To not want to buy MIL a bloody tv for Christmas?(41 Posts)
Apologies for the premature Christmas related topic.
Also, sorry that this is quite long and a bit like one thing after another, just don't want to drip feed so have tried to get all of my points in.
DPs mum separated with her husband about 6 months ago, but they still live together. She is apparently moving in to a new place with DPs younger sister (13) by Christmas, although I can't really see this happening, as she isn't doing anything about it.
DPs original plan for her Christmas present was presented to me like this:
He, his brother, his brother's DP and myself would put the money together to get her a car that she wanted. DP was thinking it would cost about £600 so £150 each I said I wouldn't be able to afford it. Turns out the cheapest you could get that particular car for was around 2 grand so that isn't happening.
Now DP wants us to put money together to buy his Mum a TV for her new place as she won't have one. He says this will cost about £100 from us and the same from his brother. Now I know DP and he will look at TVs that cost £200 and decide that they aren't good/big enough, and so will want to get a better one, he did this when we moved out and were looking at TVs.
I told him last night that I didn't think we should be buying his mum a TV for Christmas, as it's too expensive, and he seemed mightily pissed off.
I'm not just being a cow, there are a number of reasons I feel this way.
We are both students, work part time (I am on Maternity Allowance at the moment) and have a 14 week old DD. We are constantly having to shop around to find things we need for DD for the cheapest amount possible, we don't splash out on the nicest things as we can't afford it.
The reason that this is really pissing me off is that he currently has the car my mum gave me (I haven't yet passed my test) as his is on its last legs. He was supposed to sell his car and buy a new one, which he hasn't done (has had around 5 months to do this) as he says he can't afford to buy a new car even with the money he will make from his.
Also, if I suggested spending £100 on my mum for Christmas he would flat out refuse, and say "she's loaded" (she's not) so she doesn't need it. Never mind the fact that she has spent around £2000 on DD, provided us with so much that we couldn't afford and on top of that has offered to look after DD from September while I go back to Uni. For free.
I wouldn't ask to spend that much on my Mum because we can't afford it, so I don't see why he thinks it's ok to spend it on his mum.
We are also going to go down to stay with her over Christmas (we live up north, she lives down south) which will cost us at least £200, probably a lot more because DP will insist on buying her loads of stuff while we're there.
Granted, she doesn't have much money, but she can still afford to smoke and drink, she has an iPhone contract which isn't cheap, so I'm sure she could buy a TV if she really wanted one.
Another thing that is annoying me is that it was DPs 21st birthday this year and she didn't get him anything, not even a token gift. She sent him a card, with incorrect postage, so he had to go and pay the post office to get it.
I am not against getting her a few nice gifts, but am I being unreasonable to say NO actually I don't think we should be buying your mum a tv for Christmas and having us there for DDs first Christmas is enough?
A wireless and a pack of playing cards should more than suffice....
No, not U at all. In your situation I don't think that you should be thinking of spending £100+ plus on gifts, as you say, it'll probably escalate.
Why do you think he has a need to be making such grand gestures?
YANBU but the bit I really don't understand is why you and your BIL's partner (I know you're not married) are expected to contribute and contribute equally. They had a bloody cheek saying that the car would require £150 from the two sons and £150 each from the two partners. It's their bloody mother!
I don't think you should be buying her a tv. Different maybe if you could afford it but if you're struggling to pay for things your child needs, why the hell should you buy fripperies for someone else?
I think he feels like he has to make up for moving so far away, she makes him feel quite guilty that she doesn't see him or DD much.
Then she ignores his calls for days at a time, so he gets quite upset.
Agree with you, OP. Your partner is going to run you into debt if he carries on in his way. Decide what you can afford and I'd suggest getting a gift voucher for shops that sell tvs.
Don't be harrangued into spending more than you can afford, it's tough being a student and I think sorting out your transport is more important, for both of you.
I'm going to buy her a gift set from Boots or something.
Yanbu. Is she expecting a tv or is it your DP's idea?
Also, if the pair of you are struggling, do you need two cars?
YANBU - you and DP need to agree what you can afford to spend on presents for close family, and stick to it. And when you're struggling yourselves, that's going to have to be a fairly small amount.
spatchcock you're right, we don't need two cars. It would be useful, once I could drive, as my Mum lives a few miles away and has stepchildren to get to school, so if I have early starts it could be a bit of a nightmare getting DD to her, as clashing times would mean she can't pick her up.
We will manage, however, either with DP leaving very early to get her there before work, or me leaving very early to get her there on the bus, then get the train back to town for uni.
We won't have 2 cars until we can afford to run 2. I just added that point as we can't afford it for us, but he wanted to get his mum a car.
why do you begrudge him using "your" car if you cant even drive
It's not him using it, just that we can't afford for him not to use it, even if I could drive. He would have to have the car for work.
YANBU! His mum issues aren't a good enough reason to run you into debt - stand firm, and let him know that making these grand expensive gestures isn't going to change his mum's guilt tripping attitude.
Money doesn't buy love, respect and rationality!
You wouldn't pander to a toddler throwing a wobbler would you, as they'd learn that wobblers got them what they wanted. It's the same!
I think the issue is that your DP sees the present he can buy for his mother, but he doesn't see the stuff he CAN'T buy for his family as a result. Your argument that 'we can't afford this' hasn't translated yet into his head into what he has to physically give up.
I would proceed by making a list of ways your family could save up for the £100, and see if that changes his mind. E.g., Option 1: no meat for x weeks. Option 2: no new clothes for you and him this winter. Option 3: you don't visit his mum at Christmas but stay at home. Option 4: he works extra hours .... and so on. Then ask him if all of that is really less important than his mum's TV.
This will hopefully bring home what 'we can't afford this' actually means. He sounds like the kind of person that only worries about money when it's gone, but he has to learn to think ahead.
You have bigger problems than him spending £100 on a TV for his mum. The two of you have completely different priorities when it comes to money so these sorts of issues will continue to come up throughout your relationship.
£100 is the budget is set for my DD. Put that into context.
"I think the issue is that your DP sees the present he can buy for his mother, but he doesn't see the stuff he CAN'T buy for his family as a result. Your argument that 'we can't afford this' hasn't translated yet into his head into what he has to physically give up. "
I think that's true, he is always being careful with money, he knows we are limited in what we can afford, so I have no idea why he thinks its ok to spend this much.
I may suggest that if we buy this, we can't afford to go down for Christmas, then he might get it.
Yes, I would present him with the Christmas budget and make it clear that if £100 of the budget is taken up by that, then you won't be able do to/get x, y and z, including going to his mother's for Christmas.
Offer to get her a good second hand or freecycle one for her, so many people are upgrading ATM that there are loads of good quality CRTs out there.
Agree on an amount that you can afford to spend on gifts and stick to it. He doesn't have to buy extra once you are there.
If she needs help toward the cost of a television, could you not combine the two presents for his DM and Dsis and give that towards it?
If you honestly don't think that she will be moved into a new place by Christmas are you going to stay in the marital home?, if so it would be better to buy gift vouchers and wait for the sales to start.
Slightly worried about you setting a budget for him, or explaining what the family will have to give up- that's not what adults in an equal relationship do. Wy does he have a different view of family finances, or different priorities to you?
It is what adults in an equal relationship do if one of them appears to not understand the situation that they are in. Why shouldn't he understand the consequences?
YANBU he needs to grow up and realise that he has a child now and to stop acting like a child himself. She is his mother not yours and he should not expect you to contribute. When DH and I were your ages and students, he bought for his parents, I bought for mine and both our names went on the gifts.
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