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to not let my DD spend £50 on a present for her friend?

(68 Posts)
DitheringDiva Thu 18-May-17 20:17:21

My DD, age 12, wants to buy her friend a pair of £50 trainers for her birthday and I think this is way too much money. I tend to think £10-£15 is more appropriate?
BUT my DD has loads of money (about £400) that she's earned from us for doing jobs (she does all the ironing, does all the looking after of the pets etc) or relatives have given her for birthdays/Xmas. She's not a materialistic person at all and never seems to want anything. Although to be fair, we do buy her what she wants within reason. We are fairly well off, but even so, there's never a huge amount she wants.

The friend lives with her Dad who is on benefits, so they have no money. This friend has never had any branded trainers, or any branded anything, I don't think, and my DD just wants to do something for her that will make her happy, and the giving of the present will make my DD happy as well. The poor girl seems to be plagued with health issues as well. I get the impression she has not had the happiest of childhoods so far.

It's more of a WWYD really - my initial thought is that it's far too much money to spend on a friend, and would the friend's Dad be embarrassed? But then, I think, it's her money, I should leave her to do what she wants with it, it doesn't affect me financially at all. I have managed to talk her down from the £100 trainers she was going to buy her friend, but she seems desperate to buy the £50 ones!

OnMyShoulders Thu 18-May-17 20:20:30

Let her do it. Your DD sounds like a lovely kid.

clippityclock Thu 18-May-17 20:20:38

YANBU. I think it would make the Dad feel very uncomfortable and that he would have to find money that he probably can't afford to buy a similar equal value present when its your daughters birthday. I wouldn't even spend that amount on my friend or even nieces!! Way too much money.

Allthebubbles Thu 18-May-17 20:24:31

I think I would tend to judge it on whether I thought there was any element of your daughter trying to buy friendship as I think this will always end badly. If you think it is a healthy mutually appreciative friendship I would maybe consider it but also ask your daughter to think whether it would make her friend feel weird/ pitied in some way. It is a lot of money.
I've had an adult friendship where I was in a much better financial position and judging when to offer to pay for things always seemed tricky as I think it is hard for people feeling they can't pay you back. It was usually better just to do free stuff.
I'm really not sure what to advise- it does sound like your daughter has good motives.

iwannapuppy Thu 18-May-17 20:24:53

I think it's really kind of your daughter and shows what a lovely character she has. But you do run the risk that the girls family will feel obliged to reciprocate when they can't afford to or even feel like they are being pitied. Maybe look at something around the £25 mark as it's still a nice gift but not so much as to make them uncomfortable.

FreeSpiritJen Thu 18-May-17 20:24:55

Seems a lot, but is her pal likely to spend (roughly) the same on her?

I would ask her to cap it at say, £25. £50 is a LOT.

noitsnotme Thu 18-May-17 20:27:36

Your daughter sounds like an absolute sweetheart. But yes, the dad might feel awkward. Maybe he can't afford to spend that much himself for her birthday. What about £25 of vouchers towards a pair instead? She might get some other money that she can put towards them herself.

blueskyinmarch Thu 18-May-17 20:28:29

Your DD sounds lovely. Why don’t you go halves on them so she is only paying £25? Then she can tell her friend that's what she spent on the gift. Her friend doesn’t need to know you paid some.

MovingtoParadise Thu 18-May-17 20:32:10

I agree it's too much money. But I wouldn't stop it as it's HER money and she earned it.

If you're old enough to have earned your cash, you're old enough to make occasional mistakes with it.

DitheringDiva Thu 18-May-17 20:34:04

You're all echoing my own feelings, including onmyshoulders. I flit between the two modes of thought! The thought has crossed my mind that she is trying to buy her friendship as well, but having discussed it with her, I don't think she is.
I've also known of situations where a controlling friend has managed to talk the rest of the friendship group into buying them very expensive presents, but after discussing this with her, I don't think this is the situation either.

I think I'll talk to her again and see if we can work out a way of only spending about £25, which sounds much more reasonable.

CaulkheadUpNorf Thu 18-May-17 20:36:40

I was poor growing up, and some friends were more wealthy. I used to get their hand me downs (shorter and smaller than friends). For birthdays I once got a top and once a denim jacket. Would something like this be an option? Giving clothes feels slightly more okay than spending £50 on trainers I think.

