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Spending on grandkids

(53 Posts)
Mumsyface Wed 19-Sep-18 08:40:39

I can’t believe this hasn’t been discussed before, but I couldn’t find the topic, so here goes. I wonder how much other people spend on their grandchildren for birthday and Xmas presents and how they decide.
I worked abroad for years, and earned enough to agree to most requests. The request to finance a school ski trip to the tune of £2000 stopped me dead in my tracks though!
Now that I am back in Europe, earning a nice low European wage, approaching retirement, and my uk granddaughters are teenagers the gap between their requests and my budget seems to be increasing somewhat.
The most recent request I sent for an early Xmas present present of a new school bag, Swedish brand, which retails at £75/90. This seems a lot for a school bag although I appreciate that a good one may be justified as she now has to bump a school laptop around with her.
I am going round and round in my mind about her perceived need for ‘street cred’, my desire to economise generally over the next couple of years before I retire (god help them then!), my son telling me that their mum (his ex) spends all her money on the horses and thus they don’t have any extras/luxuries unless he or I provide them and the knowledge that I have trained them from birth to expect me to buy them things. (Rod for my own back as they say!)
I can, in fact afford the bag, but am wondering whether this is the right way to proceed.
How do others deal with this?

MissAdventure Wed 19-Sep-18 08:42:54

I think 75 pounds for a Christmas present seems reasonable, and I consider myself quite thrifty (tight!)

Teetime Wed 19-Sep-18 08:55:25

I would spend more than I do on my GH if DH didn't put a stop to my gallop. I make DH a small pocket money allowance each month and pop him the odd £20 when I see him. Birthdays are about £100 and Xmas similar. He is such a lovely appreciative boy its a pleasure to treat him. All other GC's are adults now so I dont buy for them.

GrannyGravy13 Wed 19-Sep-18 08:57:02

I spend to much according to H.

£100 premium bonds for each Birthday plus a gift up to £50 for young ones and £50 in their card for the elder ones.

Christmas Aah!!! I made a rod for my back here!! Father Christmas always visits Grans house, and they have special stockings here, which of course I fill up. Then I probably spend about £100-£120 on a present from us.

I know this is extortionate, we only had 2 GC for quite a while, now we have more!!!! I am fortunate that I can afford it at the moment, and I would rather see their happy faces now, then leave them money in my will (which hopefully I shall be able to do, unless they get eaten up by care home fees). I was bought up with the saying "you come into this world with nothing and you leave with nothing".

My pleasure is seeing them happy.

Luckygirl Wed 19-Sep-18 08:58:39

I spend about £50 on their birthday presents; and £25 - £30 on their Christmas presents. They are always very appreciative.I think that is enough to spend.

jenpax Wed 19-Sep-18 08:58:57

I spend around £80 per grandchild sometimes a bit less but I have 3 daughters and 5 (soon to be 6) DGC. I have slightly cut back on the per DGC spend as their families have grown as I still buy for their parents and it gets somewhat expensive.
My late mother used to help out with my DD’s school trips, sailing, theatre trip to Italy in year 10 etc and these worked out quite expensive so I was glad of the help. £2,000 does sound expensive but it depends where the trip is to be. My middle daughter had a trip to NZ in year 11 and that cost several thousand.

B9exchange Wed 19-Sep-18 09:10:05

I am really feeling quite cheapskate now, but you do have to spend according to your means. With four children and six, going on seven grandchildren, I have a limit of £30 each. I still give presents to my children, and their spouses, because I want to show them I love then, and I really enjoy choosing something I think they will like. I make some of them too, and fortunately they are well received. (or at least they appear to be grin)

MawBroon Wed 19-Sep-18 09:15:48

Does what other people spend matter (or even interest us)?
Everybody’s situation is different, some are working, some on generous pensions some are definitely not and I don’t feel the need to rack my brains or agonise over spending.
The only proviso though, would be to check with their parents first and to be scrupulously fair.😇

GrannyGravy13 Wed 19-Sep-18 09:26:19

Mawbroon agree with you absolutely.

