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Like most people, I enjoy giving. It’s a rewarding feeling to satisfy someone else’s needs. It’s also a good reminder to be grateful, and gratitude is the ultimate measurement of success.

Quote - 6 tips to consider when gifting money

Giving is a no-brainer, but when it comes to gifting money, it’s best to be mindful. Under the wrong conditions, a kind gesture can easily be construed as overbearing or patronizing.

Some guidelines based on my past experiences:

1. Manage your expectations

You should expect absolutely nothing in return, and I mean nothing. A gift is not a loan. There should be no expectation of repayment, or even thanks. Your gift is intended to help someone in need, and that must be enough on its own.

2. Be empathetic

Before gifting, think about how the recipient will feel. Will they experience discomfort and embarrassment, or relief? Use your empathy to determine if the conditions are right to give, for them, not for you.

3. Do not boast

Although you may think that spreading the word puts you in a good light, you’ll be simultaneously shining a spotlight on their situation as well. Likely, a situation that they would prefer to be kept private.

4. Small amounts are best

If the gift is sizable enough, it may be viewed as inappropriate. Of course, this depends on your relationship with the person. But, it’s best to err on the side caution, when it comes to money. Smaller rather than larger amounts are best.

Help them back on their feet, but let them solve any larger dilemmas on their own. If you think that the gift risks altering your relationship in any way, best to forget it.

“It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.”

– Mother Teresa

5. Family ties

Consider any money exchanged between family members, a gift.

When you’re close to someone, there exists an irresistible urge to help them in a time of need. What is family for, anyway? But, never loan money to a family member, period.

6. Intentions are everything

At the end of the day, only you know your own heart. So, let your heart guide you.

Life can be unpredictable, sometimes you’re up, and other times your down. Money can be an amazing gift when you need it, under the right circumstances, and rewarding to give too. I’ve been on both sides.

What rules would you add, based on your experiences?

Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended to encourage any lifestyle changes without careful consideration and consultation with a qualified professional. This article is for reference purposes only, is generic in nature, is not intended as individual advice and is not financial or legal advice.

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2 Responses

  1. CommunityManager says:

    Great article @taylorboucher. I stumbled onto this expecting it to be a short piece about the tax implications of gifting, and how as the recipient of a cash gift, you might be subject to some heretofore unknown federal (and state) taxes that you will owe at the end of the tax year.

    Instead, I discovered a very human-centric, empathetic piece that explores the act of gifting from both the giver and the receivers point of view. Informative and thought provoking.

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