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Do you spend the same amount on all dcs?

(71 Posts)
Clandy Wed 30-Oct-13 15:30:33

I want to spend the same amount on both dd's but im finding it really hard to do without buying things for he sake if it. But then I feel guilty for not spending the same. This is a really 'thing' for me as growing up I was very aware of how things were not equal for us in my family. I know I could just put money in the bank, but I wanted to give both dd's the same amount when they turn 18. Am I over thinking this?

TheBuskersDog Wed 30-Oct-13 18:46:30

So glad to see most people saying no, I have seen previous threads like this where lots of posters have said they always spend the same on each child, regardless of age. As someone else said even if you spend more on older children now, it evens out over time as you will keep buying lots of presents for the younger children for longer.

Marne Wed 30-Oct-13 18:51:02

Not really,I have got dd2 quite a lot this year for not that much money but dd1 has a small pile which cost almost twice as much. I do try and make sure they have roughly the same amount of gifts to open.

zzzzz Wed 30-Oct-13 18:55:38

Nope, I'm more focused on what they want than how much it costs. I go, a doing thing, a looking at thing, a snacking thing, a keeping thing etc and they all get on in each section.

mrsravelstein Wed 30-Oct-13 18:58:44

i tend to try to go for equal numbers of presents (usually works out at 10-12 each) so they can open things together without feeling like one's got more than the others. they're 12, 5, and 3, i don't think even the oldest one would think about how much each present costs.

MrsPnut Wed 30-Oct-13 19:10:09

No, nowhere near. Last year DD1 (16) had a £500 phone and another maybe £100 worth of stuff and DD2 (7) had maybe £200 in total spent on her but DD1 got £50 for her birthday and DD2 got a galaxy tablet.

It will even out because there are only a few more years of us buying DD1 big presents and by then DD2 will be into expensive present territory.
It does help that there is a big age gap.

Isildur Wed 30-Oct-13 19:11:24

We don't even try to spend equal amounts.

Each child can ask for 3 things they really want. Cost doesn't enter their heads, they have never gone too mad, and usually end up pooling their gifts anyway.

Clandy Wed 30-Oct-13 19:13:25

Mine are only 1 and 3 so I guess they won't notice then! I hadn't thought about numbers of gifts though. I wouldn't quibble over a few pounds but dd2 is getting lots less as she has dd1 hand me downs etc and I guess I just felt guilty that she isn't getting as much, but she has all the things dd1 had and more! Thanks, knew mumsnet would help grin

eggsandwich Wed 30-Oct-13 19:27:14

I spend the same on both my children though in different way's, my son is 13 years old and is severely autistic so gift buying is always a challenge, but the last few years I buy him things that I know he will really like such as dvd's, books, cd's, novelty bubble bath some branded track bottoms and chocolate also a toy if he has shown a particular interest in one, I don't now buy to match the value that his sister gets, I put the remainder of his money in his bank account which makes us feel better knowing they get the same.

MuffCakes Wed 30-Oct-13 19:28:46

No I don't I do get equal amount of presents and about the same sort of value for each two I buy but apart from that no. I also don't have a budget and would hate to even think the amount I have wasted over the years of plastic crap.

HappyAsEyeAm Wed 30-Oct-13 19:34:33

Gosh, no.

DS1 is nearly 6 yo and DS2 is nearly 2 yo. DS1 is getting lots of playmobil, and DS2 is getting lots of DS1's old toys out of the attic plus a couple of new vtech things which haven't stood the test of time stashed away in the attic for 4 or so years. Neither of them have any conception of money/cost, and DS1 is sure to be completely overwhelmed just by his stocking anyway.

lade Wed 30-Oct-13 21:00:40

Definitely not, as I believe it sends the wrong message.

My two get the same number of presents (because they take turns opening them, so it would be very noticeable if we didn't.

However, I don't add up the cost at all. Sometimes one costs more, sometimes the other.

I think if you ensure the cost adds up, then it becomes noticeable in the other presents the child gets, so would be obvious. And I don't think children should be thinking about adding up the cost of their presents. Somehow it seems grabby to be encouraging children to think this way.

Growing up, my mother never spent the same on me and my brother, and it never occurred to us to think about the costs of our presents. Unless pointed out, I don't think it is something you consider really.

ShoeWhore Wed 30-Oct-13 21:11:02

No we buy what they will love/want/need. I totally agree with pps about not making it about the money.

Also dc3 gets tons of handmedowns from dc1&2 so in a way if we matched everything on new gifts he'd actually get loads more than dc1 confused

We do aim for similar number of presents to unwrap though - usually 1 big present, some books, maybe a smaller present and stocking fillers.

Purple2012 Wed 30-Oct-13 21:15:32

My mum has always tried to spend the same on all the kids so will spend exactly the same on my 2 nephews and sd.

She also does this with me and my brother. We are 38 and 40! We tell her constantly we don't add up gift costs but she likes to be fair. Bless her.

