Author Topic: Has This Happened to You? (Small Vent, In-Laws and Gift Giving)  (Read 18455 times)

TeresaB

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Re: Has This Happened to You? (Small Vent, In-Laws and Gift Giving)
« Reply #50 on: July 22, 2014, 12:58:29 PM »
Once upon a time, we were helping an unemployed in-law through tight times and they announced they were having a third child. When my husband privately asked how they were going to afford this, the in-law revealed that the baby was planned and they had factored our future contributions into the decision.

-.-
Maybe I'm misunderstanding. But if you told them you would give them money, and the amount is enough for them to afford another child, then what's wrong with that? Or did the in-law mean that he assumed that you would give them more (unpromised) money in the future?

Cpa Cat

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Re: Has This Happened to You? (Small Vent, In-Laws and Gift Giving)
« Reply #51 on: July 22, 2014, 01:02:54 PM »
Hahahaha. My husband went with, "I think you may have miscalculated..."

Seriously though... We tread carefully now with our generosity within the family.

Indeed.  How exactly did that play out, if you don't mind my asking?

He told the BIL that they would need to figure out another way to make it work, because it was never our intention to be included as a revenue line item in their budget. He said... a little tongue in cheek, that we aren't Uncle Sam, we don't give you more money the more kids you have. My husband said we wouldn't leave them hanging at Xmas time (when we normally gave them a sizeable gift, and it was about a month away), but that due to our economic situation, there wouldn't a similar gift the following year, nor would there be ongoing support.

It all went over pretty well.

A few months later, the BIL totalled their car and he asked for $5000 to buy a new one. My husband gave him $2500, primarily because we didn't feel right about our SIL being at home with three kids, one a newborn, with no transportation. That really was the end of it though. My BIL got a decent job and they have not asked for money since.

Teresa: There was no promise to give them money. It started with us giving them $1000 per year for the first kid's college fund. We upped it to 2k when the second kid came. We didn't realize at first that it got sucked into their budget. So one year they asked if we could give a little more, since they were going through a rough patch. And we did. Generally in emergencies. So they were assuming that it would go to 3k plus emergencies. We don't even do the college fund thing now (there are no college funds, so it would just be giving them money). We did not understand how integral it had become to their budgeting process until that day.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2014, 01:08:36 PM by Cpa Cat »

msilenus

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Re: Has This Happened to You? (Small Vent, In-Laws and Gift Giving)
« Reply #52 on: July 22, 2014, 01:13:26 PM »
Thanks for sharing.  Glad it worked out.

529 plans are great for situations like that, BTW.

TeresaB

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Re: Has This Happened to You? (Small Vent, In-Laws and Gift Giving)
« Reply #53 on: July 22, 2014, 01:40:29 PM »
Oh, I'd be mad too. I sort of assumed they had saved the money and realized it was enough to have another child on. But if they had done that they probably wouldn't have needed the money in the first place! Thanks for clarifying.

MarciaB

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Re: Has This Happened to You? (Small Vent, In-Laws and Gift Giving)
« Reply #54 on: July 22, 2014, 02:44:51 PM »
I'm going to respectfully disagree with everyone here and say that you should buy your parents a TV for Christmas and quit worrying about it so much.  And for an exercise in generosity, I'd suggest getting them a Netflix subscription as well.  Buying a few things for them in no way makes you obligated to buy them other things, and should not delay your FI significantly.  I am certain they sacrificed a lot more than that in raising your husband.

At the same time, perhaps teach them about saving and investing or talk them into cutting their cable.

I kind of liked this. It's the generous high road. And perhaps those folks do a lot for this young couple (and will do a lot, babysitting!, in the future).

But here's another idea about going ahead and doing this - you can get a lot of mileage out of this one purchase. Every time you look at it you mention how glad you are that you bought it for them (until they get sick of hearing it). Get them to thank you over and over (until they're sick of it). Mention it to others (until they're sick of it).

And the next time they ask you to buy them a gift, just reference the TV and say that you just can't buy them the [new request] because of the TV. They will push back. Make something up about the TV. They will complain. Go on and on about the TV. Make is so not worthwhile for them to ask you for more gifts.

It's like the TV would become the get-out-of-buying-gifts-card for a long time!

HairyUpperLip

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Re: Has This Happened to You? (Small Vent, In-Laws and Gift Giving)
« Reply #55 on: July 22, 2014, 02:46:02 PM »
Welcome to the forum concrete_jungle

Welcome to the jungle, concrete_forum!

We've got fun and games!

