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Is my sister BU?

(79 Posts)
LikeAWire Sun 17-Feb-13 22:41:23

NC as talking about our salaries etc. Our parents didn't earn very much and sacrificed a lot, particularly financially, so that we could have the best experiences growing up. As they have got older they have got progressively worse-off and now earn just under the average.

In contrast, my sister and I did very well out of their efforts and she earns £22.5k plus bonuses and will earn more once she qualifies. I earn £23k and am looking forward to a substantial promotion in the summer if all goes well. We are 24 and 25 respectively. DP comes from an extremely well-off background and is very generous. This is all relevant.

We have a kitchen gadget that my DM fell in love with over Christmas. It is approx £100 so not too much money to either DSis or me/DP, particularly in light of how much our parents have given us/continue to want to give us even though we stand on our own feet. Her birthday has gone, Christmas has gone so I suggested that we buy it for Mothers' Day. DSis refused on the grounds that it's too much. Meanwhile DM is talking about buying a v cheap version -all she can afford - and I am fuming that we can so easily buy her a good version, save for DSis holding out (our presents are always joint - if DP and I buy it family WW3 will break out). Eventually I have persuaded her that, if DF contributes what they would have spent, we will make the difference up.

Now it's their major anniversary coming up at the end of the year. They want to go away with us for the weekend. DM says maybe they'll treat themselves to a non-Travelodge stay. So I said to DSis that their present could be a nice hotel stay, just a normal nice hotel, nothing extreme (they are strictly caravan/Travelodge people, as we were until I met DP and DSis got her job - DSis gets to stay in some v swanky places for work and was bitching about being put in a Premier Inn last year). DSis said fine but it "had to" have a family room she could stay in with DParents as she wasn't forking out for a single room plus the share of their room. I don't think it's nice that it's their anniversary and they have to share a room with their adult child hmm so I have agreed with DP that we will split the cost of her room and ours three ways. He is fine with it as he wants my parents to have a good time but a bit hmm with my sister after all the fuss about the kitchen gadget - it has taken me since Christmas to get her to part with more than £10 on a gift for my Mum.

Is DSis BU? She has the money, we have the money and we are in this fortunate position thanks to the boost my parents gave us. I'm not suggesting we go OTT but I think we can afford to treat them now.

wintersweet Tue 19-Feb-13 08:32:05

Regardless of what either of you earn I think you should stop buying joint presents it seems to be causing a lot of conflict between you. Celebrations should be a time to come together and enjoy not fall out over presents or secretly resent how much you've had to invest. Simply say to your sister that you both have different ideas about what you'd like to buy for your parents and you should both buy different presents. I can completely understand how she feels about forking out for a single room plus supplement, maybe she should book a double and tell them that her partner is travelling down later when booking in, but staying in your parents room on their anniversary is unfair.

See I feel so strongly about that I thought I'd post it twice so you didn't miss it.....

We often do joint present buying in our family. For example it's dh 40th this year and I've asked his parents, brother and my parents and sister if they want to contribute. The difference is it's a choice and the amount they contribute is entirely up to then. And if they want to get something else instead and not contribute at all that is just as fine. If I can't afford the present i'm planning I'll either get something else or buy it anyway and it can be part of his Christmas present too. I certainly won't go chasing anyone to give more.

For us this works well but it works because people can do what they want and there's no pressure.

So there is nothing wrong with joint present giving in a situation like this but everything wrong with bullying people into spending more they can afford on a present they wouldn't choose to give.

And just as much wrong in being faulted into not giving a present you want to give because someone else can't match it. Since when was present giving a competition? It's the thought that counts not the monetary value, and if your parents grew up without much I expect they'll appreciate this more than most.

We often do joint present buying in our family. For example it's dh 40th this year and I've asked his parents, brother and my parents and sister if they want to contribute. The difference is it's a choice and the amount they contribute is entirely up to then. And if they want to get something else instead and not contribute at all that is just as fine. If I can't afford the present i'm planning I'll either get something else or buy it anyway and it can be part of his Christmas present too. I certainly won't go chasing anyone to give more.

For us this works well but it works because people can do what they want and there's no pressure.

So there is nothing wrong with joint present giving in a situation like this but everything wrong with bullying people into spending more they can afford on a present they wouldn't choose to give.

And just as much wrong in being faulted into not giving a present you want to give because someone else can't match it. Since when was present giving a competition? It's the thought that counts not the monetary value, and if your parents grew up without much I expect they'll appreciate this more than most.

Mimishimi Tue 19-Feb-13 00:43:12

YABU. Suggest it but if she doesn't agree, buy your own present.

ScumbagCollegeDropout Mon 18-Feb-13 22:54:27

Maybe DSis has a secret coke habit.

<helpful>

RivalSibling Mon 18-Feb-13 22:42:43

I'm wondering whether this is upsetting you because your parents don't get on so well these days? Wanting to 'fix' it?

