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Cost of presents

(10 Posts)
Strongertogether Mon 13-May-13 10:32:22

I feel a bit mercenary talking about money but I’d like some opinions please…….
Been with DH 12 years, married 9. He has two DC from a previous relationship that do not live with us and we have two of our own ( 9 and 6). The eldest DSS is 19 soon. In the past we usually get DSS a present costing in the region of about £100 (used to be much more but I managed to curb DH’s Disneying) and DH takes him to some sort of event/show (tickets usually about £50 each). Last year was his 18th, he got £1000 in cash. I tentively mentioned his birthday yesterday and it’s clear DH expects to do the same as before, ie £100ish on present, tickets for him and DSS for show. Maybe it’s just me but I thought that now he’s technically an adult the amount spent on the present/treat would start to come down a little bit? I don’t mean a dramatic cut but surely 100 quid present and expensive outing is a bit excessive for an adult? We don’t have a lot of money. Am I being mean? What do other people do when their DSC get older? When I look back I used to get nowhere near the same presents/indulgence the DSC get, especially from my teens onwards but then again my parents weren't divorced. Would really appreciate your opinions…

buttons99 Mon 13-May-13 10:47:58

Hi. We have 5 children (3 mine, 2 his) Up to 18 they all had the same for Christmas/birthdays. We agreed that as each one turned 18 we reduced their presents to a smaller birthday present (£20 maximum) and they get some Christmas presents but no main present. They all know that is what we have agreed and have just accepted that as they turn 18 and become an adult that is how it is.

likesnowflakesinanocean Mon 13-May-13 11:10:26

there is a big gap between my ds and scs but I don't really do present budgets. if they are having a party they don't get a day out or whatever else we do. I prefer present wise to get something they want and would find useful and try to keep it round the same amount. if you cant afford it though I can see why it is annoying

Kaluki Mon 13-May-13 11:54:59

I intend to spend the same on my dc however old they are (usually we budget for about £100 birthday and £50 Christmas) and DP will do the same.
Even when they are 'adults' they will still be my children and the most important people in my life so they will get the same presents.
My Mum still spends the same on my siblings and I and we are in our 40s.

Svrider Mon 13-May-13 12:06:49

I think if dh is taking dsd to a show he doesn't need a present as well

matana Mon 13-May-13 13:11:36

The only rule in our house is that we spend what we can afford and treat all DC equally. For tha past two years we have spent £70 each on my DSDs and my DS for Christmas and a bit more for birthdays. They are a lot younger though, but the rule will always be that i spend the same on my DSDs as i do on my own son. My mum only started spending less on me and my sisters when our DC came along - she spends a lot of money on them now and not so much on us, which is absolutely fine. DS is in constant need of clothes and toys throughout the year so i appreciate the help. I think grandchildren probably change the dynamic more.

brdgrl Mon 13-May-13 13:56:38

Like matana, my view would be to spend only what we can afford, and to treat all the kids "equally".

I use quotation marks there, because I don't think it is a matter of spending the same amount for each kid on each and every birthday - my DSD just turned 18, and my DD is turning 3. I would never spend as much on a toddler's birthday as a teenager's anyway, and since 18 is a particularly special birthday, we definitely spent quite a bit more on DSD this year. But it is important to me that when DSS turns 18 in a few years, he gets the same sort of 'big deal'. Or when DD turns 18 in fifteen years!

Of course, things change, and kids have to understand that, too. If we are struggling more financially when DSS turns 18, he may not get the same lavish treatment as DSD has just had. I'll do my best to make sure that he doesn't see it - trying to get the same bang for less buck - but the reality is that we can't over-extend ourselves for a birthday.

As for once the kids become adults - yeah. I expect the budget to come down. If we came into an unexpected windfall, we'd buy nice gifts for the kids, but the expenses of a childhood birthday - throwing a party, toys and gifts - are over once they become ostensibly "independent" young adults. That isn't to say they won't be getting gifts - but I think the budget will be smaller.

My parents definitely stopped giving 'big ticket' items after we moved out/went to uni. They still give us presents, but they would be on a smaller scale. That changed right away after 18, but even more so after they retired. They are living on a fixed budget themselves now - we spend more on their gifts than they do on our's. That's only right.

I can't really say whether £100 is too much in your situation, because to me it would totally depend on whether you can easily afford it or how much of your income it represents. We spent what amounted to two weeks of my wages on DSD's birthday, and I do think it was too much, as we are not in a position of financial security.

Yonihadtoask Mon 13-May-13 14:04:16

I agree with you OP.

DH is far more generous with spending on gifts than I am. Which means that his DC end up with more generous gifts and treats than I am willing to spend on my DC.

I think that there is a bit of spending more because they don't live with him going on. Whereas my Dc does live with us.

Once they get past 18 - IMO the DC should be working a part time job if in FE or working full time if not. They can then fund their own treats.

DH thinks I am tight, but I grew up in a family where every penny did matter - so I did lots of part time jobs from being 12/13 to make sure I could buy nice things for myself, go out with friends, save up for driving lessons etc.

I know it's not so easy now to work under the age of 16 but I do get cross when DC get it all handed on a plate.

Alwayscheerful Mon 13-May-13 14:22:58

We do £100 for children and adult children both at Christmas and birthdays, plus a treat, day out or a meal for birthdays them £500 for 18/21.

I think we all like/need to be treated so we don't reduce the amount as they get older but the tickets/events stop when they get partners. Things get can get out of hand once partners come along and although we like to include them in birthday & christmas gifts we may well reconsider in the future, especially when children come along but it seems mean not to be generous to our young families when finances are tight because of having little ones, so maybe it will be £100 for all of them.

Strongertogether Tue 14-May-13 09:58:01

Thanks for the responses. Been useful to see how others do things. I am constantly questioning myself when it comes to the DSC. I don't have a problem cutting back on stuff for my own children but with the DSC it's never that straightforward and I sometimes have a sense of guilt. I don't really know why. In material terms they have far more than my own children although I know that's just circumstance and not their fault.

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