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How much to spend on Step Children for Christmas?

(69 Posts)
ElChan03 Tue 07-Nov-17 14:31:13

I saw a similar post and I have also been wondering something similar.
I hope this doesn't annoy anyone as I know it's a bit of a repeat... however I have interesting circumstances.

So a bit of back story.

I am in a relationship and live with my DP and his two DC. I do not have any children of my own at all. I wondered what MN would recommend I spend on the two DC and whether I am expected to spend large amounts like people normally do in their own DC.

I didn't know whether being in a SP meant I am obligated to spend or behave in a certain way.

I only ask as I am worried I will spend too much ... I did so last year and I have been told that a SP should not be crazy mega involved in that way.

Please help me.

PandorasXbox Tue 07-Nov-17 14:34:05

Spend what you can afford. I don’t think the fact that they are your step children has any influence on the amount personally.

ItchySeveredFoot Tue 07-Nov-17 14:34:29

If you live together you put both your names on all the presents.

TeenTimesTwo Tue 07-Nov-17 14:35:10

I would ask your DP how he would like you to play it.

Minimum would be whatever you would spend on nieces and nephews I would think, up to whatever you would spend on birth children.

You probably can't get it right. Too little and you are being mean and scrooge-like. Too much and you are undermining their mother and trying to buy their affection.

MyDcAreMarvel Tue 07-Nov-17 14:36:18

As a very rough average I would say £150,
seems to be what the majority people I know spend on their dc.
If you can afford that much they use that as a guide.
Being a step parent is a red herring if the dc live with you.

MyDcAreMarvel Tue 07-Nov-17 14:36:57

*then not they.

Cath2907 Tue 07-Nov-17 14:37:22

You should discuss with your partner and both contribute to the presents together as people do for their biological children. no need for 1 set of gifts off him and 1 off you. Maybe you could buy one present each for the kids that is especially from you if you have something you know they'd like. I do most of the fmaily Xmas shopping out of the joint household budget but sometimes my husband will buy a special prsent for our daughter specifically from him and I'll get her 1 specifially from me.

lunar1 Tue 07-Nov-17 14:38:33

You live together so I’d buy presents together.

ElChan03 Tue 07-Nov-17 14:40:59

I know. Dp is sahd and I am the main breadwinner and I work full time. So I'm the one that has the spare money to buy presents. If I stuck to what DP can afford it will not be much at all. I don't want to undermine mum at all but she also has no income. There are lots of difficult circumstances around mum and her contact with children. I don't like to get involved with but I don't want to let them down. I remember having big Christmas when I was a kid and as I have no nieces or nephews or small children in my life to base what's acceptable or not. I was stuck.

BertieBotts Tue 07-Nov-17 14:41:00

Surely this is a joint thing? Weird for them to get presents solely from SP IMO. Discuss with your DP what you (joint) will get them. If they live with you full time you should treat them like your own children.

Grimmfebruary Tue 07-Nov-17 14:41:08

Dp and I just set a limit on how much he wants to spend on his ds - and then I run with the budget as I'm better at Christmas shopping than he is 😂 However when we have our ds in February, he will be getting less spent on him until he can actually understand Christmas. Don't know if that makes me odd! We've been together 6 years if that makes any difference.

BertieBotts Tue 07-Nov-17 14:41:55

Right, but surely that's family finances? It's not like you're a normal couple when there are children involved, you're all a family.

Grimmfebruary Tue 07-Nov-17 14:42:48

Reading that back, to make it clearer, dp sets the budget for his ds and it's done between us, not just from him. And when when our dc arrives in the new year, we will spend more on dp's ds than our dc. 😂

PandorasXbox Tue 07-Nov-17 14:44:03

How old are they OP?

ElChan03 Tue 07-Nov-17 14:45:30

Obviously presents would be from both of us and not singularly from me. I just would be putting the majority of the money towards it. Dp is on a very limited income tax credits and benefits. I

Rotorevolution Tue 07-Nov-17 14:45:31

Talk to your DP, the presents should be from both of you together, not one set from him and one from you. Also depends on the age of the children.

ElChan03 Tue 07-Nov-17 14:47:25

12 year old girl and a 11 year old boy but he is mentally about 2 and is severely autistic. We have all the recommended toys for him as advised by the school so it would probably be clothes. Realistically more money would be spent on LG as her brother gets a lot spent on things throughout the year.

PandorasXbox Tue 07-Nov-17 14:49:38

I would buy your SD something that she really wants. And something you think your SS would like to play with.

ElChan03 Tue 07-Nov-17 14:51:17

Thank you Pandora I will quietly talk to her about what she would like and go from there.

PandorasXbox Tue 07-Nov-17 14:53:59

You sound like a lovely step mum

Brazenhussy0 Tue 07-Nov-17 14:55:10

I tend to buy stocking fillers for my DSDs and and DP buys their main presents. I spend around £25 each on them.
Works for us and lets me buy little bits for them without stepping on anyone’s toes.

However, we both earn roughly equal amounts. DSDs’ Mum doesn’t work but their stepdad has a decent income so the kids don’t go without at either end.

If we were in your situation, I honestly don’t know how I would feel. I would strongly resent paying for all the Christmas presents (and taking full financial responsibility in general) for someone else’s children while neither of the parents worked to pay for their own DCs, but I would feel like I had to for the children’s sake. Their situation isn’t their fault.
But, at the same time, what would they do if you weren't on the scene?

I don’t know OP. It’s up to you how much you want to spend on them. There’s no rules and every step-family is different.

ElChan03 Tue 07-Nov-17 14:56:31

Try my best. It's been really hard and it's such a minefield of how to do it all. Especially hard as I don't have any children of my own and I'm 25 so I'm learning more every day.

ElChan03 Tue 07-Nov-17 14:59:57

brazen I do it all for the kids and it's a lot more than money. I work so hard to do my best always for them and with the family dynamics with Mum I have worked extra extra hard. After everything that's gone on. I just want them both to have a nice Christmas.

I have had some great advice so far though and it's given me good things and a basis to think about!

Mummyoflittledragon Tue 07-Nov-17 15:02:04

You sound like a lovely stepmum. If £20 each is what you can afford. That’s great. If it’s £100 that’s also great. It really isn’t about what everyone else can give. But the love and care you give to these children.

AnneLovesGilbert Tue 07-Nov-17 15:05:14

As a very rough average I would say £150?!!!!! shock

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