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To ask how much you spend on your children's birthday and Christmas presents?

(98 Posts)
pimplypoppet Wed 16-Oct-13 18:19:59

Yes I know it's rude to ask and it depends how much money you have. We live in a modest 3 bed, DH earns approx £35k, I earn approximately £17k part time. Shopping for DDs 4th birthday today and realised with all the 'bits' I'd got I'd already spent in excess of £60. Does that seem a lot or a little to you? Realise this is not important at all, just a bit interested!

IsleOfRight Wed 16-Oct-13 18:21:31

Including the big present and little bits about £60 - £70 for bday.

For Christmas about the same but the grandparents do big ticket Christmas items.

WestieMamma Wed 16-Oct-13 18:23:28

It depends on what I want to get. For Christmas DS is getting a wooden trolley thing full of building blocks. Found it in perfect condition in a second hand shop for £2. He's getting a bounce and spin zebra for his birthday which I think is around £70.

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 16-Oct-13 18:24:26

I dont think £60 is excessive for a birthday, we spend more than that plus usually a party.

For Christmas, budget is higher but given the MN mantra that anything more than an orange and a coin in the stocking is excessive i am not brve enough to admit how much we spend.

HulaHooperStormTrooper Wed 16-Oct-13 18:24:27

I have no idea what I spend. I know I don't go out of my way to make it an even amount on each. It wholly depends on what they want/could make good use of on the occasion.

LadyKatherine Wed 16-Oct-13 18:25:14

Approximately £50 each for birthdays and usually the same for christmas. Depends on how much money we have at the time though. If we have more than normal then we spend it on extra presents for them.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 16-Oct-13 18:26:01

What we spend varies hugely depending on what they want. Sometimes £50-60, sometimes several hundred. Our household income is a fair bit more than yours so spending that much - some of time! - isn't an issue.

IMO what is important is that you spend an amount you are comfortable with and can afford without it having an impact on what you need to spend on essentials - food and heating bills basically.

Sounds fine to me. Tbh, if you can afford it and want to then spend what you like. We have a lower income than you and spend £100 ish on each dd at christmas, the same on birthdays.

kinkyfuckery Wed 16-Oct-13 18:26:39

For Christmas, I budget for £100 each child. For birthday gifts, ideally around £30-ish.

kinkyfuckery Wed 16-Oct-13 18:27:08

My kids are young though, I know that figure will likely need to be higher when they get older.

QueFonda Wed 16-Oct-13 18:34:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EddieVeddersfoxymop Wed 16-Oct-13 18:39:55

We earn between us quite a lot more than the figures you stated, and dds party alone this year cost us £150. What does it matter though? Kids don't know the monetary value of things until they're a good bit older, and if they like what you've bought then who cares what you spent!!

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 16-Oct-13 18:40:03

I think around £60 sounds like a good amount. I think we'll be spending £70 for my 2yo DD this xmas. I've got the ikea play kitchen, along with the pots set and one of the food sets. Will also be getting a couple of books. I'd love to get the top microwave bit for the kitchen too, but in my mind nearly £100 seems a bit too much. (The microwave bit for the kitchen is £20).

oneofthosedays Wed 16-Oct-13 18:41:19

Birthdays £50 each, xmas £200 each - DD wants/needs a new bike this year so that is most of the budget gone already. This is a comfortable level for us, I recently started to save through the year and it makes everything much less stressful coming up to xmas. We spend £15-20 on relatives gifts and £50 budget for DH and I to buy for each other. The gps don't go mad on gifts so the kids don't end up drowning in stuff come xmas day.

MamaBear17 Wed 16-Oct-13 18:41:41

We usually put aside two months family allowance for both Christmas and Birthday. £160 seems like a lot but that includes a party for birthday and a couple of Christmas days out including a ride on a Christmas train to meet Santa. We only have one dc though, that may be revised if and when we have another!

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 16-Oct-13 18:41:49

Forgot to say I spend about the same for xmas and birthdays.

Twooter Wed 16-Oct-13 18:41:56

I probably spent a bit more than that at that age, but not much, and the presents were bulked out by stuff they needed, so it was that much fun presents.