I'm a 'fixer' so do empathise, but you might be disappointed.

Sorry if I'm on the wrong track.

Cailinsalach Mon 18-Feb-13 22:42:42

Aaaaargh I hate the joint presents malarky. Ex H's sister used to do this. She would ask her Daddy what he wanted, order it and then present us with a bill, often more than we could afford. We were never acknowledged as having contributed. FIL even told me he considered the present to be exclusively from SIL as she had done all the planning. Ex H eventually told her to not include us anymore in her plans. My DB is no better. He never buys DF a present but asks if I will say the present I bought is from us both and he will give me half. Which he does months later.

Drop the joint present giving. It will end in tears.....

Jinsei Mon 18-Feb-13 22:19:37

Jeez, what is it with all the people wanting to piss on the OP's parade by telling her what crap salaries she and her DSis earn? hmm £22k is obviously no fortune but it's not a bad income for a young person in some parts of the country, and the OP clearly feels quite comfortable on that amount. No need to tear that perception down.

Also, is it so very odd for siblings to do joint gifts as adults? DSis and I still do this for our parents occasionally, and we are 42 and 39 respectively! grin I think it's fine if everyone has the same taste in gifts and similar budgets but it all falls down if there is pressure on one person to contribute more than they can afford. In our case, I tend to have more disposable income than DSis, and so I would always get her to set the budget.

OP, it's lovely that you want to treat your parents, but it's probably time to go it alone on the gifts now. It might be a relief for your DSis as well. smile

Also, whatever you might think of her spending choices, don't underestimate the difference that it makes having a wealthy partner to chip in. She doesn't have that, and her costs as a single person will inevitably be more.

diddl Germany Mon 18-Feb-13 21:10:46

Look, if you can afford the 100GBP thing & want to buy it-buy it!

She doesn´t want to be involved!

If she wants to share with parents-she asks them.

They say yes or no-she goes or not!

Also, it´s all very well your parents wanting a weekend away-but unless they pay, they can´t expect everyone to go tbh.

Even if you do earn more than them put together, they went without so that you could have as children-which many parents do anyway!

givemeaclue Mon 18-Feb-13 19:11:59

Grow up and buy your own presents and stop nosing/judging eachothers finances.

Neither of you are on a high salary although I take the point parents, earned much less.

Sugarice Mon 18-Feb-13 18:45:33

Bite the bullet and tell your sister that joint present buying has to stop as it's preventing you buying whatyou want to get your Parents.

It's not your responsibility to ensure she doesn't look tight with her spending, if she gets angry; so what.

Stop letting her dominate you.

LikeAWire Mon 18-Feb-13 18:08:42

I wasn't going to come back as I did acknowledge fairly early on that I was BU to ask her to spend more than she was comfortable with, although I also qualified that with noting that I said she could pay whatever she wanted (after she initially refused) and that was turned down. However I'd like to address a few points.

- I know how much she has because she discusses it with me. I helped her flat hunt so I know her rent, she calls me to tell me what freebies she has at work (and someone did spot that it's the extras that make her salary high, I should have stressed that), she doesn't have a DP but she does share a flat and split all costs, she tells me when she gets bonuses and when she goes shopping/out.

- 22.5k is a lot to us. An awful lot. It's more than my parents earn jointly so to us it is relatively wealthy and by living in the way we grew up we have more left over than someone who grew up accustomed to more. I don't live extravagantly, whatever this thread may imply (because it is about spending £££ twice a year) and I work away so have to support myself in the same way as DSis from a similar salary. However I do realise that having DP provides a mental security DSis doesn't have.

- Given that I know my parents went without to buy us nicer things when they could have afforded it and now they can't afford it (not a kitchenaid - I wish for £100! grin Can't say what it is as it's very specific/not usual) I didn't think it was unreasonable for their children to treat them.

- Joint presents is a hangover from when we were both skint students/children. I can see it has to stop. I have suggested just buying things myself in the past but she doesn't want me to do that either as it would 'show her up'. I do feel a bit like I can't win, like I can't get DParents something they really want (and they don't want much) even if I have the money because either way DSis will get angry. I am not playing Lady Bountiful - DM wanted a book for Christmas so we got her that. It just so happens that she really wants this gadget and got really excited about it, kept asking me questions and was disappointed when she heard how much DP had paid.

- DSis agreed to the hotel very readily (it was a suggestion - we tend to bounce ideas around for weeks before settling on something presents-wise) but was insistent that she have a family room with them. She still shares with them to save money sometimes so it wasn't a ploy on her part. She's very direct and would just have told me to get stuffed (like she did with the gadget) if she didn't want to chip in for the hotel.

- DParents want a family weekend followed by a private holiday. TBH they don't get on very well any more and I suspect they want us as a buffer, which is very sad but we don't see them that often (live hundreds of miles away). Initially I said no as I didn't recognise the date and then I got an irate call from DSis telling me we would spoil the weekend unless we went. It's also mine and DP's anniversary that weekend so frankly it is an excuse for us to have a nice weekend away too - we all (normally!) get on very well.

