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No, please settle MY argument

(18 Posts)
Algorta Mon 22-Aug-11 20:34:14

What sort of contribution to household expenses would you expect from houseguests?
DH who is a lovely generous chap went down with our kids (11 and 6) but without me to stay with his sister and her family for 3 1/2 days last week. I was going through the bank statements today when I realised he spent £120 while there on groceries, flowers and wine as a household contribution, as well as taking more wine down with him. This is more than I spend on a week's shopping for all of us. While I am all for taking decent presents and contributions as a houseguest I feel this was excessive, and I am rather shocked that his sister would accept a contribution of this size (he paid for shopping while they were together).
What do you think? Am I just a natural tightarse? I would never accept that much from houseguests, especially relatives staying for just a few days. It may or may not be relevant to mention that they are much better off than us. I just thought I'd throw that in to give the full picture.

Yama Mon 22-Aug-11 20:38:24

Have you spoken to your dh?

Perhaps he said "I'll pay for the shopping" and she filled the trolley with more that he expected (but a normal amount for her).

Perhaps she paid for a couple of meals/days out.

nethunsreject Mon 22-Aug-11 20:38:50

I wouldn't expect anything.

I'd take a bottle of wine or some chocolates and provide dinner one night, either taking them out or cooking in their home if that was appropriate.

Tbh, I don't think he was OTT though, so you are a wee bit u.

aldiwhore Mon 22-Aug-11 20:41:01

I wouldn't expect anything, but if my brother spent £120 on shopping it would be gratefully received and devoured.

If its not going to cripple you financially, let it go. If you're really struggling, its worth pointing out that you couldn't afford it.

SquidgyBiscuits Mon 22-Aug-11 20:41:07

I don't think that's OTT at all. An adult and 2 children is quite a lot to put up - I wouldn't have 3 extra people staying in my house.

RoseC Mon 22-Aug-11 20:41:26

YANBU. My sister bought me dinner. I bought the M&S Dine for £10 deal when I stayed with her. £120 is definitely OTT, especially between siblings.

Takitezee Mon 22-Aug-11 20:41:47

If we had family members to stay just for a few days then I wouldn't expect any contribution but extra alcohol is always welcome.

When we have stayed with friends for a few days in a holiday location we buy groceries as and when ie we would share cooking and buy for whatever we were cooking plus milk, bread, etc. We would also buy wine and beer and take them out for a meal.

banana87 Mon 22-Aug-11 20:42:31

My mom comes to stay every summer for 2 months and we expect her to contribute....NOTHING to our grocery/household bills.

EndoplasmicReticulum Mon 22-Aug-11 20:42:45

How many people were being catered for? People tend to get more "treats" when staying with others, I wouldn't feed guests the cheap meals that we sometimes eat.

I've just come back from in-laws, two sons and I stayed for three weeks, my husband for two. We bought a lot of shopping because it was a long stay, and ended up spending more than we would have done at home. I looked on it as cheaper than a holiday though, as we weren't paying for accommodation, bills etc.

£120 doesn't seem excessive. Did your husband help with the cooking and clearing up?

Algorta Mon 22-Aug-11 21:00:23

Thanks for your responses.
Yama, they went shopping together, DH offered to pay and his sister accepted. She didn't pay for any days/meals out.
I suppose I would have expected him to take plenty of wine, beer, flowers, chocolates and to buy and cook a family meal one night, and definitely to help out with cooking and cleaning up generally. I suppose as well that had he taken everyone out for dinner that could have cost more than the £120.
I take Endoplasmic's point about the meals etc being nicer than the bog-standard catering I'd usually be providing at home. Maybe I just feel bitter because I wasn't there to take advantage of the treats.

FabbyChic Mon 22-Aug-11 21:03:42

£120 is a cheap trip away for three for 3.5 days.

I've had a houseguest for two nights before and he spent £120 on the shopping, paid for pizza called in, paid for a night out bowling and a night in the pub.

northerngirl41 Mon 22-Aug-11 21:08:08

For me hosting, I'd not expect ANY contribution but I would expect a token gesture - bottle of wine, box of chocs, nicely written thank you letter... (oh god, I sound like my mother - but it truly pisses me off if I don't get any acknowledgement of the work which goes into properly hosting people!!).

As a guest, we do tend to gift according to what is planned. So I probably would offer to buy the groceries if out shopping. Perhaps pay for a meal out. Maybe a tank of petrol if driving somewhere. Have been known to lug the odd case of champagne about when staying for Xmas/New Year etc.

It depends I think on the circumstances - if SIL had gone to phenomenal effort to entertain, cook, clean, host etc. or had included days out, restaurants or other costs which she wouldn't have had if we hadn't been staying I would probably have chipped in a bit more cash than if she'd thrown a sleeping bag at me and pointed to an empty fridge encouraging me to help myself!!

What did they do all week? Were there lots of activities/big meals/trips out etc.?

northerngirl41 Mon 22-Aug-11 21:09:34

Ah - cross posted above! Suspect SIL just has higher supermarket bills than you!

pinktransit Mon 22-Aug-11 21:12:31

£120 shopping, pizza, bowling AND a night in the pub for a two night stay????
* faints *
I'm going with my younger daughter to stay with an old schoolfriend next weekend for two nights. I'm planning on taking half a dozen bottles of wine, buying a takeaway or meal out one night, and offering to wash up....

I'm almost feeling like a cheapskate now grin

pozzled Mon 22-Aug-11 21:13:23

I wouldn't expect anything, unless maybe to be made equally welcome at the guests' house. But then we only really have family to stay and we tend to visit them as much as they visit us. I see it as a treat having family visiting, and their 'contribution' is the expense and inconvenience of travelling to us.

As a guest myself, I'd probably buy some wine and/or beer and pay for a take away. I'd contribute towards shopping if staying for more than 2 or 3 nights, but wouldn't be pleased at paying £120.

DoMeDon Mon 22-Aug-11 21:16:48

I dont expect any contirbution from guests - I would be stunned if anyone did. We often stay with friends and take some booze or food along. When our friends come to stay they do similar. Sometimes we treat each other to lunch out but usually split it. When my DF stays with his Dsis he pays for their shopping as a contribution.

I agree that if he had paid for dinner out one night it would've cost more. It's hard to refuse when a guest offers to pay for something but I think I would have said no to him paying tbh.

I think YABU to object but I don;t think it was nec for him to do it either.

Whatmeworry Mon 22-Aug-11 21:23:24

He gets to be welcomed again as he's clearly not a tightwad. Result.

ReindeerBollocks Mon 22-Aug-11 21:27:23

I think it's slightly excessive, however in your position I would use it to my advance - seen as though DH, DCs and DHs family got treats, I'd set aside a proportion of money to treat myself (hint hint OP). Your DH is unlikely to moan seen as though you missed out on the mini holiday.

(good thread title btw grin)

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