Bunraku Wed 16-Oct-13 18:42:29

Christmas about £150-£200 this year. Birthdays probably £100. It sounds like a lot but I only have one child and and for Christmas I like to buy big things that will be used for a long time. For birthdays I like to do an activity as a gift, which is what takes up most of the budget.

cardibach Wed 16-Oct-13 18:43:27

As other posters have said, I don't go by budget but by what DD wants/needs (although how much money I have at the time obviously has an impact!). SHe will be having very expensive Christmas and birthday this time as she needs a new laptop which I will by fro Christmas (really needs, for A level work and to take to Uni - I hope - next year) and it's her 18th in January.
<decides to live on beans on toast for 4 months>

Katienana Wed 16-Oct-13 18:49:49

Last year I spent about 70 at xmas which included clothes that I would have been buying anyway. I spent 25 on his birthday on a toy. This year no more than 100 on xmas. He has just turned 1.

ringaringarosy Wed 16-Oct-13 18:54:01

including stockings,new clothes and pjs,at christmas 150-250 each,there are 4 of them and another on the way.

birthdays about 100,i do parties from when they are 5.

dh earns 70k a year,i am sahm,

flipchart Wed 16-Oct-13 19:00:03

It is hard to answer because it depends on what they need at the time.

ds1 is 17 so we said we would pay for his driving lessons and car. So that is ongoing at the moment. How much that is going to end up costing I have no idea!! (at the moment he is having 2 lessons a week)

DS2 was 14 the other week so we bought him this
www.evanscycles.com/products/specialized/rockhopper-pro-evo-2014-mountain-bike-ec053577 which is admittedly more than we would usually spend.

Last Christmas we bought DS2 ice hockey gear that was just short of a grand and DS1 got new skis and stuff which was about £800.

When the were younger I spent a hell of a lot less!!
Thinking about it for his 16 DS1 had a ipod touch and DS2 had ski stuff for his 13th.

Although I know it's a lot of money it saves me buying twice if you see what I mean.

MerryMarigold Wed 16-Oct-13 19:04:29

That sounds like a lot to me, OP. Dh earns in excess of 50K and I don't work.

We spend around £30 for birthday and probably a bit more for Christmas if you include FC's items, about £15 on a small-ish present from us and then the FC items which would probably all add up to no more than 50.

However, I was shocked at a family birthday party the other day (we spend £15-20 on kids in the family) to see what looked like presents totalling around £100 from SIL not even to her own child. I was momentarily jealous that she never spends that on my kids, but quickly relieved because I wouldn't want to be spending that on her kids, which is way more than I spend on my own kids. I think some people just spend ridiculous amounts.

MerryMarigold Wed 16-Oct-13 19:07:04

Oh my kids are young - 4 and 7. I know it will go up as they get older. We tend to buy second hand things like bikes, which may be weird for Christmas. FC always gets them pants and tooth brushes!

SanctimoniousArse Wed 16-Oct-13 19:07:50

We dontdo Xmas but now the kids are adults we give them £50 we their birthdays and have a takeaway. I think they generally turn that into a computer game and some alcohol.

Lorelailovesluke Wed 16-Oct-13 19:13:53

I get what they want if I can afford it, can not say I am swayed by what other people spend.

well it varies hugely for me as I'm self employed. Some years I've spent £20 quid in the charity shop on birthdays. This year ds1 is 17 and getting driving lessons at £15 to £20 an hour until he's passed so fuck knows! dts who are eight but nine in the new year would love ipad minis, which will set me back £269 each, a lot, I know, but they are not grabby about getting them and will be super delighted. I've said that will be pretty much it although they will get other stuff at their dad's, not a lot as he doesn't spend much on christmas or birthdays, which I have no issue with - I really enjoy spending on them if I can and do tend to suffer from 'pile anxiety'

uselessinformation Wed 16-Oct-13 19:24:44

It depends on circumstances at the time and also ds is used to having to wait for his birthday or Christmas rather than just getting things all the time like some children do. One year nearly everything was second hand and another year he had a piano. He would have needed this anyway, but because he chose lessons and wasn't forced into them he was thrilled with it.

I don't think it sounds excessive at all if you can afford it.

I will be totally honest, I can spend £500-£1000 on a birthday quite easily, same for Christmas. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

The price rockets as they get older and depends on what they need.

It's not a boast, it's just the truth. I spend what we can afford.

AllDirections Wed 16-Oct-13 19:34:34

Generally £30 for birthdays and £150 for Christmas, sometimes a bit more or less depending on the cost of the main present.

Income bracket is working poor grin

Panzee Wed 16-Oct-13 19:38:09

Just getting in early with the "two tangerines and a walnut" crowd. ;)

muddymarvellousdarling Wed 16-Oct-13 19:55:13

I think as the DC get older it costs more. grin

This year the DC don't seem too bothered. hmm
they have every gadget going already. So I suppose DS2 will end up with xbox games and DD money for what she wants clothes/DS games .

