When it comes to birthdays, Christmas and special occasions, figuring out how much is appropriate to spend on grandchildren can be a difficult and confusing time for many grandparents.
Without the luxury of full-time work and living off pension or retirement funds, deciding on an amount to spend can cause stress. Grandparents want to show their grandchildren they care, but often can’t keep up with their demands.
A British grandmother has taken to the internet to ask other grandparents how they decide on an amount to spend on their grandkids. She explained she has been able to help out her grandchildren in the past, but was gobsmacked when her teenage granddaughter asked her to pay for a £2,000 (AU$3,642, US$2654) ski trip.
“The gap between their requests and my budget seems to be increasing somewhat,” the gran explained.
In addition to the ski trip, the gran has already been sent a Christmas request from a granddaughter for an expensive Swedish school bag valued at £90. Still, the grandmother tried to reason with the request.
“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,” she said.
She shared her fear that things will only get worse when she retires in a few years, although claimed her son isn’t helping the situation.
“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,” she explained.
She said that she simply can’t afford the bag and asked how others dealt with similar requests. Others were quick to offer their opinion on the matter.
One comment read: “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.”
Another said: “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.”
A third added: “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.”
It’s not the first time grandparents have found themselves in similar money situations. Last month, a soon-to-be grandmother expressed her concern that her son’s mother-in-law was spending more on their unborn grandchild than she was.
In that case, she said she will never be able to compete with the grandchild’s other grandmother when it came to wealth and that she felt bad she wouldn’t be able to make an equal contribution to her grandchild.
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