Author Topic: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.  (Read 11088 times)

mrgrump

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My SIL is getting married in mid July and of course to keep with tradition we will buy them a gift. Probably something in the $50 to $100 range. However, my SIL and future BIL are awful with money...complete mooches and asked for things on their registry that are a complete waste of money. But to avoid being a complete jackass and make a feeble attempt at steering them in the right direction I was looking for suggestions on how to push them in the right direction financially so I don't have to care for them in 30 years. 

So far my idea is to purchase them a share or 2 of a company on oneshare.com to get them at least thinking about ownership both financially and in life. Anybody got anything else?

ABC123

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2014, 02:53:16 PM »
If they are not already frugal, they would likely not appreciate a personal finance book, and could possibly see it as "I am better than you".  Not sure I would want to cause family tension over a wedding gift.  But I am by nature pretty anti- any sort of confrontation.   I personally would probably give them a gift card in the desired amount to the store they are registered at.  Or maybe several gift cards to their favorite restaurants.

BFGirl

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2014, 02:57:37 PM »
If you are going to spend $50-100 anyways, why don't you buy them something they want, even if it is not something that you think is worthwhile?  Otherwise, you risk starting off on a bad foot.  I think you can model Mustachianism for them in your interactions.  Just my 2 cents.

matchewed

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2014, 02:57:48 PM »
Seriously if you don't want to buy them the junk they want for themselves just write out a check and write something nice in the card about not sure what they needed the most and let them figure out what to do with the cash. Better to come off as slightly inept (socially and gift buying wise) than holier than thou with something they probably don't have interest in. I'm all for educating people in Mustachianism but there is a time and place. The celebration of a family event doesn't have to be it.

*edit for spelling and jazz*
« Last Edit: May 27, 2014, 03:11:12 PM by matchewed »

mrgrump

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2014, 03:01:47 PM »
I am right there ABC, I would prefer to not start a beef with them over a wedding gift. However, I was hoping to politely shove them in a better direction than just supplying their thirst and taste for expensive food and drink.

Tummy, I have that book on hold at the library for my own reading pleasure. I was considering a few books but would like to avoid the beef it would be sure to start.

Matchewed, that's probably what we will do just wondering if better options existed.

Bfgirl, taking the high road is probably the best thing to do. But after getting our finances in order over the past 2 years it now pains me to waste even gift money.

Noodle

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2014, 03:46:06 PM »
Actually, I have given stock shares as a wedding gift and they were well-received. To make it a gift that is about them as well as your values, pick out shares in a "fun" company that has something to do with their interests. For instance, if they like outdoorsy activities, a camping supply company. If they are foodies, Sur La Table or a food company. Etc. Or a company headquartered in the SIL's hometown. Something with a personal connection. Add a nice card with a note wishing them happiness.

thepokercab

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2014, 03:53:42 PM »
Just curious- but what type of item(s) would constitute a 'waste of money' on a wedding registry?

Thinking back to when my wife and I got married, we were certainly not mustachian, but I feel like our registry had a bunch of standard kitchen and house fare that one could choose from- things like a set of drinking glasses, towels, sheets, etc.. I think I had a coffee maker there. A cast iron skillet as well.  Pretty basic stuff ( i think) Then again we got married at 22 and didn't really own much at that point.  Those were the days..   

tmac

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2014, 04:21:12 PM »
You could try to find the intersection between their registry and the products/ideas listed on the "Buy it for Life" thread.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/reader-recommendations/buy-it-for-life!/

"Please enjoy this [thing]. It should last forever. Just like your love for each other."

socaso

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2014, 07:56:33 PM »
I was in this situation recently, an overpriced wedding registry with lots of silly dust catching doo dads. I stuck to the practical end of the list and bought from the towels/sheets/kitchen utensils part of the list. I recently heard the newlyweds complain that they feel overcrowded in their new apartment since the wedding.

mrgrump

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2014, 12:38:08 AM »
Pokercab- some of the highlights on their list...$140 crystal whisky decanter, $30 paper towel holder, $100 wooden salad bowl, $400 play station 4, a $65 cake turntable (not sure what this is). They did include a fair amount of towels, blankets and other such "normal" items but already have all this stuff as they have lived together for 3 years.