I have already got LFA boots and harumika/ monster high sets, for DD and a few fun/gadget gifts for the DSs.

Mittensonkittens Wed 16-Oct-13 19:57:18

Birthdays I guess around £150 plus a party.
Christmas I think we've spent about £250 this year, all my shopping for ds is done.

I always aim to spend less but find it quickly adds up. Ds is 4 btw.

muddymarvellousdarling Wed 16-Oct-13 20:01:06

panzee

DD has recycled pencils in fruit flavours! grin . Does that count!! grin

Kendodd Wed 16-Oct-13 20:01:35

When they were little, pre-school age, I didn't spend much at all, maybe £20 each on presents (x3) they are the only grandchildren on both sides though so GPs got a lot of stuff. Now they are a bit older, primary school age, I spend quite a bit more, but on things they 'need' like bikes.

pointyfangs Wed 16-Oct-13 20:02:07

It varies depending on what they want and what we can afford - it's more these days now that we're no longer paying mortgage and childcare, and since we are on about the same as OP between us we're fairly well off.

This year the DDs are getting a 3DS for Christmas plus a game each, plus some stuff I sneakily bought for them in Disney last August, and the rest is stocking fillers - total about £200 each, and that's the most lavish we have ever been. For birthdays we spend a lot less because both the DDs have their birthdays within 6 weeks of Christmas.

Kendodd Wed 16-Oct-13 20:02:14

Oh, household income, about 110k

curiousgeorgie Wed 16-Oct-13 20:06:32

I've gone a bit crazy this year (thanks to the Christmas bargain thread!) and probably spent about 4-500 on my DD1 and about 200 on my DD2.

DH is going to KILL me.

It just sort of kept filling up the spare room until one day when I organised it all.

Oops.

defineme Wed 16-Oct-13 20:06:42

We earn about the same as you and spend very similar for birthday and xmas, but birthday party additional...that's getting cheaper as they've moved from whole class soft play to 3 friends for a sleepover/dvd.
However, it's entirely up to you how you spend your wages: a friend with similar income to me spends far more on food and kids activities and far less than me on holidays..it just depends how you like to divvy it up/prioritize.
I think there's an element of upbringing: my parents were quite low key re xmas and birthday and a bit sneery about what they perceived as monetary excess.
My aunty has always really gone to town on xmas spending ££££s despite a relatively low income, I think she's making up for the very shitty xmases she had as a child in an impoverished and abusive family and in the process she has given her kids magic memories.

Oh and we also have 3 kids..I think that can make a difference.

curiousgeorgie Wed 16-Oct-13 20:09:03

It was DD1's 3rd birthday at the weekend and we spent about £250 on presents and quite a ridiculous £1100 on a party... But it was a massive party in our garden with entertainers and a marquee and it was absolutely fantastic... (Again though, when DH adds it up, he will kill me.)

freddiefrog Wed 16-Oct-13 20:09:56

Depends what they want and how finances are looking.

This year is an expensive one, we've bought DD2 One Direction concert tickets and I can't spend on one and not the other. Plus a stocking

Birthdays, about £50-60.

mumofweeboys Wed 16-Oct-13 20:11:32

Max of £100 if something really special like a bike but usually £50. Ds1 who is 5 has a grand total of £14.99 as I got him a transformer toy reduced from £40.

Kelly281 Wed 16-Oct-13 20:15:11

It was DD's 2nd birthday 2wks ago, I the end presents totalled approx £250. She just had a family tea party so no party expense, other than her cake which cost £100.

So far Christmas presents total around £500, although half of that cost has went to one large item which will last a long time.

I think so long as you spend within your means then whatever you're comfortable with is fine.

Crawling Wed 16-Oct-13 20:17:38

Dh earns £20,000 and I get carers allowance of £58 a week. We spend a £100 for birthdays and £150 for Christmas. Have 3 dc aged 2,4 and 7.I spend less on the 2yo.

ohmymimi Wed 16-Oct-13 20:19:12

My Dad went to woodwork evening classes to make me a dolls house one Christmas, he also collected books from every W H Smith's sale during the year, refurbished a second-hand cot, then a desk as later gifts. He let me choose wallpaper for my bedroom, then decorated the room for one birthday. My Mum once made me a Milly Molly Mandy dress. Believe me, those gifts were all adored by me. It's not just about the amount spent, but the love and thought.

