How To Ask For Money Instead Of Gifts?(Politely)

Everyone loves getting gifts in general but you may not always want them. Whether it’s a wedding, birthday, or other special occasions, you may find yourself needing money more than physical gifts.

Maybe you’re about to move or simply find that you’re trying to be more minimalist. To get an idea of how to make this request, it’s important to take the right approach.

Is It OK to Ask For Money on Your Birthday?

The answer to this question can be yes or no, depending on your approach. It will probably be seen as rude if you decide to ask people for money. However, you can use some hints that most people will take to understand that you’d prefer money instead of a physical gift.

Keep in mind that at the end of the day, you can’t control what people give you entirely. This may mean that you’ll end up with some gifts even if you don’t want them. It’s best to be gracious when receiving gifts of all sorts and thank the person who provided them, even if you can’t use them.

How to Politely Ask for Money Instead of Gifts

Once you’ve decided that you’d prefer money instead of gifts, there are a few tips and tricks that you can use. Use these ideas to get started.

Enlist Family or Friends

Depending on the event where you may be receiving gifts, you can help to spread the word through a third party. For example, if it’s your wedding, parents and other members of the wedding party are often approached for gift ideas.

Instead of you having to tell people yourself, the news that you’d prefer money often sounds better when coming from another person. Not only is this seen as being more polite, but it also helps to avoid any awkwardness around the request. While it’s not typically seen as being good-mannered to ask for cash, providing this information through another person who knows you may be the best way to go.

Explain Your Reasons

Depending on the event, you may have a reason why you’d prefer cash rather than a gift. For example, if you have a small living space, you can let friends know that while you typically love gifts, you simply don’t have any room for more stuff.

Another simple reason would be if you’re getting ready to move. Most people will understand that with an upcoming move, you simply don’t want to add to your workload and could probably use money more than items.

The key with this is approach is to be polite while avoiding directly asking for money. If a friend comes to you, for example, to ask what type of gift you might want, respond by thanking them for thinking of you and stating that you actually are trying to minimize the gift-giving.

Explain your reasoning and then let them know that you simply enjoy having them attend the event, whether it’s a wedding, birthday celebration, or other events. In most cases, the person will understand that you don’t want a gift and probably provide a cash gift instead. They may also decide not to give any gift. However, this may be a risk you have to take.

Be Clear and Honest

Another way to make this request is to let people know what you need the cash for. For example, couples who are getting married will typically have a fund to help pay for their honeymoon or other expenses. They may have the items that they already need but could use the money instead. When this situation is present, it’s best to state that while you don’t need gifts, you’re working on saving up for something such as a car or whatever you have in mind.

People who know the reason for the request are going to be more likely to provide you with cash than to ignore the request. After all, not every couple needs a blender, but contributing to their travels may be seen as more rewarding.

Make sure that you acknowledge cash gifts with the same enthusiasm and gratitude that you would any other type of gift. A gift of money should be acknowledged with a thank-you note that gives them information on how you used the money and that you are grateful. The person who gave it will be more likely to provide you with money gifts in the future as well.

Use a Cash Registry Website

Depending on the event that’s being celebrated, you might have a registry. This is not very common for birthdays but typically occurs for weddings or other major events. If the event has invitations, it’s best to list the wedding website or link to the registry. When visiting the site for a gift registry, attendees will notice that you have an option for money to be given.

With a cash registry website, you may want to look for an option that makes it more fun for your guests to give you cash. Some registry sites allow you to give money and physical gifts. If you also have gifts that you’d like to register for, then consider doing this as it may be the best option for your needs.

If you really only want cash, then look for a registry that can show guests what they’re contributing to for the event. For example, if they’re giving money to help pay for the honeymoon, guests can see that they’re paying to upgrade airfare or pay for exciting excursions.


These tips are handy ways to ask for money without looking tacky. Keep in mind though that some people may still end up giving you a gift. Many people find giving money to be impersonal and may struggle with the notion. Try to accept all gifts graciously and you’ll find that you end up with better results in the long term.