10 Reasons Why You Should Ask for Cash This Christmas
Feeling guilty because you're considering asking for cash this Christmas? Don't. The best gifts don't have to be hand-selected from a secret boutique or wrested from the panicked grasp of another shopper at 4:00 a.m. on Black Friday. Sometimes, the best gifts are the simplest, and cash is supremely simple, versatile, useful, and appropriate. In fact, here are 10 reasons why cash should be on your Christmas list this year. (See also: 5 Reasons to Give Kids Cash for the Holidays)
1. Cash Doesn't Expire
Go tell Santa cash doesn't expire. Unlike gift cards which, according to various state laws may expire after five years of the date they're activated, cash is always good.
2. Cash Is Fee-Free
Again, based on state law, some card issuers may leverage an inactivity fee for gift cards that haven't been used within a certain period. If you've forgotten about that gift card to your favorite shoe store for the past 12 months and you happen to live in Kansas, you may have lost a portion of the balance by the time you're ready to buy those new wedges. But cash is fee-free — no need to refer to a map to determine how it will be treated once you reach the cash register. Isn't simplicity a beautiful thing?
3. Cash Is Universal
Cash is accepted everywhere. No need to look for little logos on the front door of your favorite business; the green stuff works everywhere, every time. The same can't be said for checks, debit cards, credit cards, or gift cards.
4. You Almost Never Need to Return Cash
Except in rare cases of embarrassment (This is too much!), guilt (I don't deserve it!), or error (Wait, you gave me a hundred, not a ten) there's almost never a need to return cash. That means no receipts to track, no trips to make, and no long lines to wait in.
5. Cash Always Fits and Never Goes Out of Style
One size fits all, and the tailoring is timeless. Cash works for everybody and lets them choose the when and where of their gift. It usually never gets orphaned in the back of a closet or stuck on a shelf with last year's skinny jeans.
6. Cash Is the Perfect Stocking Stuffer
Tucked in an envelope or rolled and tied with a satin bow, cash is an ideal stocking stuffer. It's as if the green stuff was made to fit in a stocking hung with care. And what could make a candy cane or box of chocolate-covered cherries taste sweeter than a bit of cash to go along with it? For more ideas on how to creatively give cash during the holiday, check out these great cash-wrapping ideas from crafting website, C.R.A.F.T. (See also: Ways to Give Cash as a Gift)
7. Cash Is Personal
Depending on how you look at it, cash can be a supremely personal gift. With cash, the gift-giver acknowledges that he may not know the intricacies of your taste or exactly what you need. And, rather than give an object as some offering to out-dated decorum, he gives cash instead — letting you choose what you want, buy what you need, or combine it with other funds to purchase something extra special.
8. Cash Can Be Saved
I may be an oddity, but when I'm asked to come up with a Christmas wish list each year, I'm always at a loss. I tend to keep my wants and needs pretty low-key and whatever small things I might really want, I pick up on my own throughout the year (usually on sale or second-hand). Asking for cash at Christmas may seem crass, but it lets me "buy" exactly what I want — a slightly larger savings account. (See also: Top 5 Online Savings Accounts)
9. Cash Pays the Bills
The holidays can carry a bit of irony with them. Often they fill our lives with temporary largesse even though the rest of the year we may be struggling just to make ends meet. Also, all of those gift obligations come at a financial price, many times stretching our already tight budgets to the breaking point. Cash can alleviate some of the financial stress of making it through the holidays or recovering from them. Though it might not be the sexiest use of a gift, paying bills with holiday cash can bring some peace of mind. (See also: Stress-Free Holiday Gift Giving)
10. Cash Isn't Clutter
Go check your closets, the attic, the basement, and the garage. What did you find but bins full of ghosts from Christmases past? Instead of adding to your Jacob Marley menagerie, why not simply ask for cash this Christmas? Save it, donate it, use it buy something you'll really enjoy (and use up!). No bins, no boxes, and no totes required.
Ultimately, the holidays are about giving in whatever form we choose to those we care about the most. And, as times change, so do some of our standards of propriety. Far from a quick, last-minute, or impersonal gift, cash may be finally coming into its own as the new "currency" of thoughtful holiday giving. With all the choices we have today, all the venues available to buy through, and the mobile nature of our world, now more than ever — cash is king at Christmastime.
Have you ever asked for cash at Christmas? Would you?