DrCoconut Wed 16-Oct-13 20:20:00

We have spent £10 on DS2 for Christmas. We picked up the ELC toy fort second hand earlier in the year. Bargain.

ItsAliveItsElectric Wed 16-Oct-13 20:22:48

My DC are 3 and 8 and I would guess around £80 each. I hit home bargains and b and m's in October when the Xmas toys start coming in and get most of it there (then the odd bigger item later on). The savings you can make are great if you have one nearby. For example, DD loves Minnie mouse so they have roller skates for 7.99. Minnie craft sets 1.99. And tons of branded toys e.g ben and holly stuff really cheap. DS loves angry birds, the sets that cost 15.00 in asda are 7.00 there. Household income only 24k roughly so I have to shop around!

bellybuttonfairy Wed 16-Oct-13 20:31:17

We dont buy birthday presents, its a weird family oddity that also happened in dh's family. They do have parties and get made a fuss over though.

At xmas I go overboard and spend approx 200-300 pounds each. My mum goes crazy and spends another 100 pounds each on them too.

I love xmas tho, they have one 'big' present each such as a scooter and then smaller stuff such as clothes, craft stuff and games. I dont buy any toys etc during the rest of the year and they dont have presents when they are babies.

I have 3 dc (6,4 and 2). We have household income of 40k (both part time).

PrincessWellington Wed 16-Oct-13 20:32:52

£100 for a birthday plus a birthday treat like a day out - no parties. £500 max for Christmas each. We don't buy much through the year though

OhCobblers Wed 16-Oct-13 20:40:01

My dc are 4 and almost 7 and we spend up to £100 on birthdays plus the same for Christmas plus I've spent about £50 each on stocking presents.

We could spend more but I don't feel its necessary at this age when I know for sure as they're grow up they'll want presents that cost a lot more. Also during the year they might get a few little presents (items that keep them amused in the holidays) but nothing very expensive so they know that any "big" items they would like are for Xmas or birthday.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Wed 16-Oct-13 20:43:05

I spend about £70 - £80 plus a small family party for birthdays. Then about £60 for Christmas. I would rather spend more on their birthdays than Christmas.

FrightRider Wed 16-Oct-13 20:47:29

30 for birthdays, 50 for christmas.

there may be other bits and pieces,but i use a lot of clubcard vouchers and keep an eye out for bargains in the run up.

ConstantCraving Wed 16-Oct-13 20:49:11

About £35 for DD's 4th birthday. No money on a party as she has zero interest in one and just wants to have tea with family and trip to the local farm! am making the most of it before it all changes in a few years!

enormouse Wed 16-Oct-13 20:50:26

Well ds is 2 next week and is getting the ikea play kitchen with associated bits and pieces. But we've split the cost for this between us and DPs parents, so about £40-£50 each.
Christmas should come to about £75-£85. Roughly, as long as I don't get too carried away on stocking fillers and clothes.

marriedinwhiteisback Wed 16-Oct-13 20:54:23

I think £60 is more than enough for a four year old whatever you earn.

Rufus44 Wed 16-Oct-13 20:55:05

£50 to £60 for birthdays. If I'm honest bits over Christmas inc Xmas eve pjs and book, Boxing Day gifts and other bits and bobs probably come to just under £200 each,

Mostly Boxing Day gifts are a computer game, board game and DVD that we all share, but we have bought a WII in the past.

6 other family members are £10, 5 are £20 and I only buy for 2 other children. My husband and I don't usually bother with presents so we save money there

fluffypillow Wed 16-Oct-13 20:56:23

Too much shock

Not saying...........it's embarrassing blush

stickyg Wed 16-Oct-13 21:00:02

We have a family income of around £50,000 and have an almost 5 year old daughter.

This year i have spent £160 on her birthday presents and she is having her first proper birthday party which is costing around £300.
We have spent £300 on toys for christmas but we will also be buying her an ipad (she has just been diagnosed with hf asd so this will benefit her).

junkfoodaddict Wed 16-Oct-13 21:00:48

I spend up to £150-£200 for DS at Christmas BUT one or two presents are put aside for his birthday which is a few days later.
We very rarely buy anymore toys and presents during the year, except a few books which I see as important, clothes, drawing books and colouring pencils and we earn approximately £100,000!
I don't see that as excessive - in fact we're quite fruggle (sp?) considering. We want to bring our child up to value his belongings and not to think that because we have more money than most people that he should splash it about, iykwim! We consider ourselves lucky to be in the position that we are. We're also looking for a second hand John Deere pedal tractor (DH IS materialistic when it comes to 'some' things!)
However, I have a friend who earns less than half of what we do but happily spends £400-£500 just on her eldest child's birthday and then again at Christmas and he gets presents nearly EVER week. Not sure how she's going to manage it with another DC.

pointyfangs Wed 16-Oct-13 21:05:16

I should add that my two are 10 and 12, so unfortunately more expensive. However, I can always please them by giving them books, so that makes stocking fillers easy (Yay the Book People!)