Also news to me....I am listed as a groomsman on the website, wedding is 52 days away, I am out of the country for the next 30....thought it was tradition to at least ask me?

nikki

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2014, 07:21:52 AM »
a $65 cake turntable (not sure what this is)

It's like a lazy Susan for just a single cake. I suppose it makes it easier to make intricate designs while decorating the cake?

I find myself being overly judgmental when I browse people's wedding registries. I'm a bit of a Ms. Grump.


BFGirl

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2014, 07:44:56 AM »

Bfgirl, taking the high road is probably the best thing to do. But after getting our finances in order over the past 2 years it now pains me to waste even gift money.

Is it truly a waste of money?  You will be showing them that you respect their right to choose their values and will promote harmonious family relationships.  This will make it more likely that they will listen to your opinions in the future.   Otherwise, you may be setting yourself up for years of hard feelings which will make family occasions more stressful.  Not sure you can put a price on familial peace.

exceljunkie

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2014, 07:50:39 AM »
We pretty much always just write a check to the couple. If they wise up, they can invest it. Otherwise they will buy what they want and you'll still be in their good book.

mrgrump

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2014, 08:00:08 AM »
Bfgirl- you bring up a good point and I agree that family functions would be more amicable in the future. But, and this is just to play devils advocate, is supplying alcohol to an alcoholic or cigarettes to a chain smoker with lung cancer so they are more harmonious at family functions the best idea? Sure, that one beer or one cigarette didn't cause the problem but in a way is saying "it's okay you don't want a better life, I support you".

Again getting them a crystal whiskey decanter isn't nearly as harmful as my example above but it does support their frivilous spending in a way.

Maybe, more back ground is needed...they both have credit scores in the 550s due to past mistakes and just purchased  a $1,000 dog after a medical bill was sent to collections....when it was brought up "I don't have the money for both was the answer" arrghh

matchewed

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2014, 08:19:54 AM »
Bfgirl- you bring up a good point and I agree that family functions would be more amicable in the future. But, and this is just to play devils advocate, is supplying alcohol to an alcoholic or cigarettes to a chain smoker with lung cancer so they are more harmonious at family functions the best idea? Sure, that one beer or one cigarette didn't cause the problem but in a way is saying "it's okay you don't want a better life, I support you".

Again getting them a crystal whiskey decanter isn't nearly as harmful as my example above but it does support their frivilous spending in a way.

Maybe, more back ground is needed...they both have credit scores in the 550s due to past mistakes and just purchased  a $1,000 dog after a medical bill was sent to collections....when it was brought up "I don't have the money for both was the answer" arrghh

Trying to falsely equate your families unfortunate spending habits with distinctly destructive habits is going to drive you batty. Again there is a time and place for gently guiding people towards a less consumerist mindset. If you really feel that their wedding is the time to do that then fine do so. But it probably isn't. Let it go. Their life is theirs to live. Let them have their wedding and whatever gifts they want on their registry. This is not an important fight. If they are mooches don't let them borrow money. If they come for financial advice give it freely. I know it can be tough watching a relative have financially poor habits. But pissing them off to prove a point they won't get isn't worth it. It is a waste of your energy and potentially destructive to your relationship with them.

mrgrump

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2014, 08:31:33 AM »
I agree Matchewed. Hence, why I was looking for gift ideas that were some where in the middle of mustachianism and consumerism.

mrgrump

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2014, 08:32:46 AM »
However, having destructive spending is just that, destructive.

Jack

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2014, 08:41:20 AM »
My gift suggestions:
  • Cash (please don't give them a gift card; they're just stupid compared to plain cash or a check)
  • Stock
  • Pay some of their past-due debt
(That last one, along with the idea of a personal finance book, probably falls into "don't do this unless you want to piss them off" territory.)

Also news to me....I am listed as a groomsman on the website, wedding is 52 days away, I am out of the country for the next 30....thought it was tradition to at least ask me?

Wow, your SIL's got some nerve... that kind of thing might piss me off enough that I wouldn't participate at all.

frugaliknowit

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2014, 08:45:05 AM »
Cut them a check or get them something in the registry.  Whether you think the purchases are wasteful is irrelevant.

CommonCents

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2014, 08:55:11 AM »
They did include a fair amount of towels, blankets and other such "normal" items but already have all this stuff as they have lived together for 3 years.

