Mothering Forum banner

21 - 32 of 32 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,952 Posts
<p>I'll second all the others that say not to pay for the vacation. It just sets the stage for expectations and hurt feelings later.  If you want to pay for stuff then I'd do paying for a surprise dinner here and there or discreetly paying for a portion of the rental house and saying you got a really good deal on it this year. </p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I do resent expectations and work hard to prevent that. DH has a harder time not saying yes to every little thing. My FIl is an expert at showing up at DH's work the day before a bill is due with a sob story. All it took was that one time where we "loaned" him money and then he started asking more and more. BIl used to do this as well before DH finally realized he was just being used. We do make good money but our family, DH, I and our kids come first. </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
<p>This is why I'm not big on gift exchanges in general.  I'd personally rather spend time with people as "the gift" than give something, or I'd rather be very thoughtful about the gift that I'm giving.  Giving other people lists of stuff to get is weird to me, but we've never done that in my family. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>DH makes good money, and while we could afford to give each other and other family members gifts that cost hundreds of dollars, we don't, because we're not materialistic.  And that's precisely what I would tell someone who would have the gall to ask for an expensive gift from me.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I refuse to set precedents when it comes to money, because I'm always the one that gets burned.  I've watched it happen to friends/family members as well, and it ends the same way every time.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I wouldn't cover the whole cost of the rental home.  Nobody needs to know that you can, and once you do, you'll likely be expected to do it in subsequent years.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,460 Posts
I have come to be a big fan of anonymous giving. You could anonymously send in money to cover the rental or something. Send anonymous gifts when you feel compelled to give something pricey... then no one will have any expectations of you & you will still be able to give/help friends/etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,475 Posts
<p>When I was going thru a terrible custody battle a very generous cousin gave me 2,00O for my rent for 4 months, 2500 for a lawyer than 5000 for the lawyer for the appellate court. Without this generosity I would not have my kids today. I have been able to pay all but 2000 of it back-  not a dime was given with a loan agreement or me being asked to pay it back.</p>
<p>I was only told to pay it forward. After paying them back with a settlement I received I have indeed paid it forward. I don't ask for what I have given to be paid back- only that it be paid forward.</p>
<p>I feel that all money I have given is seen by God and will be paid in full in its due time- from many of God's sources.</p>
<p>That's how I see it.</p>
<p>Do onto others.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,026 Posts
<p><br>
That's pretty awesome!</p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Emilie2</strong> <a href="/community/t/1340272/how-to-deal-with-other-peoples-perceptions-of-your-income-level-and-their-expectations-advice-and-commiseration-welcome/20#post_16809697"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><p>When I was going thru a terrible custody battle a very generous cousin gave me 2,00O for my rent for 4 months, 2500 for a lawyer than 5000 for the lawyer for the appellate court. Without this generosity I would not have my kids today. I have been able to pay all but 2000 of it back- even tho not a dime was given without a loan agreement or me being asked to pay it back.</p>
<p>I was only told to pay it forward. After paying them back with a settlement I recieved I have indeed paid it forward. I don't ask for what I have given to be paid back- only that it be paid forward.</p>
<p>I feel that all money I have given is seen by God and will be paid in full in its due time- from many of God's sources.</p>
<p>That's how I see it.</p>
<p>Do onto others.</p>
</div>
</div>
<br><br><p> </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,417 Posts
<p>I am starting to have this problem with my mother.  She seems to think I have a very high income (which I don't because I am a grad student with a small stipend, alimony and child support).  She is always complaining about not having enough money.  But they actually have about the same income as I do but do not spend wisely.  I don't even have cable tv (partly to save money although it is also a choice) and I keep my electricity bill and every other bill very low.  But I do have my kids in private school (with financial aid) and carefully save up money to do some things with my kids.  So I must be able to help support them, yes?  Well, actually I live on less than half of the median income in my area and therefore my low rent actually gets me housing that is only kind of acceptable.  My mother decided she wanted to maintain this giant house and keep on buying expensive clothes from catalogs and running up credit card bills, etc. although we buy clothes and household items used from yard sales, etc.  I must make other choices than they do, like saving my money for retirement and so I have an emergency fund and because I actually save money for a house down payment. It is annoying. I know that she is going to cost me lots of money eventually.  Mostly because she does not take care of herself physically or financially.  So everything is a crisis at all times.  I don't ever buy her gifts anymore because nothing would ever be enough.  My sister runs herself ragged taking food to my mother because she is always complaining she doesn't feel well enough to cook but then my mother complains about the food not being good.  You really just cannot make some people happy, so why bother trying or feeling bad about it when you can't?  Take care of yourself and your family, buy normal gifts like a book or something if you want.  Odds are the coach purse you might have picked out wouldn't have been big enough or lavish enough anyway.  No way you are going to please these people.</p>