Beastofburden Wed 16-Oct-13 21:09:43

I don't think I spent the equivalent of that when mine were that young. More like £30 I would guess, maybe less as I wasn't earning in those days. Mine are young adults now and we are reverting to spending small amounts so they can afford to buy us stuff back. Bt there's a set up time when you tend to buy them their laptop or phone for Christmas, and even if you get them to pool all their Xmas money from wider family, you tend to get let in for £100 to do that.

BecauseYoureGorgeous Wed 16-Oct-13 21:10:58

About £250 all told.

BecauseYoureGorgeous Wed 16-Oct-13 21:18:29

Only one child though.

IcedTeaOneSugar Wed 16-Oct-13 21:19:50

We don't spend a lot for dd's birthday, maybe £40, but she always has a part, this year's party will probably cost about £150.

DDs birthday is very close to Christmas, we'd probably spend more if it was in the summer, to be honest she effectively gets something from her Christmas list a bit early.

Christmas varies depending on what she want for her main present, this year she wants a laptop, which will probably be about £300 - £350, so she'll only get that, her stocking and a few small bits and bobs.

We have a very reasonable joint income and only one child.

Lilicat1013 Wed 16-Oct-13 21:26:21

We are on a lower income, my husband earns just over minimum wage and I get carers allowance. We save up all year for Christmas, I do surveys for Amazon vouchers, save Boots points and do anything else that gets extra money for Christmas.

I don't have a budget, I buy early and on sale and decide on a on a case by case basis whether a present is affordable. I have a limit of the number of presents I buy. Each child gets eight toys and two books.

This year my older son's Christmas presents come to around £200 and my younger son's come to around £100. I can't remember how much of that was actual money spend and how much was Amazon vouchers, points or a free item on a three for two but that is how much the items came to.

Their birthday lists are already done, my older son's (who will be four) costs £140 and my younger son's (who will be one) costs around £130. I aim to get those items for less than that ideally though!

I have spent more than I would prefer to spend but I wanted to get them gifts that they will definitely love and will use and that seems to add up.

BruthasTortoise Wed 16-Oct-13 21:32:14

Between 50-100 on birthdays and between 100-400 on Christmas. 5 kids to buy for so I save all year.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 16-Oct-13 21:33:29

Its very dependant on the age of the child for me. This year I've spent £5 for Christmas on one of them but they will only be a few weeks old and will not have a clue the 19 month old is very interested in boxes so he's got a few token items in boxes suitable for sitting in I'm guessing its probably cost about £45 in total,

The teenagers have got combos of iPods and stuff like that one of mine who seriously has no desire for anything else has got a new water bubble system for his sensory room at a shockingly high cost.

My adult children get token gifts because they are grown ups.

marriedinwhiteisback Wed 16-Oct-13 21:38:07

For all the people on low incomes who spend £100+ on presents for under fives can I ask if grandparents, aunties, godparents, etc., buy presents as well for the children please.

And do you buy your dc things throughout the year too or do they just get things at Christmas? Ours used to get big things like bikes, scooters, ipods, gameboy thingies for Christmas (grandparents would buy a game and contribute to bigger presents like mobiles or laptops). But I've always been a sucker for buying the odd computer game or dvd between times.

Ours are older teenagers and have about a £250 limit (18 and 15).

GreenShadow Wed 16-Oct-13 21:46:27

This varies so much it is impossible to give a single answer.

When they were little, we spent very little on them at Christmas and birthday (maybe £20ish)

As they have got older and needed more, the amount has gone up, but we've never been one for buying vast quantities of presents - it has usually been just one present at birthday and maybe 3 or 4 (one big and a couple of other small ones) at Christmas.
I saw a thread on (whisper) NetMums the other day where they were listing what they had already got their DC - many had 20 plus presents plus stockings!

As someone said up-thread, we are prepared to spend more on occasions when it is needed, like driving lessons at 17 or soon after.

