Graduation gift – money – cash or check?

Cousin's son is graduating from high-school. I've been invited to reception. Plan on just giving money in card. Should I just stuff cash in the envelope or write a check?

Best Answer:

Nolan: I will answer a bit at a time. You have to go back to the bank that gave you the certificate of deposit (CD). If you went to another bank, that would be like loaning your brother 10 dollars and then going to a stranger and asking for your ten dollars back.

If the CD has been paying you interest regularly (every 3 month, yearly etc.) then at the end of the year, the bank will send you a 1099 INT. This is the form they send to the IRS to report the interest income that you earned during the year. However, some CD's don't pay interest until maturity so you may not get one until you actually take the money out or "realize" your earnings. Example: You loan your friend 100 dollars and your friend gives you a note that the end of the year, i'll give you your money back plus 10%. At the end of the year your friend gives you an option. Take your money back ($100) plus the 10% interest ($10) (total $110), or "roll it over" which is to renew the contract but this time, the loan amount is $110 at 10% interest. Next year same thing but you get $11 dollars in interest. This is called compounding interest by the way. So it depends on when you get your earnings.

If the CD has two names on it, then yes, BOTH will have to sign to cash it out unless when you opened the CD account the paperwork specifically states that it is o.k. for only one of the named owners to withdraw funds. OH, if it was a custodial account, meaning you opened it for the benefit of somebody else like a grandchild for college, then in most states, the funds are actually the childs, not yours and is considered a gift. In that case, since you are the custodian, you could take it out but if you didn't eventually return the funds to the child, the child could sue you for those funds when they are at an age of maturity for theft, or failure to act as a fiduciary.

Hope that helps.

PS. Leaving a CD in an account for 15 years is probably one of the dumbest things you could do because the interest you receive does not outpace inflation and if you are rolling that CD over after interest rates have dropped, (like now, at less than 1%), then your money isn't working for you at all. Sure you still have it at the end of the day and it is insured by the FDIC, but what does it buy? Example. Put a dollar bill under your mattress with a list of things you would like to buy with that dollar bill (pack of gum, 20oz. soda, whatever) Then in 25 years take that dollar bill out plus your extra .25 cents in interest and go see what you can buy with it. Nothing because a pack of gum is 1.50 and a soda is 2.00.

Other answer:

Gift Debit Card
I graduated in ealier this month so trust me when I say, check, so it slows down spending, encourages saving and makes me feel up to my financial responsibilities.

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