Post # 1
Now that our two families are 1…(from our viewpoint at least), we are trying to figure out what to get everyone for christmas and birthdays.
His family is used to giving eachother $200+ gifts.
My family usually keeps it around $50. Spending more than that would look ridiculous.
I am having a really hard time spending $200 on his family, especially when we are really strapped for cash after the wedding. He thinks spending $50 on family is cheap. (sidenote: He doesn’t even like to spend that much on a rando’s wedding present. I always assumed was the “average” amount, and he gawked and said he always spends AT LEAST $75-100…lol he is a very generous gift giver, lucky me)
On one end, I want to just keep everything the same. But at the same time, I feel really guilty giving his sister a $200 gift and my sister a $50 gift. I hate to compare, but they are both our sisters. I think in most situations we can compromise in the middle, like with the wedding gifts, but when it comes to our family, which is exactly even on both sides, how do you meet in the middle when there is a “standard” to uphold?
Even if we weren’t tight on cash, next year I would be in the same dilemma. Advice?
Post # 2
texaslemon: I suggest the two of you need to get comfortable with the concept of giving what you can afford. If money is tight, there is no way that you should be spending $200 per gift.
With careful shopping, watching for sales and bargains, you can always find something that will work for everyone on your list that is within your budget.
Next year, spread the shopping out over the year. Keep your eye out for those great gift ideas when they are on sale. I carry a little notebook in my bag all year. It is soley dedicated to Christmas ideas. If anyone mentions anything, I write it down.
Post # 3
1) If the official/unofficial budget for gifts is different for each family, I don’t think that’s unfair. Same is not synonymous with fair. It’d probably cause your sister more embarassment than happiness if she received a big, expensive gift while giving you a small one.
2) 200$ at Christmas and birthdays can add up, even 50$ gifts. I would make this part of a larger conversation about spending priorities. If this is very important to him, maybe he’d be willing to save somewhere else That said, I think you get a lot more value when you spend money on others versus on yourself.
Post # 4
texaslemon: I’m kind of in the same boat. I don’t know actual monetary numbers but it seems like DH’s family gives more expensive gifts than my family does. Plus, there are a lot more of them (three sisters, two with husbands) and I just found out that we are expected to give to his extended relatives (his mom is one of 12 siblings, and their children have children, to give you an idea). So it’s more per gift AND more gifts.
We are struggling to make ends meet right now post-wedding and with DH in school and only working part-time. Honestly, I don’t know how we are going to do this and I’m having some anxiety about it.
I guess I am commenting to follow. I appreciate PP’s suggestion of buying gifts throughout the year. Will definitely plan on doing that next year.
Post # 5
I don’t think it’s necessarily unfair to spend more on one family than the other, however, if money is tight than I do think it’s an issue spending that much (on both sides).
Could you suggest picking names? Or maybe set up a spending limit? What about some cooking or DIY items?
Post # 6
julies1949: I have been trying to be better about the whole when I find something I get it outlook throughout the year. Especially when it’s on sale!
canadajane: We both have extremely small families (parents + 1 sister each…no BILs yet), so on my end $50 isn’t much. But I agree over time it does add up. And I love “the hunt” of finding the perfect gift and seeing their reactions. It’s such a joy to give (most of the time heh)
whitemochi622: MrsBeck: I don’t think picking names would work in our case, although I know a lot of families do it. BUT I like the DIY option. Not necessarily my DIY..but etsy is full of custom options that are pretty cheap and look expensive. I would love to get something personalized, regardless of the cost. $15 wine glasses with my name on them? score!
I already got my sister a personalized vintage bookmark for $12, and my mom some of those cozy shea socks she loves from BBW (free gift with purchase…don’t tell anyone)
Post # 7
I have some of the same issues. I feel bad spending more on FSIL than my brother. I mean, sure, FSIL is way nicer to me, but that grumpy man is my brother. I tend to go with what’s expected in each family though. So, my brother will be getting his favorite popcorn for his upcoming birthday ($10) and FSIL is looking at VS Pink sweats for about $50 for her February bday.
On the other hand, we give to everyone in my family and his gives only to the “kids” (we are kids, lol) so I feel really bad about picking a nice gift for my grandparents but not his. Overall, I figure only FI and I know what both sides got, and what counts is that the rest feel appreciated and are blissfully ignorant of the other family’s loot.
Post # 8
texaslemon: holy crap that is insane!!! I would talk with your DH and suggest that you get them gifts you can afford. Its not about the price tag, its the thought that counts. I know that sounds cliche, but I would much rather get a gift that means something that a gift that just costs a lot of $$
I have always been a fan of secret santa! BUt his mom refuses to do it because she loves to get gifts for everyone.
Post # 9
Perhaps you could do some DIY hunting to get gifts that look to be the value you want or which have their value compensated for by the time you spent putting it together. For example we are giving our parents printed albums of some of our wedding photos. They weren’t necessarily expensive but I spent hours and hours putting them together before getting them made and I think they’ll be able to appreciate that when they receive them.