Nanabilly Wed 19-Sep-18 09:37:37

In my house everyone gets the same for birthdays £40 which I'm putting up to £50 next year . It's different at Christmas though , the gc get as much as I can afford which often ends up being about £200+ our sons get about £150 and dil who is so easy to buy for and we adore the girl gets spoiled rotten and I never know how much she ends up with. The other sons partner who has now been around for over a year and is also really loving and friendly but as yet I don't know how easy or difficult she is to buy for so don't yet know . Girls are so much easier to buy for aren't they?

glammanana Wed 19-Sep-18 09:43:11

The school bag my youngest DGS has is supplied by his school and is ordered every couple of years by my DD through school with the school crest embroidered on it.,the quality is excellent and it is large enough for his school laptop and his school books,there is no Street cred attached to them as all the boys have the same.
We have been fortunate to have always paid towards special school trips but they are not children who expect.
For Christmas and birthdays the older ones all receive money/gift card now they are working usually about £30 each,they all know the value of money and that we are now on pensions.

glammanana Wed 19-Sep-18 09:44:26

^ Forgot to mention said school bag costs £39.00 through school^

annodomini Wed 19-Sep-18 09:56:52

Here we go again! Yes, OP, it has been discussed before and as Maw says, 'What does it matter?' I don't care what you spend and I'm certainly not going into what I spend .

sodapop Wed 19-Sep-18 10:16:09

I agree Maw and Annodomini
The amount is not important, the love is. Many Grandparents are on reduced incomes and if as is the case with us we have six children and eight grandchildren we can't afford to spend a lot. It's such a personal thing there can be no hard and fast rule but just equity.

BBbevan Wed 19-Sep-18 11:02:00

Only 2 GDs so they get a stocking and about £100 each. DS and DD plus DiL and SiL get a substantial cash injection plus a small present. We give what we can when we can. As you say it is about love really and we want to help however we can

Mumsyface Wed 19-Sep-18 11:25:23

Thank you for all you’re comments.
As several have commented it’s clearly about what one can afford, although I was interested more in whatever rationale people used to decide more than the amount spent. Having said that it’s also interesting to note how prices have risen, and how I now feel that maybe I’m a little out of touch with proces in the UK. It certainly seems expensive when I’m there!
You have given me some much more useful food for thought than DHs comments about the postal order my gran sent me for my birthdays - half a crown!

Synonymous Wed 19-Sep-18 11:25:26

Only spend what you can afford, if you are economising then just do it as it is entirely your own business and nobody else should be expecting anything whatsoever as a right.

Synonymous Wed 19-Sep-18 11:28:45

X posts but it seems you know your destination is common sense!

Greyduster Wed 19-Sep-18 12:20:18

In terms of money, we give what we can, but we are rich in time and affection, of which there is a bottomless pit, and the giving never stops 😊.

knickas63 Wed 19-Sep-18 12:30:31

I used to spend upwards of £100 on my kids, plus extras and about 2/3 of that on their partners. Now we have grandchildredn as well we have been gradually cutting back . Each AC/Partner will get about £50 main present, plus extras. GC will get roughly the same. I have 4 GC now. It gets very expensive - but I love buying them presents! They all know I do not do vouchers unless it is an absolute necessity for something in particular. We also have stockings at our house. They cost a lot to fill as well! Fire place needs to be bigger to accommodate them. Last year there were 9, extra GC this year, but loss of Useless SIL do still 9. Plus the cat.

Mumsyface Wed 19-Sep-18 12:31:00

So well said Greyduster!

muffinthemoo Wed 19-Sep-18 13:04:10

It doesn’t matter how much it is as long as it’s fair. Kids notice if some of them get more than the others.

JackyB Wed 19-Sep-18 13:17:57

Ours are only small, so larger amounts don't come into it yet. We spend several thousand visiting the DGS in America and they only have a tiny flat, and will be moving back to Europe eventually so we try not to lumber them with "stuff".

DGD and family also live in a small flat and are very "alternative" in their views, so I am careful not to send more than books.

As we all agree that presents (apart from books) are to be kept to a minimum, I would love to put some money aside for all the DGD but we are still looking for a way to do this in their names so that they can get to the money once they are 18. (In case we have "copped it" by then!)

Grammaretto Wed 19-Sep-18 13:39:47

I don't spend very much on presents at all. What an old meanie I am!!.
Firstly I can't really afford it and secondly I don't want to start a precedent.
We have a lot of GC
My best trick is to find a really good idea for a present and buy the same for each family - often a game or something useful for house or garden.

That's Christmas taken care of. Birthdays are often a gift token or cheque inside a card.

I have broken with my own tradition though and just bought a gift on eBay which I think DD will like......

chocolatepudding Wed 19-Sep-18 14:26:28

My MIL gave her DS1 (my DH) a small gift and a cheque for £20 every Christmas and birthday. Ditto for me.

MIL gave her DS2 get a small gift and a cheque for £1000 every Christmas and birthday.

Repeat for 20 years.