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Is MIL a stingy miser?

(186 Posts)
Lagoonablue Sun 22-Jun-14 22:58:25

MIL is pretty old but has full capacity. She is in sheltered accommodation and pays for care but is still very well off. Her accountant regularly suggests she gift large sums of money to her grandchildren for tax reasons. She ignores this. She will leave a lot when she dies. Not sure to who but a lot to the taxman too as she won't take advice.

Fair enough. I have no expectations of her giving us large sums of money regularly. It would have been nice and she can easily afford it but she didn't when we married or had kids and she seldom sends the grandchildren much on birthdays. My parents by contrast would give their last penny. Bought us the cot and pram, helped with our house deposit etc. they are not well off.

Anyway DH had a significant birthday on Friday. His mother sent him a cheque.........for fifteen pound. FFS. Why even bother?

What is she even thinking? Who sends a grown man £15?

BrianButterfield Sun 22-Jun-14 23:00:28

If she'd bought him a £15 present (bottle of whiskey/champagne on offer?) would you still think it stingy? I think £15 is a reasonable budget for an adult birthday present, really.

bunchoffives Sun 22-Jun-14 23:00:34

Oh dear OP, hope you've got your fire extinguisher hand!

Mouthfulofquiz Sun 22-Jun-14 23:01:01

I think that's how she has become very wealthy!!
£15??!! Tis a bit strange...

LaurieFairyCake Sun 22-Jun-14 23:01:51

Maybe she's a Klingon and needs it to pay the ferryman

Mouthfulofquiz Sun 22-Jun-14 23:02:56

And - I also know I will get my head bitten off for this, but cheques are a giant pain in the backside too. If I get a cheque for £10 from someone, yes it's a very kind gesture, but by the time I drive to town and park up to cash it, half the money is gone!

elQuintoConyo Sun 22-Jun-14 23:03:41

Rude, rude, rude.


WorraLiberty Sun 22-Jun-14 23:03:48

It's possible she senses you would like a slice of her money for your children?

I'm not sure why you've mentioned what your parents choose to do with their money though, as that's up to them.

elQuintoConyo Sun 22-Jun-14 23:05:38

^^ looks gift horse in mouth. Thinks, "mmm... no thanks, too small and too much of a faff to collect".

Cop on to yourself.

KnackeredMuchly Sun 22-Jun-14 23:05:46

This'd tick me off too OP, just weird behaviour.

Poussay Sun 22-Jun-14 23:06:22

£15 does seem a random and small amount for a grown adults birthday! As for tax planning I don't think there is anything you can or should do - her accountant has made the point to her and it's to her to implement or not!

WooWooOwl Sun 22-Jun-14 23:06:38

I'm with you on the cheap birthday present thing, my mil is the same with DH and it makes me sad for him.

YABU about the rest of it though. You clearly think about it or you wouldn't have posted it. It's not fair to compare her to your parents. Your parents are no more right than she is.

SueDNim Sun 22-Jun-14 23:09:42

Mouthful - ask your bank for prepaid envelopes or pay for a second class stamp.

flipchart Sun 22-Jun-14 23:10:03

My nana was exactly the same, lots of money, didn't listen to the guy from the pensioned dept who told her to get rid of the money. (She died last year)

She always sent me and DH a tenner 'to buy a bottle of wine'

It always made me smile. Anyway better than a poke in the eye with a shitty stick eh?

Mouthfulofquiz Sun 22-Jun-14 23:11:33

Oh! I didn't even know I could post them!
Well - you learn something every day :-)

Lagoonablue Sun 22-Jun-14 23:12:24

Also just realised she hasn't signed the cheque!

DH has put it in the recycling now.

PrincessBabyCat Sun 22-Jun-14 23:14:09

Yeah. That's a bit cheap for your own child's birthday if you have the money to spare. That's about the price range you spend on a casual friend or on a child at a birthday party.

drudgetrudy Sun 22-Jun-14 23:14:31

Oh dear! I spend money on the grandkids but bung the adults £20. Hadn't occurred to me it was stingy and I wouldn't expect more off them.
Although I'm not skint I'm not rolling in it either though.
Certainly I don't have an accountant advising me to get rid!
In the circumstances you describe I think your MIL does sound miserly.

Icimoi Sun 22-Jun-14 23:16:51

That does seem mean, but bear in mind that in her youth it would have been a lot. Are you sure she fully understands? My mother has full capacity but is distinctly woolly around modern day prices and values.

ThisIsmySecretPassword Sun 22-Jun-14 23:22:13

I think giving 'proper' birthday presents to adults other than partners is a bit silly really. £15 is a token present - and I don't see anything wrong with token presents at all.
I think you sound a bit grabby really. My MIL never gives us anything apart from giving my kids a big tub of sweets each time she sees them. She could easily afford more but I think the 'token' sweets are lovely. She is not mean and I am perfectly happy not to receive things from her.
We give her presents as she wouldn't get any otherwise.
She knows you will get her obey when she does so she may not think it important to give you money now. confused

Do you think she might have guessed how you feel?

ThisIsmySecretPassword Sun 22-Jun-14 23:23:16

Typo. her money not her obey.

TheCraicDealer Sun 22-Jun-14 23:35:10

I dunno, if someone gave me or DP a bottle of wine or whiskey the same price I'd be more impressed- it implies a bit of effort and thought has gone into selecting it and going and buying it. Whereas an unsigned cheque for £15? I'd rather not get anything to be honest.

Did she send a card? If cards were involved I'd feel a lot more charitable towards her.

peggyundercrackers Sun 22-Jun-14 23:48:32

I would have thought that a kind thing to do - I don't give anyone anything for birthdays, not even a card, don't believe in celebrating them. You sound very ungrateful.

PrincessBabyCat Mon 23-Jun-14 00:00:45

Oh, something else I just thought of. How much do you spend on her birthdays for her gift? My parents spend a considerable amount on me, DB, and DH, but we all spend a considerable amount (compared to our budget) on them and each other.

FIL and DH never exchange gifts, and that's perfectly fine. We don't expect anything from him.

But if you're expecting a good present from MIL, I hope you're getting her good gifts on her birthdays and holidays.

BackforGood Mon 23-Jun-14 00:03:38

Seriously? All of us spend about £15 on each others birthdays in this family. We are all very happy with that.

What an odd post.

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