Cheapo Sister

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-11-2003
Cheapo Sister
22
Thu, 12-11-2003 - 10:00am
Hi there...I'm wondering if someone would be able to give me advice on dealing with my sister who is 36 years old. I myself am 31 and I am having a hard time lately dealing with her cheapness. She and her husband have wonderful paying jobs & they just had their first daughter 11 months ago. My sister is the type that gets a gift from someone & re-gifts it to someone else. She also leaves all price tags on her gifts so everyone can see how much she spent...although she never pays that price but wants people to think that she did. We have a very small family & for Christmas she asked me how much I would be spending on my nephew who is also 11 months & I told her to spend what you feel is right. I have 4 nieces/nephews to buy for & my SIL has 6 and her husband doesn't make much money so they are very tight with money but are still very generous. My sister said she spent $13 on my nephew which to me is really insulting. My SIL spend $30 and she is the one that has the most to buy for & they don't make alot of money. We also decided to just exchange 1 gift per family this year for the adults because my sister said my family is getting to big...I have 3 nieces & nephews in my immediate family & she has 2 and her husband was an only child. REAL BIG! So we decided to do that & I said let's spend between $35 and $40 and then my sister said no too much so I said how about we do $25 and then go to KMart and just buy for charity & go out for lunch thinking that was a great idea & my sister said the lunch would be included in the cost for the Christmas present so that was a no go. My SIL and I bought a ton for charity. Another example is that I decided to have Lasik eye surgery & my husband's benefits pay for that in full...which if I didn't get it covered I wouldn't be able to afford to have it done. My sister said it must be nice to have that luxury because she wants it done but can't afford it. So I finally gave it back to her & said if you return the $1,500 in ceramic tile and the stainless steel refrig that you just got for your house you would be able to get it done as well. She was speechless. She also gets a ton of stuff for free (diapers, food, garbage bags...etc.) and this stuff probably totals $2,000 a year which is a huge savings and when her daughter was born she received 40 cases of diapers for different weight ranges & 40 tubs of wipes & my SIL was standing there who also just had a baby 10 days before and she offered her a carton of wipes...WOW really nice of her. I guess I'll stop venting but does anyone have any advice? I'm just so tired of her being so cheap that it is really starting to hurt my relationship with her. I can't stand it anymore & don't know how to deal with it. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
In reply to: iohboy
Thu, 12-11-2003 - 3:31pm
The problem is yours.

Your sister can spend the money how she sees fit. It is her family that earns it.

If you want to spend a lot of money on gifts, then go for it. But to DEMAND that she do the same, that is rude. Everyone has different priorities.

I have a friend who won't spend more than $5 on a birthday gift for a kid...period. That is how she is. I have another friend who doesn't think twice about spending $30 on a birthday present for a kid.

To be insulted because a gift doesn't cost as much as you think it should says more about you than it does about your sister.

Ejkdmom Come visit my store: www.leorra.com
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-11-2003
In reply to: iohboy
Thu, 12-11-2003 - 4:37pm
Wow...I totally disagree with you & I have learned my lesson about using this board to get advice. It's not the whole point about the dollar amount at all (even if that is what I brought up) it's the fact really that she complains that she has no money whatsoever & they make a ton. I don't care about value but when she said she can't afford to by for the homeless at Christmas time it's very sad. She is the one who called me & asked if she needed to spend more then $13 on my nephew & if that's what she feels is right then so be it but don't ask me. She also gives food away to my family & pretends that she buys it when she gets it all from her father-in-law who is a truck driver who steals tons every day to give to them. I would say the problem is mine if I were in fact the only in my family who sees how she is but the fact is everyone sees it including my entire family as well as her co-workers since we work at the same place. I guess I shouldn't have asked the question on this bored because you truly don't know the entire story so your advice means nothing to me. She actually just got a gift basket here at work & it is supposed to be for all workers that cover the account but she is taking it home to use as a Christmas gift so she can pretend she went all out. Sorry but that's not right & pathetic.
Avatar for lucy4980
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: iohboy
Thu, 12-11-2003 - 4:45pm
I have to agree with ejkdmom. Not trying to gang up on you or anything, but everyone should be able to choose how much they spend on gifts and not have other people question that amount. Gifts are just that. They aren't an obligation.

Just because someone makes more than another person, that doesn't mean they have to spend more on gifts. Also, you really don't know what her financial goals and obligations are. If she's said that she wants/needs to spend less at Christmas, then just accept it.

Don't let something as silly as how much a person spends on gifts ruin a perfectly good relationship.

I basically am your cheap SIL in this situation. My husband and I make decent money. We don't have any kids. We try to live frugally - saving for retirement, saving for a home - and we don't spend a lot on gifts. We have a niece and 2 nephews. We spend about $20 on each at Christmas time, plus about $30 for my BIL and SIL. My SIL has complained that DH and I have more money so we should spend more on their kids. That really pissed me off. We give in the spirit of giving and we try to pick out gifts we believe they will enjoy. Yet she comes back with this demand that we should spend more on their kids. I guess our gifts aren't good enough for her. For the sake of family harmony, I ignore her attitude and continue to get them presents.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-11-2003
In reply to: iohboy
Thu, 12-11-2003 - 4:58pm
Like I said...it's not the dollar amount. I don't think I belong on this board because obviously my main point isn't coming across. I don't care if she spend $10 on me but to say she doesn't have it is crap. They have their house almost paid off & have no debt...but that's not the point. I got her & her husband jobs at the company that I work for & know that they make a ton of money. But again...the dollar amount is not the point. When your own sister says she can't go out to lunch with me & my SIL for a $5.00 sandwich that's awful. She is beyond cheap but I would be able to accept that if in fact she didn't tell me all the time that she was broke & then in a 1 month time frame they put cash down for a new stainless steel refrig, $1,500 in new tile and a $4,000 couch. I'm sorry but to me $5.00 to spend time with her family just to be together in the spirit of the season is a total joke & I don't think the problem is MINE. I was just asking for some advice & not to be critized which is what I got here on this board. I'm very disappointed but I understand never to post here again on this board!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
In reply to: iohboy
Thu, 12-11-2003 - 5:13pm
Perhaps you are right, posting on the internet is not for everyone.