Lilicat1013 Wed 16-Oct-13 21:49:00

Marriedinwhite

In our case my mother buys toys for my sons (usually two each), my husband's family prefer to give non toy gifts so money for their savings accounts or towards a day trip)

They have three uncles, two do a gift and the other gives money towards savings. They occasionally have gifts from the extended family which tend to be books or clothes.

I don't get proper toys throughout the year, by proper I mean costing more than £5. It isn't really relevant for my younger son yet but my older son gets secondhand Playmobil animals from eBay, Hot Wheels cars from the supermarket, a pocket money priced toy from the gift shop on a day trip and books during the year but not things I would considered to be proper toys. They would be the sort of things he would buy with his pocket money if had any (he is autistic so wouldn't understand actually having some right now).

I used to go to NCT and car boot sales and my older son ended up with loads of things because they cost so little. We got over loaded with toys so I don't do that any more.

marriedinwhiteisback Wed 16-Oct-13 21:51:30

I think your dc sound very loved and very lucky lilicat

Lilicat1013 Wed 16-Oct-13 21:52:44

Thank you Marriedinwhite, that is very sweet of you to say.

pimplypoppet Wed 16-Oct-13 22:46:50

Wow. Thanks for so many replies. Really helpful. I do have to reign myself in a bit. I could easily get to a hundred plus just because I love buying stuff I know they'll like. They are 4 and 7 by the way. Thought it was also really interesting that nearly all of you spend more on kids at Christmas than their birthdays. I've always been the other way round thinking their birthdays were the bigger occasion.

marriedinwhiteisback Wed 16-Oct-13 23:04:20

Well I have the best of both worlds pimply with a Christmas day baby so have a double whammy on one day. Not so much of a baby now - he's 19.

bubalou Wed 16-Oct-13 23:08:05

On Xmas around £250 on ds - last year it was over £500 but only because we bought him an Xbox with all the controllers etc - but we do aim to cut down this year.

For DS 5th birthday in August we spent around £180 on some bits but we did do a massive party that cost a lot (£850) please don't judge me blush

I don't think it's the amount you spend that matters. We don't aim to spend a certain amount - we buy what he wants or what we think he might like within reason.

There's no bike or game station he wants this Xmas so he won't be getting a great deal spent on him I can imagine. Probably just board games, cars, skylanders etc.

It's not the amount - Xmas and birthdays are too much about presents - I'm trying desperately to encourage my lot to cut down so we can just enjoy a day together without all the build up.

Preciousbane Wed 16-Oct-13 23:14:48

Similar income but our outgoings are very low due to housing expenses being hardly anything, though this will be changing if we sell.

When DS was small I spent hardly anything, seriously as they get older they start asking for a lot.

So in younger years as low as 20 quid and some years as high as 350 for a decent laptop.

ShoeWhore Wed 16-Oct-13 23:30:43

What we spend on our dcs varies very much depending on what they need and we think they will really love.

Last year dc1 (then 8) got an ipod but this level of spend is unusual. That's the most I've ever spent.

Least was dc3's 2nd birthday present which was a football grin Grand cost of £4.

marriedinwhiteisback Wed 16-Oct-13 23:42:12

The saddest birthday and Xmas for DS was the day he was born three and a half weeks early. Poor little bugger got diddly squat and the shops were shut and then had to wait a whole year until it was Christmas again. That was my best ever Christmas present though and it has cost a fortune over the last nearly 19 years

Loopylala7 Wed 16-Oct-13 23:49:25

Not a lot, I'm sure this will change as DC gets older and understands gifts better! I actually used club card points to buy birthday gift - wasn't a lot, but then felt between GPs, aunts, uncles and friends DC had a ridiculous amount of stuff, so maybe get a few new essentials like clothes, a toy and book or two. God that sounds tight! But I'm sure they will be demanding more bits soon enough.

OutOfCheese Wed 16-Oct-13 23:58:14

DC are 5, 6 and 6. For Xmas, we have the grand total of £33 for all of them, with stockings costing £4 each. Total spend is therefore £45 for thre three. They are spoilt by my parents and this year are getting a big shared gift with loads of little things in it to open, so is as exciting as many smaller presents.

