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to think my BF is spending a ridiculous amount on xmas presents??

(30 Posts)
macdoodle Mon 09-Nov-09 16:26:27

yes I know its none of my business and she can spend it how she likes!!
But they are skint properly skint, she works hard but not paid a lot, her DH has been out of work most of this year, and she regularly complains how skint they are and worries about paying the mortgage!
We usually have a night out a week just dinner and movies, which we havent done for ages as she hasnt been able to afford it (which is fine as I am pretty skint to!)

However today we have been talking about xmas, and I said am going to have to really cut it down this year!!
She says me too, but then says she has already spent £150 on an ipod touch for her 16 yr old DS and £50 on a jacket, and so put £200 cash away for her 17 yr old DD1, so will just get them a few extra "bits" each shock, and then says she needs to spend the same on her DD2 who is 8 (same as my DD1), and will get her the huge sylvanian family hotel shock and a few DS and Wii games!!

Blimey I am in shock shock, and am wondering how much she normally spends if that is cutting down, I wasnt planning on spending any more than £100 max on DD1 and have been saving my tesco vouchers for the double amounts for toy shopping, and wasnt planning a lot at all on DD2 (who will be 2)!

Am I out of touch, is that a huge amount on shite toys for children, she reckons a thousand pounds will cover the children shock, they worry about paying their mortgage, they havent had a holiday for years, am just shell shocked I think!!

MitchyInge Mon 09-Nov-09 16:27:44


myob etc

macdoodle Mon 09-Nov-09 16:29:06


macdoodle Mon 09-Nov-09 16:30:35

oh mind my own business??
yes I know but we are good friends she freely volunteered the information, I told her I thought it was ridiculous amount of money, am curious whether I am out of date and that is a normal amount to spend and my poor DC are deprived ??

displayuntilbestbefore Mon 09-Nov-09 16:32:03

not really any of your business what she spends
- does she buy you a present? If so, will you be declining it on the grounds that it's really far too extravagant?hmm

thedollshouse Mon 09-Nov-09 16:32:18

Yabu. Up to her how she spends her money even if she has very little.

Even if she didn't spend so much on her children at christmas, it doesn't mean that she would be able to afford your weekly night out. Going out to eat or cinema once a week soon adds up.

pippa251 Mon 09-Nov-09 16:32:24

yanbu- this is one of the reasons the economy got so screwed- people spending beyond their means. However, she could have been scrimping to save for this to 'make it up to them' for the hard year etc. It is her decision though....

Morloth Mon 09-Nov-09 16:32:36

As long as she isn't asking you for money then it really isn't your business.

displayuntilbestbefore Mon 09-Nov-09 16:33:41

I personally also think it's a lot to spend on dcs and won't be spending that on our dcs - party also because they get so much at Christmas that I don't want to end up with brats who expect a branch of ToysRUs in their stocking!
Maybe she was telling you to gauge your reaction and see if it was in fact HER who wis out of touch with what's reasonable?

thedollshouse Mon 09-Nov-09 16:35:13

I don't think she is spending a huge amount on her children. Teenagers are expensive creatures, they are no longer satisfied with a box of lego. I think she is crazy to insist that all children have the same amount spent on them, that is just encouraging them to have a materialistic attitude.

30andLurking Mon 09-Nov-09 16:37:33

YANBU. Sounds like some sort of weird showy-off thing to me, especially if you'd already said you were going to cut back this year.

Don't get sucked into competing, just stick to your budget and shop thoughtfully, and you'll feel all smug come January when the credit card bills come in (and she'll start chewing your ear off about how broke they are, no doubt).

Crap sort of lesson to be teaching the teenagers anyway - "We don't have enough money so lets buy some really unimportant stuff"

<bah, humbug, etc>

alarkaspree Mon 09-Nov-09 16:38:22

Whilst it's true it's not really your business, I agree with you that it seems silly to spend so much if they are struggling. But I think some people do feel they have to do this at Christmas - and often they are people who can't afford much in the way of luxuries the rest of the year.

emsyj Mon 09-Nov-09 16:40:09

Obviously none of your business, but do realise the point of the thread is to gauge whether this is normal and you are out of touch etc. I used to work at John Lewis when I was a student and one of the assistants there spoke to me about spending nigh on £1k on her teenage daughter at Christmas. She would start saving for her gifts in January and would buy things and put them away throughout the year. I thought this was a bit beyond the call of duty, but also it made me wonder whether I missed out when I was a child!!! Am fairly confident my parents didn't spend anything close to that sort of money and DH's parents the same - now that we are grown up they tend to spend about £25 on each of us (sometimes on a joint gift, sometimes a gift each) whereas I have a very close friend whose parents still spend hundreds on her every Christmas despite her being 30, married and a mother herself! I am totally jealous - last year she said they were going to ask for a tumble drier as their 'main present'. I just sort of goggled. I think there is possibly no 'normal' amount to spend at Christmas.

bibbitybobbityhat Mon 09-Nov-09 16:44:25

I think she sounds a little bit dim

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Mon 09-Nov-09 16:48:43

a grand is a huge amount to spend on kids Xmas presents. Although I reckon my parents spend about that nowadays, but we are all adults, there are 4 of us, they were pretty poor when we were growing up and it's either given as money or something useful - last year DH and I got a contribution towards a new vehicle, and DB2 got his MOT costs paid for...and they can afford it now...