Well, it's not like that stuff is going to go bad sitting in the cabinet waiting for its moment, so I fail to see the problem in getting them useful towels, sheets, pots/pans, etc.

And if they are like me, they have things which are in unmatched, worn, threadbare status and new, refreshed would be quite lovely even if not strictly a necessity.  (We got married later at age 32/36 and spent years buying many beautiful wedding gifts to outfit homes of those in their early 20s, at the same time as buying our own house things or using hand-me-downs because we were single.)

homeymomma

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #20 on: May 28, 2014, 09:03:30 AM »
Don't the labels SIL and BIL imply somebody's already married to somebody? Confused. Who are you related to?

The not telling you about the groomsman thing is wierd... Does that mean you have to get a tux/suit to match the others? We told our wedding party please no gifts. I had them all buy dresses/suits so I asked them to have that be the only thing they spent money on. Most complied or just got something really small off the registry. Very unnecessary but sweet of them.

If it's the guy you're actually related to, maybe he is unaware of the etiquette about asking you officially and SIL assumed he had done so? Just a though. Not excusing it, I could just see how that would happen.

As for your gift otherwise, choose a useful item like towels or sheets and simply don't get one of the crazy ones. We had a very un-mustachian wedding and only came around to frugality a few years later when our first baby came along. At the time of the wedding, I would not have been at all receptive to a gift about financial responsibility or even worse, one that seemed like a telling-off. People have to come around to these things in their own time, for their own reasons.

If you're actually worried about supporting them in their old age (which seems ridiculous), then have a conversation about that at a different time. Taking a stand about it in the context of a wedding gift is not appropriate.

Also, you could always go off registry for things that are on their registry but over priced. People did this for us and we were grateful for their generosity even if it wasn't the brand we had chosen ourselves.

minimalist

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #21 on: May 28, 2014, 09:32:46 AM »
$100 bill.

Mrs.FamilyFinances

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #22 on: May 28, 2014, 11:29:25 AM »
One single high quality chefs knife. They seem to like food/cooking, and it can be a "buy it once" item if the correct one is chosen, and cared for. Its our go to gift for weddings.

BFGirl

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #23 on: May 28, 2014, 11:35:13 AM »
Bfgirl- you bring up a good point and I agree that family functions would be more amicable in the future. But, and this is just to play devils advocate, is supplying alcohol to an alcoholic or cigarettes to a chain smoker with lung cancer so they are more harmonious at family functions the best idea? Sure, that one beer or one cigarette didn't cause the problem but in a way is saying "it's okay you don't want a better life, I support you".

Again getting them a crystal whiskey decanter isn't nearly as harmful as my example above but it does support their frivilous spending in a way.

Maybe, more back ground is needed...they both have credit scores in the 550s due to past mistakes and just purchased  a $1,000 dog after a medical bill was sent to collections....when it was brought up "I don't have the money for both was the answer" arrghh

Trying to falsely equate your families unfortunate spending habits with distinctly destructive habits is going to drive you batty. Again there is a time and place for gently guiding people towards a less consumerist mindset. If you really feel that their wedding is the time to do that then fine do so. But it probably isn't. Let it go. Their life is theirs to live. Let them have their wedding and whatever gifts they want on their registry. This is not an important fight. If they are mooches don't let them borrow money. If they come for financial advice give it freely. I know it can be tough watching a relative have financially poor habits. But pissing them off to prove a point they won't get isn't worth it. It is a waste of your energy and potentially destructive to your relationship with them.

I agree.

MillenialMustache

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #24 on: May 28, 2014, 01:57:52 PM »
I think the bottom line is it doesn't really matter what you buy them, as long as it is in the price range you want to spend. I often pick the most ridiculous item that is in my price range, for my own personal amusement. For instance, a few years ago for a friend, she registered at Macy's and I thought everything was way overpriced. My budget was $30 for the bridal shower. I bought stainless steel measuring cups and a wooden spoon. She knew how much those items cost, and that was her choice to register for such expensive ones (it's not the cups that I think is ridiculous, but the price. My stainless steel measuring cups from Target were less than $10).

Greg

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #25 on: May 28, 2014, 04:22:44 PM »
A side note:  I think it's ok to take the registry list and use it to find stuff at other places.  Stores that have registries make it easy to just pick out that stores version of say, ss measuring cups, but I think it's ok to get them somewhere else.  The risk is that since you're not part of the registry, someone else may buy the same thing.  Another idea, assuming the registry is not the ONLY gifts allowed, is to use the registry as an inspiration and get stuff not on it, so if there are ss measuring cups on the registry well maybe some other ss kitcheny stuff would be nice.

