Real Life MMD: Do I need to spend more on Xmas pressies?



  • You should spend what you can afford irrespective of an "agreed budget" and put plenty of thought into it in accordance with the spirit of Christmas.
  • MattLGMattLG Forumite
    120 Posts
    If you need to ask then the whole point of Christmas is wasted on you.

    You are not obliged spend a single penny on anyone. You spend what YOU want, what YOU can afford and what YOU think is appropriate. If you were my friend, I'd much rather you kept your money to yourself than bought me random tat that will just end up in Oxfam just to "make up the balance".
  • GoodintentionsGoodintentions Forumite
    1.7K Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    If the presents you have bought are worth the value of the budget, I wouldn't spend more. If the budget was, say, £20, and you bought £40 of presents (for £20), it will make the others feel bad that you 'spent' more than them. The idea is to make others happy, not feel guilty that they didn't spend as much (even if they did! IYSWIM)

    We often have the opposite problem, as DH always has lots of DVD's/CD's on his list, that we know we can buy online for peanuts. Unfortunately, my MIL only buys in the high street so we know that she is paying more than she needs to :o We do offer to order stuff for her for the rest of the family when we can, to try & save her some money :D
  • Is this a sincere question, or a complete no-brainer?

    Why spend more money, quite unnecessarily, merely to satisfy some obscure desire to match a budget? Doing so defeats the object of having the budget in the first place.

    If the cash surplus is really burning a hole in your pocket, do something useful with it - either put it into a savings account for a rainy day, or donate it to some deserving charity. Don't squander it on more presents. Christmas has become too commercialized as it is.
  • TalentTalent Forumite
    244 Posts
    No! and don't waste money on cards, send free ecards and save the planet....
  • Absolutely not! Christmas isn't about how much money everyone spends on each other, its about wanting to get gifts for people in your life who are important to you. The very fact that you have been spending all year thinking about that, and buying gifts for people, shows how important it is for you to do that. No one asks the price of a present on Christmas day when they open it, and if they do I wouldn't be in a hurry to buy them a gift the next year!
  • sister in law has DECIDED we should give kids £5 & a selection box each she has 2 kids so do i, the other 2 sisters have 3 kids normally we would buy a gift between £5 & £10 for each kid, i feel its pointless giving all these £5 back and forward and we should not bother at all but husband says im being tight :(
  • Firstly, well done on finding the bargains and not getting caught up in the horrible last minute rush.

    I'd be delighted if I were able to give my loves ones twice as many presents at half the cost. Hey - it might even teach them that they could find similar bargains if only they stretched out their spending throughout the year.

    To all those people who say "absolutely not" - are you seriously saying that the attitude should be "We've agreed not to spend more than £X on each other at Christmas, and just to prove that I'm serious I'm only going to spend half that on you! So there!" ?? Gosh - that's harsh!
  • kriss1977kriss1977 Forumite
    210 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    It's very rare I (Queen of Careful) would accuse anyone of being tight with their money, and in fairness, I've only read the first few comments this time but on that basis...seriously, how tight are you lot??!!

    Of course a present shouldn't be judged by its value and it is the thought that counts but in my experience, agreeing a mutual budget for Gift spending is initiated to assist a group of friends and/or family who are trying to manage on a budget, not so they can judge the value of your gift by the amount you spent on it, basically it's just to set an even playing field. The key word here is 'agreeing' the budget. If you've agreed to spend a certain amount, and you have so far come in with less because of your amazing bargain hunting skills, then good for you and don't be a cheapskate and do spend the full amount agreed on the person. After all, they will have done the same for you (perhaps without the bargain hunting but they will have put thought into it).

    Perhaps your original gift will be more thoughtful than the second, but if can't you find something else (bargain priced) to complement the first gift, or just something else they might like, well, another DVD/cd/box of chocolates/jewellery/ bunch of flowers/ book etc will make them even more chuffed. The worst that will happen is they think you've overspent the agreed budget and feel guilty/angry about it. However this is of benefit to you twofold: 1) the pleasure on that person's face when they discover you have more than one present for them (who doesn't like to receive surprise multiple presents?) and 2) They pull you up on overspending and you get to explain your bargain hunting methods earlier in the year to reassure them. The chances are they will be so impressed by your methods, they do the same next year when buying your gift, and you receive more gifts from them for your agreed budget and possibly better presents. They in turn get to see the pleasure in your face at the additional present/s they bought you and so the 'vicious' circle goes on! ;)

    You can't surely begrudge the budget which has already been AGREED?

    Disclaimer: I do disagree with buying people presents they don't want but if you really couldn't think of anything else within budget to make up the shortfall that they might actually desire, go for something disposable e.g. chocolates/flowers/ a gift experience/buy materials ti make something extra, over a physical item and they will no doubt be pleased.

  • edited 11 December 2011 at 10:33PM
    lutzi1lutzi1 Forumite
    2.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    edited 11 December 2011 at 10:33PM
    You should absolutely NOT go up to your budget just for the sake of it, because what noone on here has mentioned is that if your presents look more expensive than they actually were, that can make the people who receive them feel very awkward that they haven't spent more on you - not the point of Christmas I think! That way you just get present inflation year on year and people spend more than they want to and get resentful- not very MSE. Perceived value is what is important in keeping everything running smoothly.

    Also you put a lot of work into finding those presents, and your time has a value. If you think they are nice presents then give them with love, and be glad you're not overspending.
    Hope is not a strategy.
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