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To spend different amounts on friends' presents based on what they spend on me... awkward situation!

(40 Posts)
lilypadpod Mon 22-Feb-16 19:00:15

2 of my close friends have birthdays days apart. This year the 3 of us met up. I gave them both a present, expecting them to open gifts at home on their birthdays (as they usually do) but instead they opened them over lunch shock blush

Let's call them Anna and Sadie. I gave Anna perfume/skincare worth £50 and Sadie a book and chocolates worth £10. Anna spends a similar amount on my birthday gifts, while Sadie spends £5-10 on me.

Sadie was staying with me (she lives further away so I see her less often). She was moody that eve, I asked what was up, she said she was upset that I'd given Anna a nicer gift blush I explained I spent the same amount as she spends at my birthday, also reminded her I'm on SMP. She was still upset that I'd 'treated' Anna to something nicer and felt I don't value her the same way.

If it's relevant we've all been friends for 15years, since high school. Sadie is a mature student, Anna has a reasonably well paid job.

ImperialBlether Mon 22-Feb-16 19:03:29

Did she buy Anna a present?

Littleallovertheshop Mon 22-Feb-16 19:07:36

What age is Sadie?! YANBU - she is. In future it sounds like a word to Anna in advance is required.

VimFuego101 Mon 22-Feb-16 19:07:40

Since it sounds like what they buy for you is relative to their circumstances rather than how a reflection of how much they value your friendship or how good friends you are. I would have spent a similar amount on both.

ZiggyFartdust Mon 22-Feb-16 19:07:58

Whatever the rights or wrongs of how much you spent, it was incredibly poor form to give them the gifts in front of each other and let them see how different they were.

DrGoogleWillSeeYouNow Mon 22-Feb-16 19:12:05

Why did you give them their gifts at lunch? Sadie was staying with you so you could have given hers as she was leaving the next day.

echt Mon 22-Feb-16 19:15:44

Giving Sadie her present on leaving would not have prevented her form seeing Anna's.

Not sure how it's poor form to give the presents at lunch. The OP assumed, as I would, that they would wait for their birthdays.

feebeecat Mon 22-Feb-16 19:17:16

Tell Sadie to get a grip!! I have a Sadie, who often sulks about the 'standard' of gift she receives. I have told her that perhaps if she stopped telling everyone she gets all her gifts from local charity shop & rarely spends more than £4 on anyone, they may shift accordingly.
Seems "they" lied, we do indeed give to receive grin

lilypadpod Mon 22-Feb-16 19:18:29

We are all 31.

I didn't expect them to open them there and then! Their birthdays aren't for another week and they usually take their gifts home to open later. We were meeting Anna for a day out so I had to bring hers, and brought Sadie's too.

Agree I should have given Sadie's hers at home and cautioned Anna not to open hers there blush

lilypadpod Mon 22-Feb-16 19:20:07

No they didn't buy each other presents, they don't meet that often.

I can't help feeling it's a bit much that Sadie expected a £50 gift when she spends a fiver on me confused

CooPie10 Mon 22-Feb-16 19:21:28

Yanbu I do this too. I think it's only fair to spend on what's spent on you.

Pinkheart5915 Mon 22-Feb-16 19:29:22

I do the same, I spend more on my best friends group and buy token presents for other friends

Floggingmolly Mon 22-Feb-16 19:34:05

How incredibly childish of her to raise it with you and sulk about it hmm

Bogeyface Mon 22-Feb-16 19:35:28

The thing is, I am not sure you could have won either way tbh.

If you had spent the same amount on Sadie then you would probably have copped it because you showed her up as not spending much on you. I tend to do "like for like" for the reason that I would hate someone to feel that they should spend more than they could afford on me because I had spent a lot.


However, who the hell spend £60 on a friends birthday, especially one that doesnt end in a 0?

Riderontheswarm Mon 22-Feb-16 19:38:12

A book and chocs is a nice gift. The only thing Sadie should have said is thank you. I wouldn't buy a gift twice for someone who complained.

EcclefechanTart Mon 22-Feb-16 19:44:59

I think I would have spent the same amount on each. Mature students are typically skint, so I wouldn't expect her to be able to reciprocate, but it wouldn't feel comfortable buying two equally good friends gifts of very differing values. And I would imagine skint friend might appreciate a luxury gift more than well-off friend.

sooperdooper Mon 22-Feb-16 19:46:14

I never think to clock how much a friend might spend on me, I spend what I can afford at the time when it comes to birthdays

Yabu to have kept a mental note of who spent what, I don't like the concept of only buy presents to get the same value back

ProfYaffle Mon 22-Feb-16 19:50:14

tbh I think it's tactful to spend roughly the same on a friend as they spend on you, especially if they're on a lower income. I'd worry that if I spent loads more on a friend they'd feel pressurised to spend more than they could afford on me.

NynaevesSister Mon 22-Feb-16 19:51:38

To be fair to Sadie, as a mature student the money she did spend on you probably meant the same to her as if she had spent £50. She probably spent as much on you as she could afford and instead of returning in kind, you matched pound for pound. It isn't so much that she is upset that you didn't spend the same amount of money as you did in the other friend.

It's more that you ONLY saw the monetary cost of the presents you were given by each and not the true value.

ohtheholidays Mon 22-Feb-16 19:53:44

Of course YANBU but Sadie is,she's a grown woman who the hell as an adult kicks of over what someone has spent on them.

I spend on friends according to how close we are,so with my BF I'll spend between £60-£75.Another friend I'm close to between £25-£30 other friends I'll spend between £15-£20.

The fact that she spends £5 on you but would expect you to spend £50 on her OP speaks volumes about her not you!

FoolsAndJesters Mon 22-Feb-16 19:56:33

I think it was ok to spend different amounts but you were a little thoughtless not to have worked out a way for them not to open them in front of each other.
You friend is being daft and grabby to be sulky about it.

BluePancakes Mon 22-Feb-16 19:57:32

You are both being unreasonable, imo. Sadie shouldn't have had a tantrum, but I don't understand gift-giving based on what you get in return. hmm

Katarzyna79 Mon 22-Feb-16 20:02:54

I think ywbu. I dont know about bdays but gifts in general i give them because i want to make the recipiant happy, out of love. I wouldnt budget a gift keeping in mind how much they spent on me but rather what the receiver would love the best, and my own budget.

I think you didnt have the best intentions it looks like ur gift giving was simpy returning the favour because they gifted u, box ticking. I wouldnt want a gift under those circumstances its not genuine love is it?

Your excuse of not giving sadie an equally valyed gift based on you being on smp is poor form too. you could have given them gifts seperately or spent an equal amount uf guving it together.

If money is tight why not treat both of them to meal at fancy restaurant no need to give one something dear and the other acheaper gift.

Katarzyna79 Mon 22-Feb-16 20:04:05

Me neither blue i agree sadie is an adult she should have been gracious and bit her tongue

specialsubject Mon 22-Feb-16 20:05:03

not my definition of 'mature'.

solve the problem by declaring that as adults you don't need to buy each other presents any more. I certainly wouldn't buy anything for stroppy Sadie ever again. You only get one shot at this kind of childish behaviour.

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