Before you leave, I did want to make some points:

1) We only know what you tell us. At that point, we tell you our positions.

2) Just because a person "makes" a lot of money doesn't mean that they can afford everything YOU think they should. Every person has different values. Some people would rather save up and buy stainless steel appliances rather than spend $5 on a lunch that they could make at home for less than half. My MIL would spend over 1 million on a house but refuses to spend $20 on a new pair of shoes...and then complains that the shoes cost too much. Her money, her rules.

3) If it isn't about the money, then perhaps you should stop mentioning it. It appears that you are jealous.

4) If the goal is to spend time with family, then how about a walk in the park? Maybe you should spend your time thinking of ways to accomodate other people's values. That is what the holidays are for. And that is being charitable.

5)You don't need to be taking what we say so personally.

Ejkdmom Come visit my store: www.leorra.com
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-11-2003
In reply to: iohboy
Thu, 12-11-2003 - 5:21pm
Actually I do take it personal when you tell me point blank I'm in the wrong...people come here for advice & not to be blamed. I don't care about money but to not spend $5.00 to go out to lunch I find very sad & believe me I have tried to do many things with her but it all comes down to that the effort is only on my side & she wants people to just cater all to her & that's why she is losing her family & friends. I just came for some advice. Maybe a suggestion would have been helpful but not to point the finger. There are many things that have been left out but cheap is cheap & to say she can't go out for a simple $5.00 is so wrong. I'm glad my SIL & I as the rest of my family see eye to eye. I can't deal with the constant complaining that she doesn't have money when they make more then any of us. Nobody should have to deal with that crap!
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-11-2003
In reply to: iohboy
Thu, 12-11-2003 - 5:27pm
Also, I'm by no means jealous. I have a wonderful husband & I'm very generous with all of my friends & family and love them all very much. Maybe you should stay off of this board because you give HORRIBLE advice. To tell someone they might be jealous when you don't know a thing about them is rude...but maybe that's what you are.
Avatar for lucy4980
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: iohboy
Thu, 12-11-2003 - 5:43pm
Ummm...Wow. I really don't know what to say. I really wasn't trying to critisize you. You came here looking for help and advice and that's what I thought I gave - my advice was that you shouldn't make a big deal out of the gifts and just enjoy your relationship. From your original post, it did seem to me that the price of gifts was the main issue. I'm sorry if I misinterperated or if the real issues didn't come across well in your post. I'm also sorry that you feel you were critisized because people didn't just agree with you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-17-2003
In reply to: iohboy
Thu, 12-11-2003 - 5:49pm
I can understand where the others are coming from, but I can also see your point of view. It's true that it's your sister's money, what she decides to spend it on is her choice. Different people have different priorites.

As far as saying she doesn't have money, my IL's are much the same way. They ACT like they don't have any money when they do, but they hold their hands out to see what they can get for nothing instead. BIL's GF's family has actually given them money b/c they think the IL's need it, b/c the IL's ACT like they need it. They do this all the time, it makes me sick. They ACT like they can't afford to pay the bills, but they have no problem finding money to spend on drugs. The latest thing with BIL and his GF (with the encouragement of the other ILs) who are now expecting a baby was to "work the system" so they can get FREE medical care for her and the child and FREE baby supplies. They LIED about their financial status so they could acheive this. Pathetic!! They are nothing short of swindlers. But this is the "way they are" and they are proud of it. NOTHING will likely change this.

I agree with you that it is wrong to steal and to take advantage of situations for your own benefit, and it's wrong to take credit for something you didn't do. I firmly believe that what goes around comes around, so that will catch up some day. But as far as what she spends her money on and how much she spends IS completely up to her whether you agree with it or not. I do agree that $5 does not seem like a lot to spend some time with your sibling, but that may be an insight to her character and what her priorities are. Sadly it sounds like some material things take precedence over spending time with family.

I am not attacking you my any means, b/c I DO understand your point of view, but honestly there's probably not a lot you could say to her to get her to change. Accept her for who she is and put this energy into your own kids and family.

Heather

TTC since 2007, IUI #1 April 2010 BFN, IUI#2 May 2010 BFN

Avatar for lucy4980
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: iohboy
Thu, 12-11-2003 - 5:52pm
Ok - I'm done trying to be polite. Here's the bottom line.

You came here looking for advice. We gave you our opinions in what I believe to be a very diplomatic way. Yes, we disagreed with you. It happens. Get over it. If you didn't want people's opinions, you shouldn't have asked for them.

Now you are pissed off because apparently you view any disagreement as people critisizing you and you are lashing out at the people who were trying to help you see a different perspective on the situation. I hope this isn't how you deal with things in real life because it isn't very constructive.

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