Student DD's 21st birthday present - suggestions please

(18 Posts)
ReadyToSignOff Thu 27-Oct-16 17:16:19

Our student DD is soon to be 21 - we have been giving her money for birthday/Xmas presents for a while as this is her preference (usually accompanied by a small gift), so I assumed that we would be doing similar this year. Last night DH and I had a discussion about how much we should give her as it is a 'special birthday' and I suggested £500 which DH thought was a ridiculously large amount. Our DCs often seem to think they are a bit hard done by compared to others and I do know some people who spend lots of money on their children, but we try to keep it sensible. Also we currently give her £300 per month to support her at uni. DH did a little survey at work and those who were students at 21 said they would have just blown the money and in hindsight appreciated the gifts they were given (e.g. a ring or camera) more... or so DH says! DD has a bad track record for losing/breaking things, but she does wear a necklace I bought her from holiday quite a lot. So is £500 too much? Would a gift and smaller amount be better (e.g. £100) and any suggestions for keepsake gifts please (rather not buy clothes, etc. as they have a limited lifespan)?

OP’s posts: |
mumeeee Thu 27-Oct-16 17:24:03

£500 is far to much. For my DDs 21st birthdays I did them a photograph album of their life so photos from each year since they were born. They all absolutely loved this personal gift. We of course gave them other special gifts as well all 3 of our DDs actually preferred gifts to money

Squirrills Thu 27-Oct-16 17:52:05

We never bought DC much stuff except as Christmas presents when they were younger. No phones on contract or latest tech gadget. They therefore don't have expectation of expensive presents and it therefore makes it a pleasure to spoil them unexpectedly now. Which I do.
I don't think £500 is too much if you can easily afford it.
What about using it to pay for a holiday for her and a friend / boyfriend? A weekend somewhere exciting would be memorable even if it's not something to keep.

princesshaley Thu 27-Oct-16 17:55:41

I'm actually a student who just turned 21, and for my birthday, my mum and dad bought me a much needed brand new outfit - new top, skirt, boots, leather jacket and scarf. It was actually perfect, as I needed new clothes but haven't got the money for shopping right now, and it's an outfit I can wear to school or for work placement next spring before I graduate.

My family's traditional gift on my mum's side was pearls and while the thought is nice, I wouldn't likely wear them as I'm clumsy and would be scared of losing them/breaking the clasp on the necklace.

I second the idea of a weekend holiday too ! grin

ReadyToSignOff Thu 27-Oct-16 18:30:00

Thank you all - that has given us something to think about!

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PlumsGalore Thu 27-Oct-16 18:42:05

I think if you afford £500 then it should be spent on something useful like an Interrail Global pass for the summer, or driving lessons, or a lovely watch, personal registration plate, weekend in New York etc

I got a sewing machine for my 21st, I still have it!

purpleprincess24 Thu 27-Oct-16 18:42:44

£500 is only expensive if you can't afford it. It's all relative, what one person finds ludicrously expensive another will think is cheap

We gave ours each enough money to go away with a friend for a week (nothing grand!) then spent I think about £150 on something 'special' that they could keep, however we let them choose something as we felt it was so personal.

One chose a really modern ornament and the other a picture for their rooms, which they will obviously take with them when they move out.

Also, my Dad gave them each a personal item that would be theirs one day anyway, his rationale being he would rather enjoy seeing the boys use them. One was a watch that had been his fathers and the other a pair of gold cuff links that my Mum had bought him for their wedding day.


GasLightShining Fri 28-Oct-16 13:28:38

DD not a student but she is going on a city break abroad so we gave her about £300 ish worth of euros.

TheWoollybacksWife Fri 28-Oct-16 13:36:30

We paid for 21 hours of driving lessons which worked out at just under £500 but we paid lesson by lesson rather than in a lump sum.

Serin Sat 29-Oct-16 19:49:15

We have commissioned a piece of artwork for DD's 21st. She is only 19 but she loves a particular artist and we thought it better to buy it now.