Gracie

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #26 on: May 28, 2014, 04:24:33 PM »
For weddings, I give $50 to unrelated couples and $100 to related couples.

Or I buy them linens.

FYI - My Mom actually registered me some places without asking. So the list may not be all them.

Dibbels81

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #27 on: May 28, 2014, 05:29:13 PM »
How about a copy of Quicken Deluxe?  It's about $60, would send the right message and not look too judmental

Numbers Man

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #28 on: May 28, 2014, 05:42:50 PM »
Seriously if you don't want to buy them the junk they want for themselves just write out a check and write something nice in the card about not sure what they needed the most and let them figure out what to do with the cash. Better to come off as slightly inept (socially and gift buying wise) than holier than thou with something they probably don't have interest in. I'm all for educating people in Mustachianism but there is a time and place. The celebration of a family event doesn't have to be it.

*edit for spelling and jazz*

^ This, don't be a jerk.

Credaholic

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #29 on: May 29, 2014, 12:29:36 AM »
Based on your title alone my immediate answer was going to be "something off their registry." After reading your post, I see you're leaning the judgeypants direction. My new answer is put your wife in charge of the gift. It is her sister after all, right? It's her call if she wants to turn her sister's wedding into a (totally inappropriate) teaching moment, not yours. And given the totally inappropriate timing of this teaching moment, I use the term teaching loosely since it will probably do nothing but backfire.

That being said, I too would be buying the most practical item I could find on the registry. My cousin in law recently married a lovely woman who had her father throw her at least a $50k wedding, and who registered $2000 worth of champagne flutes. One flute was over my budget, and what a ridiculous looking gift to give someone one champagne flute anyway! Not to mention I have serious doubts that she would have received the full set, and then what would she have done with say 3 $200 champagne flutes? Argh. But I judge privately. The best way to teach is through your own example and successes, not by criticizing them passive aggressively on their wedding day.

Two other things - I would never ever support deadbeat family that put themselves in that position on their own. I speak from personal experience with a homeless father in law. So I say don't worry about having to support them in the future - don't do it! And although she sounds not great (the $1000 dog?!) I wonder if there's an explanation for the groomsman thing. Maybe you're an usher rather than a groomsman? I don't know how someone would neglect to ask someone to be *in* thei wedding, but maybe as husband of the sister they were just trying to find a place for you to be involved since I assume your wife is in the wedding (and knows about it already?) Just trying to see the flip side a little...
Addicted to maximizing my credit score and credit card rewards, and making it through mommy-hood as cheaply as possible.

MrsPete

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #30 on: May 29, 2014, 06:29:23 AM »
Philosophical thoughts:

It's not your responsibility to teach them to use their money wisely.  If they're old enough to be married, they're old enough to glean that information from multiple sources -- or to ignore it altogether. 

If they don't manage their money well, it won't be your responsibility to care for them in the future.  If you're retired and living comfortably in your paid-for house while they're still scraping by and driving a beat-up car to work so they can make rent payments, that's not your problem.  Set an example, answer questions if asked . . . but don't butt in.  Nothing good can come of that. 

Don't count them out altogether.  I know a number of couples whose idea of "how to live life" is to spend big in their first few years of adulthood, but once they're married they think it's time to settle down, start paying attention to finances, etc.  I don't embrace that thought process, but I think LOTS of people do. 

Practical thoughts on the wedding gift: 

A gift is not supposed to teach a lesson or come with strings attached.  You don't want to buy a gold-plated pickle dish?  Okay, choose something practical -- even if it's not on their official list.  Everyone needs towels and blankets.  Choose classic, top-quality items and know they'll actually be used.  I was just looking at a towel in my bathroom yesterday, thinking, "This one's ready for the rag bag".  It was a wedding gift 24 years ago. 


rocksinmyhead

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #31 on: May 29, 2014, 07:15:33 AM »
That being said, I too would be buying the most practical item I could find on the registry. My cousin in law recently married a lovely woman who had her father throw her at least a $50k wedding, and who registered $2000 worth of champagne flutes. One flute was over my budget, and what a ridiculous looking gift to give someone one champagne flute anyway! Not to mention I have serious doubts that she would have received the full set, and then what would she have done with say 3 $200 champagne flutes? Argh. But I judge privately. The best way to teach is through your own example and successes, not by criticizing them passive aggressively on their wedding day.

