Post # 1
One of my best friends got engaged last weekend (hooray!) and I came up with the idea to put together a gift basket with a bunch of small funny items to ‘help’ them with the wedding planning and general engagement. I sent out an email to 5 of our close friends saying my idea and what I had already bought and asked if they wanted to throw anything else in and make it a group present. They all came up with great ideas that complimented what i was already contributing and we presented it as ‘from the group’. The point wasnt’ to buy anything expensive, it was more a of a ‘it’s the thought that counts’ type of situation.
I just got an email from one of the contributors stating how much she spent and asking us to also say how much we spent so we could divide up the cost fairly. None of us spent that much, but she and one other person decided to go the more expensive route and probably spent about $10-20 more than everyone else. I suspected they had spent more, but I figured that was their choice and since it wasn’t such a huge difference we were all square. Also, we never sent out emails saying “Hey I’m thinking of buying their favorite expensive alcohol, are you guys cool with that since it’s kind of pricey?”
This is really awkward for me since I never intended it to be an expensive gift or even about the money, I presented it as everyone put in what they want. I’m also on a pretty tight budget so I used coupons to buy my gifts and intentionally thought of creative things instead of splurging on something pricey. Ultimately though, since she’s my friend and this isn’t a lot of money at the end of the day, I’ll pay her to make it even regardless of the outcome of this poll, but I’m wondering what everyone’s thoughts are on this?
Post # 3
@Mrs. Alias: Hmmm so everyone bought their own items to contribute to the basket? (Rather than one person getting a list and buying it all right?)
If each person contributed their own piece, I really feel like it’s more of a “spend what you feel comfortable” thing. If you’d all come up with a list of things to go in the basket and then assigned each person to buy an item, the cost splitting would make more sense.
Post # 4
Nope, you all spent what you wanted to spend.
Post # 5
I think this is the kind of situation that you have to be really careful with upfront, to make sure everyone is on the same page. In general group gifts are divided evenly so I can kind of see why she sent that email out–though it seems kind of petty of her to be asking for $2/4 from everyone.
Post # 6
I would come up with the price of items you bought before the coupons, it not your fault you were more thrifty then others. If they are out a huge amount then I might give them a little something. If I were them I honestly wouldn’t expect others to pay me back if I threw in something more expensive, especially if we are talking about $20 bucks more then others.
Post # 7
That is . . . really rude.
Post # 8
I have to agree that if everyone already contributed their own gifts, you shouldn’t be expected to pay for more. It was up to each individual to choose how much they were spending for their portion.
Post # 9
If each person contributed individual items to the baskets, then I don’t see how you owe her money.
Post # 10
@KatNYC2011: You are correct, everyone thought of and purchased their own gifts. I did keep track of what everyone was putting in, but only so we could write a funny group note about the contents of the basket. And that’s exactly how I meant it – “spend what you feel comfortable” which I thought is what we were doing..
Post # 10
@Mrs. Alias: In response to the “is it okay with everyone if I buy their favorite expensive alcohol?” question, I would probably just respond something to the effect of “We are each contributing a gift in a price ranged we’re comfortable with, you’re free to give whatever you’d like!”. And, no, I don’t think you should pay her back to make it even.
Post # 11
I wouldn’t give her any money…she can suck it up…I think you presented it in a way that invited people to add to it, but nothing formal where you are dividing up costs, etc. People like that bother me!
Post # 12
Do what you feel is right this time. Consider this a lesson learned for the future. Make sure you clarify the intent if you ever do this again. There’s always somebody who will misunderstand what seems to be a simple idea.
Post # 13
if its only 20 bucks more that she spent, thats about $4 per person, thats kinda ridiculous for her to really expect everyone to give her $4, personally its no big deal eitherway, I wouldnt sweat over $4 but I dont think you have to pay her that money
Post # 14
I agree with those PP’s who feel this was rude of her. It was your idea to begin with, so where does she come off even asking you that? Unless she’s a close friend, if it were me, I would just ignore her request. It seems along the lines of a situation like this: Four friends at a restaurant, three of whom order a light salad and drink and one who orders a four course steak dinner. And then wants to “split the check evenly.” Um, NO. I didn’t order an expensive dinner, YOU did.