CaulkheadUpNorf Thu 18-May-17 20:37:36

Just a thought - has she told the friend that she's getting her trainers, or will it be a surprise?

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 18-May-17 20:37:56

This is a tough one and very important for your DD to learn. Navigating money issues and friends is very hard, and harder when there is a difference in assets.

The tack of 'how will she feel come your birthday' is an important place to start.

eurochick Thu 18-May-17 20:40:03

I think it will make the dad feel awful. It's too much. It would a nice thing for the two friends but it would have a negative effect on the dad.

Hairyfairy01 Thu 18-May-17 20:41:13

£50 is more than I spend on my own kids for birthdays. I think you are potentially putting the dad in a really awkward situation. I think a pp suggestion of vouchers is best, but no more than £20 at an absolute maximum. Does your dd know not to expect the same in return when it's her birthday?

HemiDemiSemiquaver Thu 18-May-17 20:48:41

I would also worry most about the friend feeling obliged to do the same in return - I've been in that position (though smaller amounts) and it does get awkward. The aspect of pity, or buying friendships, or possibly being coerced into it, etc I think could be dealt with, but it would be harder to find a way that wouldn't then make the friend feel obliged to reciprocate. Unless there is some way she could overtly discuss it with her friend - tell her there was an extra good sale somewhere and she saw there for her; or someone gave them to your DD but they didn't fit, and would the friend like them as her birthday present?, etc. Or if she might be tactful enough, then an actual conversation with the friend saying that she'd like to get her these, as a kind of special one-off present this year (because the friend has been extra kind to her or helped her in some way, etc.), but that the friend mustn't feel like she should do anything in return.

winchesterfan Thu 18-May-17 20:50:30

Do you have somewhere like a tkmaxx or Nike outlet store nearby?
You may be able to get a pair of branded, nice trainers for a much cheaper price

winchesterfan Thu 18-May-17 20:50:50

I meant to add, your DD sounds like a lovely girl!

AteRiri Thu 18-May-17 20:53:25

Maybe treat her friend out to a birthday lunch then give her a cheaper present?

Or you could make it like you treat them to the birthday lunch so that it won't look like your daughter spent a lot.

And if I ever have a kid, I'd love her to be like your daughter.

shinyredbus Thu 18-May-17 20:54:05

your daughter sounds like a very lovely girl OP. smile

Discopanda Thu 18-May-17 20:58:02

Your DD sounds absolutely lovely :-) Agree with PPs about capping at £25, maybe take her to TK Maxx or Sports Direct so she can get a cool label but for much cheaper?

kateandme Thu 18-May-17 20:58:53

also possibly for the other childs parents.could you nee to talk to them as how would they feel.guilt shame etc if there child got a gift from a friend that they can never compare to in their own gifting.if ur childs doing it through kindess its beautiful.but a thoughtfull gift can be just as lovely.
12 year old(no fault of their own) can be fickle and this if there is future trouble might be brought up in unpleasant way "you can do that I bout you trainers" " remember I bought you those trainers so you can at least do this for me"
then again this girl might have the chance of a beautiful gift she couldn't ever begin to want to get.
but is this too adult a problem for a pair of youngsters to take on all the aspects that go with it or could possibly go wrong here.

Bananamama1213 Thu 18-May-17 20:59:33

Your daughter sounds very sweet.

I personally wouldn't let her spent so much - agree with between £20-25 like others have said.

I only spend around £70 on my children for their birthday so I would feel really embarrassed and feel like I had to buy the same back.

ExtraPineappleExtraHam Thu 18-May-17 20:59:47

From a young age I've always felt like I want to show my love to people by buying them presents. It's all for that look on their face, the happiness, I'm sure this is why your daughter wants to do it. My mum sat me down at 10 when I wanted to buy a present for a friend and explained that people love you for you and not for gifts and that it might make them feel uncomfortable. I really valued that advice so maybe do the same?

teainbed Thu 18-May-17 21:01:45

Is there any risk the friend might have to sell any expensive gift if she was given the trainers or a similarly priced gift?

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