What to Do With Wedding Cash Gifts

by TTMK on August 12, 2013 · 13 comments

When it comes to getting gifts, what would you prefer:  something personal that reflects an understanding of your likes, or straight up cash that you can use for whatever you want?

In many cases, some people chafe at the idea of getting cash gifts.  They simply like getting the more personalized gifts.  However ,when it comes to weddings, it seems like some people take a different approach toward getting cash.  They like it!

The question many people have is this: “what should I do with my wedding cash?

Well, one option is to spend it on whatever you want.  However, if you read my articles regularly, you’ll know that this isn’t something I’ll be advocating as a real, legitimate option!  Okay, may it’s legitimate but it’s not something I think is a good idea considering the opportunity costs associated with that decision.

Along those lines, here are 5 things people can do with wedding cash gifts:

1) Open a Joint Bank Account

A couple will need to make decisions on how they want to handle finances. It’s personal and something that each couple needs to make based on what works for them.  I happen to like joint finances, and along those lines opening an account together could be a good way to use wedding cash

2) Pay Off Debt

Hopefully, this doesn’t mean debt associated with wedding loans!  Rather, if people have student loans or other debt that need to be paid off, the wedding money could be used to pay this off.  After all, it can hard to build net worth when your net worth it less than zero!

3) Start an Emergency Fund

Not everyone takes emergency funds seriously, and there might be differing opinions on them.  I happen to think that having an emergency fund is a good idea.  You never know what can happen! This could be a good use of wedding cash.

4) Save for a Home Down Payment

Let’s face it, many couples get married and immediately start to think about what their next home will be.  As in, the first home they buy together!  Saving for a down payment can be another good use of wedding funds, as it’s a step toward a life together and a way to put money away for a specific purpose.

5) Invest the Money

It’s never too early to start saving money.  Along those lines, taking those savings and making investments can be a great way to utilize the power of compounding!  Starting early in life in terms of investments can be a great way to start building financial security.   If you’re going to grow old together, of course you’ll want those later years to be as comfortable as possible.

My Questions for You:

What do you think about the idea of cash as a wedding gift instead of something off a registry?

How did you (or would you) spend wedding cash gifts?

Any thoughts on the above suggestions?

 

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Edward Antrobus August 12, 2013 at 7:42 am

My wife’s uncle’s wedding was the first wedding I’d ever been to where I didn’t give cash.
At my own wedding, we got a small amount of actual cash, but most of our gifts were gift cards, which obviously did need to be spent.

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TTMK August 12, 2013 at 11:32 pm

At least with gift cards, you can often spend them on what you choose to – within reason, of course. A card to a general retailer can be put to good use.

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Michelle August 12, 2013 at 11:08 am

We have lived together for over 6 years, and by time we have our wedding it will be 7. I’m really hoping that we don’t get a bunch of random things, as we don’t need them. Everyone knows that we live together, so hopefully cash or gift cards will be given! We plan on saving it all and maybe splurging on something for ourselves.

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TTMK August 12, 2013 at 11:31 pm

It seems like these days people are getting more practical! Or, is it just the nature of everyone who reads or has personal finance blogs? 🙂

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Andrew@LivingRichCheaply August 12, 2013 at 11:26 am

I would much rather get cash as a wedding gift than something off the registry. A lot of things my wife and I registered for, we didn’t know what were doing and a lot of the things are unused or unnecessary. Plus for those who already live together, they don’t need that stuff. Another thing is you don’t want to have to carry all that stuff after the wedding. The cash we got, it went to our jointing savings account.

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TTMK August 12, 2013 at 11:29 pm

The way I see it, cash is better than getting a gravy boat off the registry 🙂

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Emily @ evolvingPF August 12, 2013 at 11:49 am

We never made a big decision about what to do with the money we received. It’s sitting in a savings account and basically serves as general savings that we dip into and then pay back to when unexpected expenses come up. I’m still hoping we’ll use the bulk toward some big purchase like a house downpayment or car.

I’m very utilitarian about gifts. Cash or something off the registry was preferred.

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TTMK August 12, 2013 at 11:29 pm

That’s great, it looks like you kept it for practical reasons and that’s working out for you.

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The Warrior August 12, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Mrs. Warrior and I straight up asked everyone for cash. Surprisingly, everyone obliged and completely understood. We thought it might be awkward, but there will always be people who think whatever decision we go with is stupid so it is what it is. We loved getting cash and paid our debt (at the time) right off. Highly suggest asking for and giving cash as a gift to all my friends at this point.

The Warrior

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TTMK August 12, 2013 at 11:28 pm

Good point, people will think what they think anyway. Glad it worked out for you two!

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Jules@Faithfulwithafew August 12, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Cash is such a better gift. We used our money to buy things we needed off the registry. I wish we had saved more.

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TTMK August 12, 2013 at 11:27 pm

Ah, a familiar lament – “I wish we had saved more”.

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Matt Becker August 15, 2013 at 7:41 am

I liked getting cash gifts. We put most of what we got into two savings accounts, one for a down payment and one for baby stuff. It was incredibly helpful. Honestly, I wish we had registered for fewer things and just hoped that we’d get more cash instead.

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