Anyway, I digress. If she's saving throughout the year and that's what she likes to spend her savings on then fair dos. However she's probably putting at least some of it on credit which a shame, and a very foolish thing to do. We are about as skint as they sound and our combined Xmas budget is about 300 quid, and that's for all family, DS and my friends. That's coming from some extra hours I'm doing in november and december.

gorionine Mon 09-Nov-09 16:59:57

YA a bit U , each to their own and all that. If you are planning to spend £100 on one child,it is still an amount that is far exeeding what I would be able to afford for my 4 DCs combined so not to worry, your children are not deprivedgrin (and nor are mine BTW even with a much smaller present budget).

She might have saved the pennies all year to afford that so do not judge her too harshly.

Firawla Mon 09-Nov-09 17:49:24

its up to her but personally i think it is too much if they can not easily afford mortgage, i would not be spending that much myself in her shoes, but as others said perhaps she has been saving for xmas all yr and likes to make it 1 extravagent time per yr

waddlelikeaduck Mon 09-Nov-09 17:56:03

wow, it really is amazing how much people choose to spend each Xmas and I guess the key phrase here is 'choose'...

This year DH and I are spending £50 each on my DS (aged 10) and DSD (aged 14) and about £20 max on peanut who is due anyday... On DH I prob spend about £20-30...

I am responsible for getting all the family pressies and I tend to stick to about £10 per child, and roughly the same per adult but I shop throughout the year and take advantage of sales/offers etc...this often means that it looks like I have spent alot more than I have!

I agree that the DCs get so many pressies this time of year anyway and most get 'abandoned/ignored' within weeks, they also seem more concerned with the number of pressies rather than the cost and so I get a few silly pressies for less than a pound each to bulk out the stockings... if they want expensive items like ipods/Wii's etc they know they have to save any vouchers/cash they get and add their own savings...

There really does seem to be too much of an expectation from kids to the parents in terms of crap stuff and they really don't appreciate it!

brimfull Mon 09-Nov-09 17:59:13

that's nuffin
my bil and sil spend over £500 on each child
they got a wii last yr depsite saying they didn't want one hmm

Mishy1234 Mon 09-Nov-09 19:23:00

Seems quite a lot, but everyone's different I suppose and I guess it depends what she's done in previous years too.

I've spent £20 max on DS and he's just getting books and some dressing up clothes I've made him. He has far too much stuff already and doesn't play with a fraction of it.

I'm also making some dressing up clothes for my niece and putting together a box of arty bits and pieces (got the idea from someone on here!).

Granted, teenagers are more demanding and expensive, so no doubt I'll not get away with being so frugal in the future. Until then, I intend on spending as sensibly as possible.

deaddei Mon 09-Nov-09 19:32:08

I think she's an idiot, (not op but bf).
No wonder children grow up expecting life handed to them on a plate, with mothers like that. Ver y irresponsible, not teaching children any life lessons.
We spend £100 max on each child.
No debt, nothing to worry about in January.

monkeyfacegrace Mon 09-Nov-09 19:49:46

I think you are all being a little judgemental. My parents used to spend 1k each on me and my 2 sisters, and we had the most wonderful, magical xmases ever. We are not spoilt, nor are we brats, just enjoy beyond belief family occasions and got quality items not 'tat'. Now I have two kids of my own Ive asked for the money to go on them instead, an we are having a more practical pressie (driveway paved-exciting hey!). But Ive inhertited the gene, and have already spent a months wages on a bigboys toy for my OH. Id rather be skint until Spring, Xmas happens once a year and its fantstic!

BloodRedTulips Mon 09-Nov-09 19:58:24

i spend tonnes on mine at xmas, on the basis that they get sod all the rest of the year, even birthdays are often fairly slim pickings.

i start buying very early and spread it out as much as possible which makes it affordable.

dp and i don't drink, haven't gone out in almost a year and spend very little on ourselves so we enjoy spoiling them at xmas... our choice.

we had a few rotten years where we could barely afford to get them anything so i guess we over compensate nowadays blush

Katkinso Mon 09-Nov-09 20:11:31

YANBU...because it's fine to spend what you want on your kids IF you can afford it but I have limited sympathy with people who moan all year about being on the bread line/not being able to afford mortgage and then go insane at christmas. I'm guessing all those toys will be a big comfort to the kids when they can't afford new shoes/lunch money/the bailifs come knocking in january. Completely agree with one poster that this is how we as a country have ended up in the credit crisis mess we're all payying for now. Christmas is a time for family, affordable/appropriate treats and not an excuse to transform into a mindless spending machine with a piece of plastic.

MarianneM Mon 09-Nov-09 20:14:13


I think people are insane to spend such vast amounts on their kids' presents. In my opinion children should learn that they cannot have everything, especially if their parents are skint as you say! And will they appreciate any of it if they are so used to getting everything they want...

We are not skint but I never spend more than about £30 on anyone's present (DD, DH, family members), and I think that's plenty!

Is it really so hard to do without? I resent this "must have" culture nowadays.

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