- To those of you who say we sound odd (and I bet I get a few more of those comments after the last paragraph): I asked DP if we were an odd family and he said ours wasn't especially so and all families are weird grin I trust him to be honest!

I agree with those who say it's a bit much to expect DParents to share, especially when she tried to make me share with them last year when we all had to stay somewhere so that her boyfriend could visit her in the single room I'd booked (DP was away). She didn't want to fork out for a separate room then either - my parents had paid for the family room, I'd paid for the single and she said she didn't want to pay for a separate room for them (long story but she couldn't stay at his) hmm

MadBusLady Mon 18-Feb-13 12:45:47

This seems very odd. When I was on £22k and single I was living in a shared flat and budgeting carefully for modest luxuries like a meal out with friends or a new top, not buying my parents Kitchenaids and minibreaks. The majority of it just went immediately on rent, bills and commuting. Where can she possibly live that you consider that an enormous glad-handing salary, on an equivalent level to the gift-giving power of you AND your DP?

diddl Germany Mon 18-Feb-13 12:24:01

So the parents want a weekend away, would like the daughters to be there-& now OP thinks that she & her sister should pay for it?

Christ, I have a sister like that-it´s fucking annoying!

Especially when they don´t listen when you tell them that you can´t actually afford it!

I don't think the sister actually wants to stay in the room(?) She's trying to make a point, surely?

Like someone else said, why on earth would any of you go with them on their anniversary weekend? They've said they are going to treat themselves . Did your DM actually invite you?

BlueberryHill Mon 18-Feb-13 10:32:43

Rougepygmy, precisely the same thing happened to me, except it was for my FIL. SIL decided that it would be a good idea to get FIL a laptop, £200 required from us, we had kids lots of outgoings etc. DH didn't want to make an issue of it, I hate it when other people spend our money.

ILs have a history of this, we have 'contributed' £3000 for a car for use at a holiday home abroad that we have been to twice. We haven't been able to go out in 3+ years as we had twins as well as an older child and couldn't physically get there plus it isn't really suitable for very young children. SIL again came up with the idea of getting a car out there and suggested everyone contribute to it, great for her, she has been out loads but only has one child and goes out with friends a lot. Bitter? Very, I was ML at the time and we had to pay for it out of savings.

mrsjay Mon 18-Feb-13 10:30:15

buy her the kitchen gadget n your own tbh you are far to old for joint presents if you sister doesn't want too then you can't grumble if you can afford it buy it for your mum or is a bit stingy. give them some holiday or hotel vouchers for their aniversary

RivalSibling Mon 18-Feb-13 10:09:59

I think its nice you want to involve your sister and also that you want to be generous to your parents as they have been generous to you.

I have learned that hard way not to assume that a sibling wants to do things the way I would like to do things. I have asked my brother to go halves on things because I thought my mum would like it and its just ended in tears - I feel resentful that my bro is so mean, he feels resentful that he is being asked to put his hand in his pocket.

Having had that experience I do get where you are coming from (and your sis does sound pretty selfish to want to share her parents bedroom on their anniversary to save money!)

Maybe its just time to move on. Circumstances will change a lot in years to come.

Groovee Uruguay Mon 18-Feb-13 10:08:10

I refuse to do joint presents as they weren't presents I would give. Dh's SIL wanted to buy our MIL a zoo membership so she would take the kids. Dh knew his mum would hate it, so we said no and she got stroppy because it meant her children would miss out!!!

But why should someone give a joint present just because someone else doesn't want to fork out for the whole present?

Just give from you and DP and not as joint presents.

TheSecondComing Mon 18-Feb-13 09:39:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Whocansay Mon 18-Feb-13 09:33:37

You sound like squabbling kids. Its none of your business how your sister spends her money and you shouldnt be pressuring her into spending money when she's made it plain she doesn't want to. She's allowed to say no for whatever reason she likes.

Equally, she has no say in what you buy your parents. If you want to play Lady Bountiful, get on with it and leave your sister out of it.

She IBU for wanting to stay in there room though. Suggest to her that your parents might actually want some 'grown up' time nudge, nudge, wink, wink! and she would be a major gooseberry. And selfish.

Binkybix Mon 18-Feb-13 09:05:21

YABU I think. From personal experience, it is highly annoying when a friend has a partner who earns loads, so spends their money and expects you to match it in various social situations.

whois Mon 18-Feb-13 09:04:24

Stop with the joint gifts. Just tell her it clearly isn't working out as you have different ideas on what kind of gifts should be bought so suggest you go separately from now on.

cjel Mon 18-Feb-13 09:01:33

OP did offer to get gift and sis to chip in what she wanted but ds wouldn't do that either. Only way round is to do what you want and let her do what she wants. You are adults. Tell her what you are doing and step away!!!

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