May 10, 2010

Modern Manners Monday: What Would YOU Do?

Dear The Broke Socialite,

Graduation time is here! I typically give money as a present to graduates. Two years ago I gave $100 to a high school graduate, the daughter of a very good family friend. Now their son is graduating and while I want to give him the same amount, I also have 2 cousins graduating from college at the same time.

What do I do? I feel like I should give the son of my friends the same amount that his sister got, but honestly I had more money to give then and only one graduate that year to bless.

Oh, let me point out that I got an actual graduation invitation from my friends well in advance, that I don't plan to attend, but will go to a family celebration. And when I got the invitation, I put his gift money in my May budget right away.

But I just got an invitation from my cousin yesterday--and the graduation is next week in Illinois. I haven't received an invitation from the other cousin yet, but I think she's graduating in August. I believe that my cousins will have a joint family celebration in August, but I'm not certain.

Should I give $100 to my friend's son (the same amount I gave his sister 2 years ago) and give what I can to my cousins, or give equally to all 3? Or see if there will be an invitation to a family party for my cousins and give what I can at that time?

What should this dear reader do? What would YOU do?


  1. Equally all three. A budget is a budget. You have $100 for gift giving this month no matter how many gifts you have to purchase.

  2. I would ive the $100 to my friend's child. Then when I received an invitation from my cousins graduation, I would budget what I can for them.

  3. I'd give the same to the friend's son. Doing differently will cause distress all around. Your cousins don't have expectations yet. Get to that when you get there and do what you can.

  4. I agree with LPC, although I also think that you should not feel pressured to give the son the full $100 if you can't. However, you should give a tangible gift instead rather than another amount of money. Picture frames are great gifts - no one ever has enough, and they can be purchased cheaply at Ross or Marshalls-type stores.

  5. An invitation is not an invoice for a gift, except in the case of bridal and baby showers and children's birthday parties.

    Since your friend is obviously quite dear to you and you've been anticipating the graduation, of course you should give the second kid the $100 gift.

    Apparently you're not that close to your cousin who is graduating next week or you'd have been invited in time to make travel arrangements. A congratulatory card will suffice, as it will for the other cousin and anyone else who graduates, unless you're just feeling generous.

  6. If they are set on giving a monetary gift. Whatever, the budget it divide it by however many graduates you care to give to, and let me that be it. Don't feel bad because you don't have more to give. It's still always the thought that counts. It's that simple.

  7. You're going to feel bad (for a while) no matter what you do, but giving the 3 graduates each $100 is *your* expectation of what you had hoped to do. Perhaps some would say that the son might have expectations because of his sister's gift from you, and perhaps he does. But only you know what amount would cause a hardship for your finances.

    In fairness, I'd divide the money between all 3. If your friend truly knows you, she'll understand why her son got a smaller gift than his sister.

  8. A similiar situation occurred with my elderly mother, when one of her grands graduated - my father was yet alive and she had the income to do father passed and her income is very limited now, so she has to adjust her giving to her budget. The fact that $100 was given a few years back did not set a precedent unless you had already earmarked the money for the friends child, then I would go ahead and give my girlfriends child the money.

  9. I believe you should give your friend's son the $100 since they seem to be dear friends to you. I would give your cousins gifts but like LPC said they have no expectations. Do what you can and keep what you give to others as gifts to your self.

  10. give friends son 100 , and wait on other 2. Take the 100 for the 1st cousin out of Junes budget , and take the 100 for the other cousin out of Augusts budget


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