+1000

(although, holy shit, that champagne flute example is a good/ridiculous one!)

JoyBlogette

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #32 on: May 29, 2014, 08:58:48 AM »
I'd go with the towels/sheets/pots & pans option.  It is so nice to have quality versions of these items to use everyday.  This will be money well spent and getting them something from their registry will make them happy.  It's a win-win.  If you are really against getting them something that they want then just write a cheque, but keep in mind you have no control over what they spend the money on that way.

I have found that I can get the same items on a registry (same brand, etc) on sale or use a coupon or from another store for less.  That's what I do if I'm not just giving cash.

mrgrump

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #33 on: May 29, 2014, 09:25:07 AM »
I appreciate all the feedback. To those who asked I married the brides sister making her my sister-in-law. Making the groom my future brother in law. I like the approach of looking for items on the registry at different stores to capture any savings.

After thinking about the suggestions I think I am going to go with one of the bland but useful items such as towels or sheets and let the wife get them so they will at least match something. As far as being in the wedding I was asked via email this morning...rude, is the word that comes to mind but I am sure you guys could sub in many more. Not particularly happy about it, but oh well.




JoyBlogette

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #34 on: May 29, 2014, 11:19:23 AM »
I have found that weddings can cause a lot of family issues.  Most of these are due to expectations either from the couple or the family not being met.  Not everyone is aware of wedding etiquette and I find that it's best to assume the other person is coming from a place of the best possible intentions and go from there. 
i.e. assume that asking by email was done because it is easy, convenient and wastes as little of your precious mustacian time as possible.  My feeling is that you should just say "yes" and jump on board the celebration train.  Remember that you married the "good" sister and feel happy in your choice every time your wife's sister does something you don't like/agree with.  Good luck!

ruthiegirl

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #35 on: May 29, 2014, 11:46:03 AM »
$100 bill.

This is always my approach.  It is easy, lightweight, and never gets returned. 

ruthiegirl

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #36 on: May 29, 2014, 11:49:38 AM »
As far as being in the wedding I was asked via email this morning...rude, is the word that comes to mind but I am sure you guys could sub in many more. Not particularly happy about it, but oh well.

Yep, rude on all accounts.  Tread carefully...you never know, this guy could be a part of your family for a looooong time. 

Oh, an I showed up to a wedding as a bridesmaid and was told I was now the Maid of Honor, could I please do the toast at the reception?  The reception happening in 20 minutes.  Pulled that one out of my ass. 

Weddings make people go off kilter. 

CommonCents

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Re: What do you buy complainyspendypants as a wedding gift.
« Reply #37 on: May 29, 2014, 11:57:57 AM »
As far as being in the wedding I was asked via email this morning...rude, is the word that comes to mind but I am sure you guys could sub in many more. Not particularly happy about it, but oh well.

Yep, rude on all accounts.  Tread carefully...you never know, this guy could be a part of your family for a looooong time. 

Oh, an I showed up to a wedding as a bridesmaid and was told I was now the Maid of Honor, could I please do the toast at the reception?  The reception happening in 20 minutes.  Pulled that one out of my ass. 

Weddings make people go off kilter.

I think it's happening more often.  DH was asked to be best man via email recently for a labor day wedding when the asker decided it was too difficult to get together in person.  (For the record, he hadn't suggested meeting up and DH declined.)  I think he was asked earlier to be in the wedding party via email too.

You speech couldn't have been worse than the one I heard last year (which topped a prior worst for referring to exes in the speech).  Gist: Bride and bridesmaid are child life flight nurses.  They were on a car ride (4 hrs maybe?) and the child (I gathered age maybe ~5 yo) had an, well, accident.  Both looked at each other...and proceeded to open the windows in the back rather than change the diaper.  And that is when bridesmaid knew they'd be best friends.  She hadn't signed up to be this type of nurse to change diapers after all.  Things not to talk about in a speech: Actual things coming out of anyone's ass.  Also bad that it showed both in a terrible light.  The lengthy rambling nature of the storytelling was just standard icing.