moneyUS (12/9/13) - Whether it's for a couple on their wedding day, a youngster just graduating high school or as a birthday gift to a beloved family member, cash has become an increasingly popular gift in recent years. Once considered impersonal, cash is now a go-to gift for shoppers whose foremost concerns are putting smiles on their loved ones' faces.

Those who still hesitate at the thought of giving an envelope full of cash, take note: There are many clever ways to give green that make cash gifts just as enjoyable to give as to receive.

* Steer clear of cold cash. Regardless of how thoughtful it may be, a greeting card with cash inside does not exactly elicit the warm sentiments synonymous with special occasions like weddings, graduations or the holiday season. When giving monetary gifts, gifters might want to get a little more creative. At Plumfund.com, thoughtful gift givers can set up a cash fund for their loved ones free of charge. Contributors to this account can pledge money in the form of cash or a personal check at no cost, or make direct online payments into the account for a minimal processing fee. Once the big day arrives, recipients will receive their gifts and no doubt appreciate the less conventional but far more creative route chosen by their loved ones.

Gifters who make online contributions can do so through Plumfund's integrated WePay solution, a simple two-step system that makes it easy for recipients to withdraw their money, make an electronic transfer to a personal bank account or choose a paper check, all without incurring withdrawal fees. Recipients may also choose to have their cash gifts immediately deposited into their PayPal accounts.

* Put it on plastic. In many ways, carrying cash has become less convenient than swiping debit or credit cards when making purchases big and small. This is especially true when gifting recently minted grads or newlyweds about to head overseas, where swiping a credit or debit card is far easier than waiting in currency exchange lines at airports or hotels. Gifters who want to make their cash gifts even more convenient can purchase a prepaid debit or credit card that recipients can use anywhere, whether it's buying trinkets at an overseas souvenir shop or filling up the car with fuel on a post-graduation road trip.

* Pool your resources. Another unique way to give cash gifts is to pool your resources with fellow loved ones. Plumfund.com does not restrict the number of people who can contribute to a given account, making it much easier for family members to pool their resources when gifting cash to their  loved ones. This is especially convenient when loved ones have expensive big-ticket items on their holiday wish lists or wedding registries.

Such was the case with David, a soon-to-be 60-year-old avid skiier who aimed to hit the slopes in Colorado for a few days. Recognizing his love of skiing, David's family and friends organized a Plumfund for him, raising $860 that David used to finance his trip, including his flight to Colorado, ski rentals, accommodations, and even some money for a night out on the town. Once a Plumfund account has been established, gifters can get the word out to their loved ones via social media, email or by word of mouth.

Cash has become an increasingly popular and convenient option when gifting loved ones on special occasions. Gifters now have a host of options at their disposal to make their cash gifts more unique.

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Posted on 2/2/14
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