For birthdays, it varies. DTs had their birthday last week, and we spent £20 each, but this allows for a lot, we have a very good charity shop nearby with chikdren books for 10 for £2 (and great quality, wanted books too) which means we get a lot for our money. Freecycle and Gumtree means that usually we find a gift worth a lot more than what we pay (or even get for free) and our family overload them with gifts. DC3 however has his birthday this week, and is getting £15 spent, but that's because he only wants sme very specific things and we've for everything for that price plus some more token gifts, and he's very obsessive about this and that, so if we get him extra, it will make him upset/tense. They are having a shared birthday party costing £90 though, half paid by the ILs, which is going to overshadow the birthday presents as it involves animals.

This is due to temporary costs (well, they've lasted a few years) due to DH being unemployed and also due to having to pay for a lot of care and support for my DPs. This should be resolved in about six months, and then we will hopefully be getting them a lot more.

Although the presents might be cheaper in a way, because they are close in age and good friends, we usually get a large present (like a big craft hamper) for them to share, which means they get the excitement and their own things. DH's family shower them with gifts and we have many relatives and friends to ensure that they are always bursting with presents, which means we can pick carefully with our budget, because we know that even if it's only two gifts there, they will be special for them, and they will have a ton of other gifts too. We also have a friend who works at the ice rink so we get free tickets there sometimes, meaning we can take them ice skating or whatever for free.

DumSpiroSpero Thu 17-Oct-13 00:04:56

I usually think about £50 for birthday and £100-£125 for Christmas, but I buy things and stash them as and when I see them so I probably go over that and inevitably it's getting more expensive as DD gets older (she's 9).

I made a Christmas list for her and totted it up the other week and was shock that it came to £280.

I get the pressies from me and DH, but I also share ideas with my parents so between us she usually gets most of what she's after. She's the only grandchild on their side so does get a bit indulged although DMum has refused point blank to buy her any more Lego this year grin!

SoonToBeSix Thu 17-Oct-13 00:06:33

Birthdays for older dc £60- £100 for the little ones around £30.
For Christmas £150- £200 for the older dc and about £50 for the little ones.

KCumberSandwich Thu 17-Oct-13 00:43:34

Ds' past presents have included an iggle piggle scooter and an almost brand new fisher price garage both £2 each in a charity shop. this year he had two action figures at £30 each. it really depends on what he needs/likes at the time. i do have to save/ budget well though if he is having a "big present" and i wont overspend.

FixItUpChappie Thu 17-Oct-13 00:57:26

For Christmas, budget is higher but given the MN mantra that anything more than an orange and a coin in the stocking is excessive i am not brave enough to admit how much we spend.

This made me laugh grin. So true.

I go over-the-top for Christmas in particular....I just love buying toys/kids stuff. I just do. I try to restrain myself the rest of the year.

HesMyLobster Thu 17-Oct-13 01:16:46

The total spend definitely increases as they get older!
I'm a kindred spirit fixitup !
I do spend alot on Christmas, but I don't give my DDs toys and treats throughout the year like alot of my friends do, I save it all up for Christmas.
Also, most of their gifts include practical things, particularly as they get older - coats, clothes, shoes - stuff that we'd have to buy anyway but that is more fun wrapped up for Christmas!

FreakoidOrganisoid Thu 17-Oct-13 07:08:07

It depends on what they need or want, no set budget and I don't feel the need to spend the same on each child. That said, if what they want is over about £60, I will ask my parents or sister if they want to come in on it.

I go nuts on stockings though and get a bit over excited doing them so they can cost the same as the present easily.

I save all year for xmas, start shopping in October and use boots and nectar points on what I can. Never get in debt.

HappyMummyOfOne Thu 17-Oct-13 18:16:03

FixIt, at least you are restrained during the year, i dont tend to buy big ticket items but do buy games etc throughout the year for DS as i do love treating him.

Nice to find a kindred spirit grin

needaholidaynow Thu 17-Oct-13 18:43:30

We got called "tight" by the in laws for "only" spending £150.00 on DS1 and DSD last year. Now we have DS2 it will probably "only" be about £100.00 on each child.

I don't get my in laws. Were we really that tight?

SugarHut Thu 17-Oct-13 18:43:43

OP it really doesn't matter. If you are happy with what you've got then you've got the right amount. If you find something else that's perfect, get it. If you feel that's enough already, leave it there.