CeliaLytton Wed 30-Oct-13 21:19:27

Agree with the poster who said that it is not the monetary value that matters, rather the value of the present to the DC. So if one child really really really wants a yoyo (yes, DS, looking at you) then they will love it and not care (or know) how much money was spent on other DC as they got what they really wanted.

I will get him a couple of other presents though grin

AtiaoftheJulii Wed 30-Oct-13 21:41:07

I spend pretty much the same amount on each - there are 4 (3 teenagers), quite close together. I have a budget for Christmas, so I try to share it out fairly. Sometimes they get the same amount of presents, sometimes not.

I don't understand why it's ok for the kids to be counting up the number of presents and seeing if they get the same, but not to be thinking about the cost! Surely just as materialistic!

lade Thu 31-Oct-13 01:24:42


Certainly from my perspective, my children are completely unaware that they have the same number of presents. It's just not something they've ever thought about, or had drawn to their attention.

Sometimes, one child gets a much more expensive present, and if we matched costs, this would mean that the other child would have to get a pile of extra presents to make up the cost. However, you couldn't give one child 3 presents say (because it included something very expensive like a laptop or ipad) and the other child 10 presents (to make up the other £300) Without raising the topic to them. This is something my 10 year old has never even thought of.

As far as my children are concerned, they get what they want and they don't think about whether I've spent more on one child or the other. They don't even think about how many presents they've got, that's not something I would encourage either (yes, for them to count the number of presents, that would also be grabby). They naturally get about the same number, they've never commented on cost or number, they're just happy with their presents, and I wouldn't want to encourage them to start comparing, or even thinking about it. To me, that's the wrong message at Christmas.

fuzzpig Thu 31-Oct-13 07:54:21

Somehow it seems grabby to be encouraging children to think this way.

I agree.

DalmationDots Thu 31-Oct-13 09:51:14

No it really depends.
When DD was 5 all she wanted was a stuffed toy dog. We got her one. It is the most valuable and love present she has ever got.
The same year DS got a much costlier Gameboy. It was heavily used for a few years and then given to a charity shop as it was replaced by the playstation.
Other years DS has had smaller things that he wanted and DD has had bigger things. It all evens out eventually and lots of items you can't put monetary values on because their sentimental value is so much more.

Both DC were just as happy with their gifts and if they ever moan 'my dog only cost X amount and theirs cost X more'

If either did moan they would both be given a £1 coin the next year.

purplepippin Thu 31-Oct-13 10:48:02

I have 5 dc and we don't spend the same amount on each of them but they all get the same amount of presents, we take turns opening them . Ds1 has ASD and it's important to him that everything is equal and it works well for us as there can be no bickering that someone has more.

Babyunom6 Thu 31-Oct-13 11:45:38

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 31-Oct-13 11:51:25

We do same amount as well. There is a structure so that it's all pretty equal atm, but honestly I will probably never give any of them high value things at,Christmas.

We save the more expensive landmark gifts for birthdays instead so that when they get to teenage years it's easier to be equal about what age they get certain techy things.

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 31-Oct-13 11:52:21

Sorry, same amount of gifts that was meant to say.

NaiveWoman Thu 31-Oct-13 12:07:05

Actually I am trying to look more at the number of gifts rTher than the cost.
Oldest dc is 11yo now so I expect that soon the cost will also have an influence.

My dcs are also close in age and I found that the first couple years I bought stuff for dc2 and dc3 not because they needed it but because dc1 needed to see thatSanta was taking care of his siblings as much as he was taking care of him.
What I found is that as they were getting older they had different tastes so needed different toys anyway.

The important thing is to make it fair in their eyes rather than fair on price or number of gifts etc... And that will change as they are growing up.

AbiRoad Thu 31-Oct-13 12:52:40

No, they each get a main present from us (and possibly one or two others) and smaller pressies from FC. If one needs a new bike one year, it is likely to cost more and I am not going to make a point of finding something for the other one that costs the same particularly when they have asked for something else, and I am not going to buy them "extra" presents as I think that would be seen as more unfair. Smaller pressies, they get roughtly the same amount. Cost might be different (I would lose track as I tend to start picking things up from Sept) but I would try to make sure it looks roughly fair. It all comes out in the wash though, the next year the other one might be the one that needs the new bike. It might change when they are teens and are more aware of cost of things (and more selfish!), but I will def try to discourage that way of thinking.

SpookedMackerel Thu 31-Oct-13 14:57:37

I don't spend the same amount.

For their stockings I will get the same number of presents each, and they will be the same sort of thing eg, book each, DVD each, crafty set each, small toy each. But within that I'll get things that I think are best for each individual, so I might spend more on on than the other - I won't keep track though! I imagine it will all even up in the end anyway. But to a younger child, who doesn't know how much things cost, it is size and number of presents that I think it is important to seem even, not price.

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