Don't forget the games and fun!

kite

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Re: Has This Happened to You? (Small Vent, In-Laws and Gift Giving)
« Reply #56 on: July 22, 2014, 04:57:21 PM »
I'm going to respectfully disagree with everyone here and say that you should buy your parents a TV for Christmas and quit worrying about it so much.  And for an exercise in generosity, I'd suggest getting them a Netflix subscription as well.  Buying a few things for them in no way makes you obligated to buy them other things, and should not delay your FI significantly.  I am certain they sacrificed a lot more than that in raising your husband.

At the same time, perhaps teach them about saving and investing or talk them into cutting their cable.

I kind of liked this. It's the generous high road. And perhaps those folks do a lot for this young couple (and will do a lot, babysitting!, in the future).

But here's another idea about going ahead and doing this - you can get a lot of mileage out of this one purchase. Every time you look at it you mention how glad you are that you bought it for them (until they get sick of hearing it). Get them to thank you over and over (until they're sick of it). Mention it to others (until they're sick of it).

And the next time they ask you to buy them a gift, just reference the TV and say that you just can't buy them the [new request] because of the TV. They will push back. Make something up about the TV. They will complain. Go on and on about the TV. Make is so not worthwhile for them to ask you for more gifts.

It's like the TV would become the get-out-of-buying-gifts-card for a long time!

If only.
So soon after the grill and intrusive financial questions tells me this is the tip of the iceberg.  Everything you do sets expectations for the next occasion.   If you're hesitant or need to be talked into it, it's no longer a gift and will start to feel like extortion.     

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: Has This Happened to You? (Small Vent, In-Laws and Gift Giving)
« Reply #57 on: July 22, 2014, 09:00:39 PM »
If only.
So soon after the grill and intrusive financial questions tells me this is the tip of the iceberg.  Everything you do sets expectations for the next occasion.   If you're hesitant or need to be talked into it, it's no longer a gift and will start to feel like extortion.   

+1. You teach people how to treat you. If they ask and receive, it teaches them to ask for more.

iris lily

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Re: Has This Happened to You? (Small Vent, In-Laws and Gift Giving)
« Reply #58 on: July 23, 2014, 12:55:59 AM »
...I have very little experience with poverty, but I've read that families in it in the U.S. become much more closely knit financially than families out of it would consider appropriate.  The expectation is that if someone is in need, they'll get some help, and they'll help out in turn when they can.  Even if "can" is something we would still consider "can't" --ie: juggling bills around just to free up $20 for two weeks.  I suspect that what you're feeling right now is culture-shock.  Your in-laws would probably do a lot for you if you were in trouble, if that's any consolation...

I think this is important and likely true. OP, your SO is moving our of his family's culture of poverty or near-poverty into middle class world where savings are encouraged, less sharing of the "family pot of money" is done.

It's one of the hardest things about moving between social classes and it causes everyone left behind to consider the mobile one a "snob."

There is no way I'd give money toward a big tv, no way. But then that's something that my "culture" doesn't much value even though I watch a crapload of tv.  :)

scrnplyr

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Re: Has This Happened to You? (Small Vent, In-Laws and Gift Giving)
« Reply #59 on: July 23, 2014, 03:25:38 AM »
I would tell them we are now Buddhists and do not believe in gifts, rather we will now give massages for all holidays - 30 minutes for Xmas and 10 minutes all other holidays. I would also ask them not to give me any gifts becuz we will not accept them. I must say your inlaws have brass balls and inadequate social etiquette.  Asking for a gift is crossing a lot of boundaries and u have every right to be upset.


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Ozstache

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Re: Has This Happened to You? (Small Vent, In-Laws and Gift Giving)
« Reply #60 on: July 23, 2014, 04:08:07 AM »
I'd just say no and brace for impact. You didn't get to where you are by such frivolous spending, so why should you start now? I'd buy them a copy of YMOYL or the Millionare Next Door instead.

Zamboni

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Re: Has This Happened to You? (Small Vent, In-Laws and Gift Giving)
« Reply #61 on: July 23, 2014, 04:32:47 AM »
Quote
Who the fuck asks for a gift?

+1

I actually thought this was an old thread from last year, because who the fuck asks for Christmas gift in July.  Wowza.

She is like a little child . . . compiling her list for Santa . . . and you are Santa.  Tell her she'll have to be sure she is extra good, that Santa can see her when she is sleeping and knows when she's awake, and that if she cries or shouts she'll get coal in her stocking instead of any presents at all.  Then just give her a tin of homemade cookies or a jar of homemade jam for Christmas instead of anything else she requests.