50, in cash or gift card, and my graduate is getting a laptop for graduation. The grandparents asked to chip in, so we wil be able to upgrade some things on it.

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Haiku_Cuckoo 5 years, 11 months ago

$500??? That's a bit much, especially considering how much money your parents spent on tuition and board. When I graduated, I got a handshake and a cake and I was very happy with that. The smiles on my parents faces was worth much more than any dollar amount.

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autie 5 years, 11 months ago

It depends greatly...the 4.0 college bound and ambitious kid..would certainly merit a greater reward than the 2.0 flake. Unless it is your kid of course; parental love can trump grades when it come to giving. I figure my kid will get about 50K in the long run, with the understanding she will become wealthy and take care of her old broke down daddy some day.

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Norma Jeane Baker 5 years, 11 months ago

I don't buy gifts for graduation. Fresh, clean presidents seem to be the gift of choice for so many. Now, which president I give depends on the person. Most high schoolers will get a visit from Andrew Jackson. But one this year, will see the likes of Poor Richard himself. Although Benjamin Franklin was not a president, I don't think the particular high schooler will mind!

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sunflower_sue 5 years, 11 months ago

Many factors affect the size of the gift. My nephew, who wasn't gung-ho on going to college, got $50 from me when he graduated high school and a promise to pay him $1000 more when he graduates college. I know it's shameless bribery, but it seems to have worked...so far. I'm looking forward to the day that I have to pay up.

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thomgreen 5 years, 11 months ago

Multi:I think I'd vote for that kid!"They told the suspicious working girls they were people of restricted growth working with a traveling circus, and as State law does not allow those with disabilities to be discriminated against they had no right to refuse them. "That's the funniest stuff I've heard in awhile, especially from a 13 year old.

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jonas 5 years, 11 months ago

Well, that depends on a lot of things.If it's for somebody else I'd say around $20-50 dependent on circumstances.If it's for me then the skies the limit.But it's okay. I don't graduate till next year.

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Multidisciplinary 5 years, 11 months ago

Heads up West Jr High Alumni..Mrs Knecht, our counselor passed away.She was a precious soul.http://www2.ljworld.com/obits/2008/may/13/virginia_knecht/

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sgtwolverine 5 years, 11 months ago

The same amount one would spend on a tank of gas.Wait ... that may be too generous. Never mind.

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Multidisciplinary 5 years, 11 months ago

None..a person should ask the parent which of the child's credit cards they want them to help pay off.To start, charges like this 13 yr old ran up.http://www.money.co.uk/article/1000390-13-year-old-steals-dads-credit-card-to-buy-hookers.htm

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