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,322 Posts
<p>I agree with your post. People like that are NEVER going to be pleased. I had a grandmother like that and I learned at an early age, there is no satisfaction, happiness etc, so I would save my time energy and most important money for other things. If I got any flack from anyone like this- I tell them flatout- You were very unhappy with what I gave you last time, or you hate such a horrible time, or you had such unkind things to me, I just figured it would be easier to skip it since we obviously dont bring any happiness to you. Its amazing how much back peddling is done with such replies or trying to turn it around. But I have no time for anyone like this anymore. Besides, if you just drop buying anything, doing any favors etc its amazing how they are not there to ruin events, make you feel bad etc and its much less toxic.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
 
  • Like
Reactions: zebu

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
<p>It is astonishing to me that adults would not only expect gifts, but specifically ask for expensive items. In my large extended family including my large extended family in-law, we only give gifts to children. And as the children age we tend to buy less expensive rather than more expensive gifts. Usually we spend between $20-25 for each child. I spend more on my own kids. We may give gifts to our adult immediate family, but depending on my mood they might get a homemade baked good (because I am a very excellent baker) or a (hopefully) thoughtful gift usually not exceeding $50 but including an obvious gift receipt in case my thoughts didn't quite meet the mark. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I don't expect my family to buy me gifts, and while most folks buy my sons gifts for Christmas or birthdays, I don't expect them to be expensive and the only guidelines I give may be if I am asked what characters or themes the boys may like at the moment or what size they are wearing.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>My mom's side of the family are poor immigrants and my dad didn't have much due to the untimely loss of both his parents. My in laws are both poor immigrant families too. I know we were poor when I was little but over time life improved. Everything that any of us have now came from old-fashioned hard work and a belief that America is the land of opportunity for anyone willing to put in the effort.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Our household income is in the low-mid six figures and while my immediate family knows exactly how much we earn the extended family infers this based on what I do for a living and where we live. As for lifestyle, we are not flashy. My only personal luxuries are Louis Vuitton and Chanel handbags, but that is because I actually feel very self-conscious if I carry even Coach or Kate Spade, or Burberry . (I know, issues, but it is what it is, so those bags just sit in my closet and I use the Kate Spade dust bag to cover my sewing machine and my mom has one of my Coach dust bags with a piece of foam in it as a seat cushion for her sewing chair, LOL, I can't give them away, no one wants them!) My parents make about as much as we do (mom still shops at the second-hand store and pay less shoes), and one cousin makes much more than we do (she dresses super, super casual but loves to travel and eat out), otherwise we out earn the remainder of our family. But never have we ever been asked for or expected to buy expensive gifts for others, we are seldom asked for money, and if we are going to eat and there is a possibility that we may offer to treat, then I am picking the place, otherwise we split the bill. If we are perceived as cheapskates then I am blissfully unaware, and I am perfectly happy not to be put in the position of having to think of others as mooches. My above mentioned cousin likes canning, so she will make homemade jams for gifts, kind of like me and the baking. I would rather have her jam than an expensive gift, because it is delicious, and made with lots of love. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I would find it offensive if my family, who is supposed to love me, just looked at me and saw $$$ (dollar signs) and heard "cha-ching!" My advice is don't spend money you don't want to on people with a misplaced sense of entitlement. Let them work and save for for their luxuries. That is the way it should be.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I will say, growing up, that when I saved and saved and saved to buy my first Swatch watch (because my mom would have bought me an A-Watch, by Armitron, according to her $30 was too much to spend on a watch for a child) and Esprit tote bag they were way more prized and meaningful than other expensive (to me at the time) items that may have been received as gifts. I still have that very Swatch in my box of important childhood relics. </p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
315 Posts
<p>EmsMom, your post totally struck a chord with me.  My parents are both really bad spenders -- lots of credit card debt for things like the bowflex they "needed" etc.  My dad actually tried to bill me for what he spent on me raising me as a child (!!!!).  Anyway, my mom is currently going through bankruptcy, losing "her" house (I put it in quotes because she never really owned it... it always belonged to the bank, you know?), and continuing to spend spend spend.  The thing is, she wants my brother and I to bail her out.  If I thought she had learned anything from the past, I might even be tempted, but the way she told me she was walking away from the house was, "You know Anka, I just want my freedom.  I don't want to be stuck with a mortgage payment.  I want to go to Australia for vacation.  I want to see the Grand Canyon.  Heck, maybe even Bali."  Meanwhile, I line dry my clothes to save an extra $10/month to put to my student loans, etc.  It's just really offensive.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Anka</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,026 Posts
