A company called Present Value is trying to change the gift registry game by shifting the focus away from bakeware and linens and onto your financial future.
The New York-based gift registry service, through its website, offers couples or expectant parents a place where friends and family can send money as gifts to help grow their nest egg or repay student loans.
With the average wedding coming in at close to $30,000, it’s no surprise that couples are hoping to recoup a little bit of what they spend on the wedding, get help funding the wedding or put the money towards a down payment on a home.
Michael Levenson, 27, who founded Present Value in February 2013, hopes that couples will take the opportunity to not only think about the wedding they are planning, but also see beyond it. “Our goal is to have conversations you need to have as a young adult to set you up for financial success for the future,” said Levenson.
With the median age for marriage the highest it has ever been -- 29 for men and 27 for women -- and with more couples living together before marriage, chances are brides- and grooms-to-be already have most of the things they need to run a household. So why not register for a down payment or retirement?
In many social circles, asking for cash is still taboo. After all, wedding gifts are technically not a requirement (but lets be honest, how many people show up to a wedding empty handed?) and couples shouldn’t expect to make back the cost of their wedding. But it is becoming more commonplace to shun registering altogether in the hopes that guests will write a check.
Levenson said he hasn’t experienced as much pushback as he thought he would when it came to the older crowd. “Older people who have been through the different financial cycles in life, see value in starting at that young age to start planning for their financial future,” said Levenson.
Present Value is free to use and every penny of each gift goes directly to a general account for the registrar. Currently, Present Value is looking to generate revenue through partnerships with financial institutions to encourage users to meet with a financial planner, open their first joint account, and/or pay off their debts.
Why not write just write a check? It is a fine option, but there is always the chance the check could be lost, or even worse, stolen.
Aside from weddings and babies, individuals can register for milestones like retirement or college graduation.
Present Value is not the only company to offer gift registry alternatives. Honeyfund, which focuses on the honeymoon, as well as UponOurStar, offer similar services.