It's about £500

Everyone spends different amounts I guess, do what is right for you.

purpleprincess24 Sat 29-Oct-16 19:52:24

Oh yes we made the mistake of for their 18th saying we'd pay for them to learn to drive .... but mistake ... huge .... It took ds 5 attempts!! It would have been cheaper to buy him a car!

Always specify how many lessons !!

olympicfan Sun 30-Oct-16 20:54:08

My parents bought me an inter-railing ticket for my 21st.

Fab present! 8 countries and a month of memories that has lasted me years.

Helenluvsrob Sun 30-Oct-16 20:59:33

Watching with interest. Ds is 21 in January. My mum bought him a special watch for his 18th so that's out.

Eldest had a silver bangle that I had made - it has has a quote from Winnie the Pooh that I thought was perfect .was expensive as engravers charge per letter and it was long ! I think she still loves it.

So far I think I'll book ds and his longstanding gf in for lunch at a local Michelin starred place. That's around £35/head but the wine is £££!

ReadyToSignOff Mon 31-Oct-16 06:12:15

Thanks again everyone - there are lots of great ideas! We bought her provisional driving licence and a course of ten lessons for her 18th birthday as she said she wanted to learn to drive because 'EVERYONE' else was learning or having cars bought for them but the instructor persuaded her that she should take double lessons (which she didn't tell us) so the money got eaten up in no time at all, she wasn't really keen on driving (personally I hate it and took four goes to pass sad) and didn't want to continue if she had to pay for it herself, although she had paid for a few lessons out of her own money. I had said that I would happily pay for the theory test too and bought her the preparation materials, but she never bothered to book in for a test (and didn't want me to interfere by doing it for her). We probably would have carried on paying if she had shown some incentive or gratitude! When her brother had the same deal, he was quite happy for me to organise things and took to lessons well. He didn't have a job, but because of his attitude we decided to continue to pay for lessons/tests (I would have paid for DD's test/tests) and he passed before going off to uni. Which DD is furious about... she is now living in a city rather than out in the sticks, so doesn't necessarily need to drive, but I may open up that can of worms again and ask her if she wants to try again. (I know it sounds mean and DD argues that it shows favouritism, but she has had money spent on her for other things, so it probably evens up in the end.)

OP’s posts: |
ReadyToSignOff Tue 01-Nov-16 08:57:58

Update - I have ordered a lovely (I think smile ) silver heart necklace which I am having engraved with a message on the back. There is a quote from one of her favourite childhood books (Guess How Much I Love You) on the front, which I know she will like as she admired another girl's tattoo of same quote! She can wear it alongside the other necklace I bought as it has a similar theme (stars and moon). DH and I have come to an agreement on money, we will give her £210 (21 tenners!) to spend as she chooses (weekend away, driving lessons, concert, clothes, etc.), but hopefully not more tattoos <sigh>. Thanks again for all the ideas grin

OP’s posts: |
Peebles1 Wed 02-Nov-16 17:27:41

Hey, 21 tenners is a great idea! Wish I'd thought of that for my two DSs. We gave them £200 - they were both abroad at the time and down to only enough money for basics, so loved being able to have money for a special day trip - as a PP said, memories for life.

I'm going to save your 21 tenners idea for DD (currently 18). She just got her first tattoo confused I have yet to tell DH - sigh! Hope your DD has a lovely day smile

ThirtySixViewsOfMountFuji Thu 03-Nov-16 09:43:09

Thanks Peebles! BTW I would thoroughly recommend this website for personalised jewellery - the necklace/pendant I got was half the Amazon price, up to 50 character message engraved for £4 and express delivery (signed for) at £3.95. It came two days after ordering and is excellent quality - I've now also got a 10% discount code for subsequent orders, so I'm impressed!

ThirtySixViewsOfMountFuji Thu 03-Nov-16 09:45:08

Name change obviously! blush

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