<p>VERY OFFENSIVE!  That kind of stuff really gets me.  My dad wanted to borrow money to fix his A/C... My A/C died this summer and I bought two window units just to keep it below 80 in my house so we could sleep.  Yet he just emptied his 401k for gambling.  He should never tell my brother anything!  My brother called me as soon as dad told him he would be calling to see if he could borrow the money.  HA!  Gotta love the sibling that cares!<br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>AnkaJones</strong> <a href="/community/t/1340272/how-to-deal-with-other-peoples-perceptions-of-your-income-level-and-their-expectations-advice-and-commiseration-welcome/20#post_16817966"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><p>EmsMom, your post totally struck a chord with me.  My parents are both really bad spenders -- lots of credit card debt for things like the bowflex they "needed" etc.  My dad actually tried to bill me for what he spent on me raising me as a child (!!!!).  Anyway, my mom is currently going through bankruptcy, losing "her" house (I put it in quotes because she never really owned it... it always belonged to the bank, you know?), and continuing to spend spend spend.  The thing is, she wants my brother and I to bail her out.  If I thought she had learned anything from the past, I might even be tempted, but the way she told me she was walking away from the house was, "You know Anka, I just want my freedom.  I don't want to be stuck with a mortgage payment.  I want to go to Australia for vacation.  I want to see the Grand Canyon.  Heck, maybe even Bali."  Meanwhile, I line dry my clothes to save an extra $10/month to put to my student loans, etc.  It's just really offensive.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Anka</p>
</div>
</div>
<br><br><p> </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
251 Posts
Never ever ask anyone what they want. They get what they get and they should be grateful. If your family decides to get a large gift, all family members should chip in equally i.e. All brothers and sisters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,681 Posts
<p>Although we have what I consider a modest income (approx. $60k after taxes) with both of us working full time, it amounts to more than any of my ILs household incomes.  All of my ILs make, and continue to make, what we consider poor financial decisions.  They purchase things from Rent-a-Center or Aaron's, or max out HELOCs to remodel a paid-off home in a terrible neighborhood (so it is now "worth" far, far more than it could ever sell for, but they keep complaining about the dangerous neighborhood and how they can't possibly afford to move because of how much they'd lose on the house).  DH and I save money every month, have a retirement account, and find creative ways to cut expenses.  We buy used whenever possible, I can my own fruits, sauces, etc, I make our laundry soap, we don't have cable, and we don't do credit cards.  We also bought a home we could afford on one income, and it is considerably smaller than anyone else's in the family, though it is on a bit pf property in a decent area.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>A few Christmases ago, we saw that MIL was struggling financially.  She was constantly complaining about not having enough for this or that, and DH and I were concerned.  We talked to everyone in the family, and we decided to draw names for the adult gifts instead of getting something for everyone.  IMO, the adults don't really enjoy the gifting like the kids do, and it had turned into a gift card exchange (which I feel are terribly impersonal unless someone is saving for a larger item).  DH and I, as well as his aunt and uncle (who are also financially responsible), stuck to the plan and only bought for the person whose name we had drawn.  SIL and MIL, who are the worst off financially, still bought something for everyone.  DH said something like, "But you weren't supposed to get us anything!" because he was surprised, which caused SIL to launch into a tirade about how we were cheap because we could afford gifts but didn't want to buy anyone else anything.  They TOTALLY missed the point that we were trying to help out others who go into debt every year for Christmas.  Everybody was offended, and it was pretty awful.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Since that Christmas, DH and I have pretty much said "screw it", as it seems like the best intentions have the worst results.  We buy gifts within our budget, and just let everyone else do what they want.  If they think we're cheap, so be it.   My family, OTOH, are happy when presented with a small basket of handmade items (jam, apple butter, pasta sauce, etc), but I know the ILs wouldn't use or appreciate something like that.  We usually get each couple a gift card to a restaurant, in spite of my aforementioned objection to them, because we know they will use/appreciate them. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Personally, I feel that anyone who is disappointed with a gift is unconscionably rude.  It is a <em>gift</em>, not an obligation.  The receiver should be grateful that someone was thinking of them, regardless of whether or not the gift is something they would have chosen themselves.  They may not <em>like</em> it (I've received plenty of gifts that were simply not to my taste, and often DS's birthday and Christmas gifts are re-homed because they are not in keeping with our values), but they should appreciate the thought behind it. </p>
 
21 - 32 of 32 Posts
Top