Hand opening brown gift box used as a creative way to give money.

15 creative ways to give money as a gift

7 min read

Regardless of personal tastes, pretty much everyone loves to receive money as a gift. So your holiday shopping should be as straightforward as withdrawing some cash from your bank account, right? Not exactly. Simply stuffing a card with cash can seem kind of, well, impersonal. The good news is that there are a number of creative ways to give money that can surprise and delight while ensuring that everyone on your list gets exactly what they want. Sounds like a win-win to us.

So, before you start stressing out over how to deliver a cash-filled bounty to your loved ones, get inspired by 15 of our favorite creative money gift ideas.

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1. Origami money

If you have an eye for detail, consider transforming some crisp banknotes into an array of stunning origami artworks. Some of the simplest origami shapes to start with are the iconic crane, a modular cube box, or a spinning top. You can find instructional guides for basic shapes (as well as some far more challenging paper artworks) on the NProkuda Origami YouTube channel.

2. A charitable donation

Present your loved one with the gift of giving by donating money to a charitable cause on their behalf. There are millions of charities out there that need money to fund their work. Pick a cause that’s close to your loved one’s heart for a thoughtful gift that makes a positive impact on the world. This one’s extra-easy for N26 customers, as you can donate to a select number of charities directly from your N26 app. 

3. Money in a jar

Is your loved one saving up for something special? If so, presenting them with a labeled money jar is a great way to help them reach their target—and to show that you care. So, if they’re saving up for a holiday or a new piece of furniture, simply write “Holiday” or “New Couch” on a label, stick it on the jar, and fill it with cash!

4. A box of chocolate-shaped money

Life is like a box of chocolates—and the best box of chocolates is filled with cold, hard cash. This creative money gift idea surprises your loved one with a chocolate box stuffed with rolled-up notes instead of chocolates. But what if they actually wanted the chocolate, you might be thinking. Go the extra mile, and serve all the chocolates on a platter after you’ve presented your gift.

5. A money tree

Prove that money really does grow on trees by crafting a literal money tree. Simply buy a cheap, sturdy house plant (we recommend a pothos, spider plant, or aloe vera) and fold some banknotes around the leaves or the stems. Keep the notes in place with a green paper clip, and voila! You’ve got your very own money tree.

6. A surprise instant transfer

Few things are more pleasing (and rare!) than when an unexpected lump sum arrives in your bank account. So, master the element of surprise and send a surprise money transfer to your loved one’s bank account. If you both bank with N26, you can transfer your money immediately with MoneyBeam. Just make sure you’re near them so you can see the look on their face!

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7. A money snail

For this unique money gift, all you need are a couple of snail shells (either sourced from your garden or online), some small cylindrical weights, double-sided sticky tape, banknotes, and a few thin pieces of cardboard. First, roll your banknotes around the cylindrical weights. Then, wrap the thin pieces of cardboard around the notes to keep them in place. Next, stick the shells to the cardboard using the double-sided sticky tape. Congratulations, you’ve created your very own money snails!

8. A gift card in a sock

This one’s a twist on an old classic. Instead of just giving socks as a gift, make them more exciting by putting a gift card inside one of them. Alternatively, you can fill them with rolled-up banknotes or even coins to add to the fun.

9. A money-printing machine

Help your loved one print their own money with their very own money-printing machine. The easiest way to do this is to repurpose an existing box, cut a slit in it, then decorate it—but make sure you can still take the lid off. Then, line your banknotes up end-to-end and use a small amount of scotch tape to stick them together. Next, roll them up, and push the last note out of the slit so that when it’s pulled, the entire roll of notes is pulled out in one long strip!

10. Money balloons

Nothing says celebration quite like a bunch of balloons—especially if those balloons are filled with cash. This gift is a delight, and it’s also really easy to pull off. Simply roll up a banknote, keep it in place with a small piece of scotch tape, then push it inside a deflated balloon. Once you blow up the balloon, the banknote will be safely hidden inside.

11. A money cake

If your loved one has a sweet tooth, nothing will delight them more than a cake. Except, maybe, a cake made entirely of cash. To create a three-tiered money cake, you’ll need three circular pieces of sponge from large to small, lots of banknotes, decorative ribbon, and both regular and double-sided tape. 

First, stack the sponges on top of each other. Then, roll up each of your banknotes as symmetrically as possible and keep them in place using regular tape. Next, using the double-sided tape, stick these notes to the outside of each circular sponge. The finishing touch? Tie a decorative ribbon around each delicious layer of this extravagant cake to make it look good enough to eat!

12. An old-school piggy bank 

Keep it old-school by presenting a classic piggy bank filled with cash as your next gift. Not only will this evoke nostalgic memories of childhood, but a well-chosen piggy bank can make a delightful addition to any bedroom shelf or bedside table!

13. Crypto gift cards

Did you know that several cryptocurrency websites offer gift cards? If your loved one is into digital currency (or just starting to learn about crypto), this could be the creative money gift solution for you. 

Simply find a crypto site you trust (be sure to check the reviews first), select how much you want to send, and you’ll be sent a crypto gift card that you can pass on as a gift.

Note that there are several other ways to send crypto as a gift—including sending crypto directly to your loved one’s crypto wallet address. But a gift card is probably the easiest option for most people new to crypto.

14. A money lei

If you like the idea of gifting your loved one with a creative money gift they can wear, the money lei is just the gift for you. To create one, simply fold your banknotes into little fans. Then, grab a single piece of ribbon and wrap it around the center of each of your fanned notes and tie a knot above and below each note to keep it in place. Keep going until you’ve created a money lei long enough to be worn!

15. A luxury money hamper

Give the gift of luxury by presenting your loved one with a hamper filled with chocolates, flowers, and beautifully presented cone-shaped banknotes. If you’re feeling a bit extra, you can also pair this gift with a bottle of bubbles, but make sure there’s a glass for you in there, too!


Your money at N26

At N26, sticking to your holiday shopping budget has never been easier. Open a designated N26 Space, set a savings target, and put aside the money you’ll need for the holidays throughout the year. Create up to 9 more Spaces, each with its own unique savings goal. 

Speaking of savings goals, check out the N26 Round-Up feature. Each time you make a transaction using your card, it’s rounded up to the nearest euro and the difference is deposited in your chosen space.

The bank you'll love

No paperwork, no hidden fees, no hassle. Just 100% mobile banking that works beautifully.
Discover your free bank account
An elevated hand holding a transparent N26 Standard card.

By N26

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