Ignore the "you spend over £1.50 on your over indulged child???!!!!" crap that you see on here, trying to prove some ridiculous point of how little their Von Trapp child needs. I spend thousands on DS birthday parties and Christmas presents, but it's because I don't buy cheap tat, not because I feel I must spend that amount. I carefully source and put a lot of thought into it all. He's had a Victorian rocking horse restored for a present one year, this year main pressie will be a quad bike with helmet, boots, etc. £2k. He'll have about another £500 of pressies from Father Christmas, a very good telescope and large bespoke model of the solar system, he's hugely into science and space. If you met him, he is not a "spoilt brat" in the slightest. He appreciates it all, and really uses and loves what he gets as I try my hardest to really research his presents. It may not be the norm, but DP spends way more than that on his children (they are older) so it's right for me, and it's right for him, no one else's opinion is of concern.

Do what you feel is right for your own child. As long as you don't get into debt from over buying, then there's really nothing to worry about.

FixItUpChappie Thu 17-Oct-13 19:25:56

FixIt, at least you are restrained during the year, i dont tend to buy big ticket items but do buy games etc throughout the year for DS as i do love treating him.

Note I said try Happy, try....TBH I am the same as you when it comes to treating grin

CharlotteBronteSaurus Thu 17-Oct-13 19:35:19

it depends on what they want.

dd1 has just outgrown her bike, so I reckon we're looking at £250 for that, plus a couple of small presents and stocking, so easily £300 this year, maybe more. Last year her "big present" was a £40 lego set that we got free with clubcard vouchers, so we only paid for her stocking and little bits.

she had a £25 barbie set for her birthday, but had a big party, so in total that was probably a £200 spend.

dd2 will probably be £100 in total - £50 big present, £50 on little ones and a stocking.

our income is very similar to yours, but we do have some savings. i reckon it's perfectly reasonable to spend huge sums as long as you're not sticking it all on a credit card.

xCupidStuntx Thu 17-Oct-13 19:41:13

God I'm a bit embarrassed now, I've already spent £50 on books, activity books and puzzles for DD (2) and will be getting her a scooter, sing along cd player and some Fisher price little people stuff! Probably £180/£200 in all, is that really crazy? I thought it was restrained and it's all stuff I know she'll love and get good use out of? It's the first year she'll really understand and I'm so excited!!!

mizu Thu 17-Oct-13 20:11:23

Always about £50ish for birthday and a bit more for Xmas.

Until now.........

This year DD1 is 9 and we have found it really hard to find a second hand bike for her that is the right size.

So we have been to Halfords and bought a new one £130 shock.

That will be her only birthday present from us and she is happy with that.

She will get a few other things from family and friends.

mummy1973 Thu 17-Oct-13 20:26:15

60 on dd who is 9 and 35 on Ds for Xmas. Birthdays are more as they have a party or day out so about 200 inc present.

WyrdSista Thu 17-Oct-13 21:09:46

DSD gets £40 at Christmas. She's older so gets more spent on her as she's a tech loving girl.

DS is only 5 and has £25 spent on him, and £30 on birthdays. Sometimes less, sometimes more. It all depends.

DTDs get about £25 each too, they are 4.

However, this year, they are having a shared present with a start up cost of about £140 between them (two guinea pigs, a cage, start up stuff/toys and so on), plus £25 on DSD, £20 on DS, £15 for DTD1 and £18 for DTD2 (due to different stuff being wanted). So between £50-60, but this is very much a one off!

lifeinthefastlane1 Thu 17-Oct-13 22:57:08

when we were little (Im 42) we got approx £100 each for xmas, and around £25 for birthdays, I keep this tradition but with inflation grin so they get roughly the same amount and type of gifts we used to get eg, dolls , games,bikes, tv game etc just the updated versions (tv game what does that sound like!) so its all relative, also we are just average wage earners but spent the same when we were low earners too. I guess in todays money it works out about £300 for xmas now and £70 for birthdays. OMG how old do I sound!!!

itsmeisntit Thu 17-Oct-13 23:36:57

generally £300-£500 for birthday and a party or special trip and about £500-£700 on christmas presents each. As they get older the gifts we buy tend to be laptops/ipods/ipads etc fo rschoolwork or university. Also a bottle of perfume or aftershave is not cheap these days.
I always say l am going to cut down but so far have not succeeded. maybe this year.

Xochiquetzal Fri 18-Oct-13 01:15:09

DDs 5th birthday is on Sunday, we've spent £100 on presents, for Christmas I spend about £60 on her (mainly because thats as much as we can afford as my youngest siblings are 9, 10, 13 and 15 and deserve spoiling too, they also get £60 each).

Not spent much on her party (probably about £10 on ingredients) as all she wants is her aunts and uncles round for a sleepover with "special 'ghetti and cake."

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