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



  • I say just go with what feels right. Sometimes I stick with the value rather than feeling guilty that I got it cheaper as that's what they wanted whereas other times I spend the full "agreed" or budgeted amount and am able to give them something a bit more than I otherwise would have done. Especially true with Kids toys for my Great Nephews and Neices, the only problem can be this may cause a bit of embarrassment for my sister and her kids as they think we've gone mad whereas in fact we just done a "Martin" and bagged some bargains! Perhaps we could spend less, keep the kids really happy and the adults too, now that's Value for Money!
  • edited 8 December 2011 at 10:22AM
    Fif1985Fif1985 Forumite
    4 Posts
    edited 8 December 2011 at 10:22AM
    I actually disagree with a lot of you. Firstly the budget - is that a reccommended spend or a maximum limit? If the former then you have cheated your way out of spending what everyone else will be. Secondly - you say the family normally set a budget - so you would have been well aware there would be a spending budget and could have requested this decision should be made early so you could start buying to match. You could have also suggested a budget in line with what you could afford. Thirdly - yes you have been organised and bought gifts in the sale - what if others have as well but matched the agreed budget? Therefore lets say the budget is £50, you found a £50 gift for £25. But someone else bought you a £100 gift reduced to £50... quite a difference right? Fair? At the end of the day as they say it is the thought that counts, not the cost of the present, but if you make agreements I think you should stick to them because it is likely you are not the only one feeling the pressure of Christmas spending this year. That said if the budget limit was just a maximum then of course you were well within your rights to spend what you did - or nothing. But perhaps next year set a minimum and maximum limit based on what everyone can afford to spend, and speak up early if you cannot afford to match the set budget.
  • onesixfiveonesixfive Forumite
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    I too buy all year - I have so many to buy for - but no, dont start running up debt now to meet their limits.
    You got your bargains - you saved the money - your goods are worth more than you spent.
    In some cases your goods may exceed their set limit? What would you do then take the goods back?
    No - be firm - give your own gifts at your bargain prices and have the satisfaction of a debt-free xmas.
    In some cases I give "love to shop" (multi-shop) vouchers which can be used post-xmas, specifically to buy sale bargains, then my relatives can also benefit from getting more for their money!
  • Absolutely not. It's not about how much you spend but the quality of what you buy and how much thought went into it.

    If you found good stuff earlier in the year then pat yourself on the back for a brilliant job well done and avoiding the Christmas panic whilst saving a bit of money.

    I buy presents from charity shops if I find something someone wants and I couldn't afford to buy it new. For example, I bought a digital photo frame that came without it's box for £10. I couldn't afford to buy that new and it is outside of my family's Xmas budget. The person I bought it for was ecstatic.

    Hope that helps.
  • maz1964maz1964 Forumite
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    i do this all the time, and anyway how would the other person receiving the gift know that you had only paid say 50% of the value earlier in the year.....?

    like others have said its the thought firstly, secondly in my mere humble opinion for me its the cost saving i find thrilling and wrapped up with thought and love its the best present ever

    so put your savings in a pot which ive read on here on a thread throughtout the year and see what you can treat yourself at xmas for all your hard work in finding those incredible bargains for others


    ive started this putting all my savings in a pot of which say if i found something half price, the money i would have paid to what ive paid i put in the pot, and then all those whoopsies etc i put that too, its just a way of seeing what i will have saved by 1st dec 2012 anyway those are my mad thoughts for the day

    have a fun day all ciao maz:cool:
    Sealed Pot Challenge member 1525

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  • edited 10 December 2011 at 4:03PM
    jazzyjustlawjazzyjustlaw Forumite
    1.4K Posts
    edited 10 December 2011 at 4:03PM
    You've been frugal (and probably a lot more thoughtful) all year round in order to reap the benefit at Christmas. So hell no, don't just spend more so you can say you've hit some magical sum of money that's been agreed. After all, your family have the opportunity to do what you do and shop around throughout the year.

    Isn't it all about the giving, rather than the amount you spent on someone? Anyone who judges the value of your friendship and/or family worth based on the price of the gift you've given them is very shallow, and not worth giving a present to in the first place.

    I bought a present for my mum and her twin and in a sale it came to £10 pound for both. My mum found out. It was a beautiful photo frame each of excellent quality, had I received I would have loved it and I was going to make the present up as it was so cheap but ran out of time. She hasnt visited me since and I know she is upset as she told my sister that I hadnt spent enough. I feel I have no choice to make it up this Christmas. It wasnt like I wanted to spend a £5.00. I try to be frugal but if there was something she wanted at £50.00 I would buy it but having spent a little less than that previously she moaned that I was "showing off."
    All my views are just that and do not constitute legal advice in any way, shape or form.£2.00 savers club - £20.00 saved and banked (got a £2.00 pig and not counted the rest)Joined Store Cupboard Challenge]
  • ValliValli Forumite
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    jonesy1976 wrote: »
    Course not - kudos to you for hunting out the bargains.

    Best £5 secret santa present I ever found several years ago was a 2003 Rugby world cup review DVD. From the poundshop!

    Others were actually jealous and kept asking where i got it for a fiver. Din't have the guts to own up though!

    Reminds me of when I bought a (reduced) miniature of Jack Daniels in a gift set with choccies and a glass. It was for my boss (who didn't know I'd bought it) who was sitting next to me and he confided to me that he'd been expecting 'some right rubbish' but this was 'really good!'. The recipient of HIS gift was less than thrilled :rotfl: as he'd bought a 'jokey' gift.
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  • JayDJayD Forumite
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    You have bought presents that you are happy to give and suggest that, at normal price, they would have matched the budget too. Even if they wouldn't, I see no reason to buy little 'top up' presents just to meet a general suggested budget.

    I think the family budget idea was put in place just to stop people feeling obliged to overspend - and prevent any one-upmanship type challenge starting too. It's a good idea, a useful guide and sets a limit - I am sure it's not a rigid rule. If it were that rigid you would have to start including the receipts and unspent change too! Have you ever opened a family present to find not only the gift but £1.01p in there aswell? Of course not!

    Relax, stop worrying - you have bought nice things. Enjoy giving them and have a wonderful Christmas :)
  • As a lot of people have already said - the agreed budget is an upper limit, not a required spend ! Don't feel guilty about planning ahead and being thrifty. Get people something you think they'll like, but don't spend more than you need to.

    Otherwise, if spending an exact amount is what's required, why not just set up a standing order to exchange an agreed sum of money between recipients? Or why bother at all?

    Seriously, setting a budget is a good idea, if it stops things getting out of hand, but I don't feel any pressure to spend more on someone just because they've bought me an expensive present - some people have lots of money and don't worry about how much they spend, and it's often easier for them (if short of time) to pay more for something you'd like, rather than look around for ages for something within a notional budget.
  • Please don't pay extra. If you have an agreed budget and what you give to other people looks as if you've spent more on them than they have on you, they will feel terrible. That's why you have an agreed budget in the first place, so people spend what they can afford. It would be the same as getting a present off someone you haven't bought for. It's not a nice feeling. Just add it up at the original value and be pleased you've got bargains and your friends and family have got nice presents.
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