"Customary" expenses??? Oh my.

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Registered: 08-04-2008
"Customary" expenses??? Oh my.
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Sun, 10-11-2009 - 4:48pm

I was watching this week's Suze Orman Show and two questions really burned me up! (I'm a little emotional these days - I blame the baby.)


First, a 54yo man asked why was it that he had to pay for his daughter's wedding, even though it would set him back a few years for retirement.


Later, in the Can I Afford It segment, a woman said it's customary for a man to buy his wife a present when she has a baby. In her case, she wants an $800 pair of designer shoes!


Personally, I know a woman whose mother-in-law expects her son to buy her a diamond bracelet whenever he finally lands a good paying job. She says it's customary.


Please tell me, WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?!!! Well, I guess that isn't my question...so, please tell me...


What do you think about "customary" expenses? Can you think of any others? And what would you do if someone came to you with a hand out for one of these "customary" gifts?


Colleen


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Avatar for lucy4980
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 10-11-2009 - 5:23pm

I think people are just using the word "customary" to try to justify their greediness.

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Registered: 12-04-2006
Mon, 10-12-2009 - 2:46am

What do you think about "customary" expenses?
I see helping with wedding expenses for your daughter(s) as something that is traditional, but I don't believe that parents should be expected to put themselves in a position where they can't afford their own financial needs to do so. As for men giving their wife a gift when they have a baby, I've never heard of this as a customary gift, and think that if a man wants to give his wife a gift then so be it, but a woman shouldn't expect an expensive gift for that reason.

Can you think of any others?
Can't think of any others of the top of my head at the moment.

And what would you do if someone came to you with a hand out for one of these "customary" gifts?
If I was asked to give one of these "customary" gifts, I would assess whether I wanted to give the person a gift and if I did, then I would spend what I could afford. If I wasn't willing to give the person a gift, I would find some way to politely tell them where to go.

Lyn

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Lyn

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Registered: 05-11-2005
Mon, 10-12-2009 - 7:34am

Wow, that is ridiculous... What does that woman think she's going to do with an $800 pair of shoes when she has a kid?!

What do you think about "customary" expenses?
- I think that if a person chooses to indulge in those "expenses" (ie greed) then they are welcome too. Expecting someone to go into debt or set themselves back for your "gimmes" is ridiculous though. If someone expects a "customary" expense then they need to reduce their expectations.

Can you think of any others?
- I don't know if this has happened to anyone else but "showers" baby, bridal or otherwise. I remember in 2005 my MIL was throwing a baby shower for my BIL's gf and called to tell me I owed her $200 for my share of a shower I wasn't even there for. Family is expected to either throw the shower or by the big gifts. My husband was an E4 in the freaking navy and I was a student we couldn't afford that but it was still expected. Same goes for office showers and parties, it's expected even if you can't afford it.

What would you do if someone came to you with a hand out for a "customary" gift?
- It depends on the person. In my MIL's case I had no problem telling her where to shove it, she was completely rude about the whole thing. It depends on who you are, how you ask and if I have the money. In that order. If you're someone I feel it's appropriate to give a gift to you had better ask nicely and hope I have the money to meet the expectations.

Good question!

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Registered: 04-16-2003
Mon, 10-12-2009 - 5:13pm
For myself, I'd rather have my partner help me take care of my child for the rest of his life, than get a present.
    Miss Stepmom

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Registered: 08-04-2008
Mon, 10-12-2009 - 8:44pm

"I would find some way to politely tell them where to go."


Hahaha...love it!


Colleen


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Mon, 10-12-2009 - 8:52pm

"I had no problem telling her where to shove it,..."


I'm seeing a theme here! Can't say I'm surprised - people on this board seem to have a good handle on what they can afford and are strong about it.


Your shower story reminded me of my wedding. I offered to pitch in for my own shower to take the burden of my bridesmaids, who threw it. They just kept it simple and didn't need me to pitch in.

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Registered: 08-04-2008
Mon, 10-12-2009 - 8:53pm

"For myself, I'd rather have my partner help me take care of my child for the rest of his life, than get a present."


Sounds like you have your priorities straight!


Colleen


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Tue, 10-13-2009 - 7:44am

"it is very nice for a man to buy his wife a present when she has a baby - hello, it is not an easy thing to do"


I'll have to remember that! Haha. I agree that her request was over the top.


Colleen


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Registered: 05-11-2005
Tue, 10-13-2009 - 11:06am
I don't think "my share" was $200. I think she went overboard on spending and expected me to pick it up. I see a lot of people surrounded by that theme.
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Registered: 07-25-2008
Tue, 10-13-2009 - 2:26pm

Good question, Colleen!

Well, I think customary expenses are kind of a social nicety when not taken too far. $800 designer shoes? no thanks! I have a lot better places to spend $800. But I do think its nice for the dad to get the mom a gift when she has a baby - that's a lot of hard work! LOL.

My DH will ask me if I want him to get me a present for whatever is expected. Sometimes I do, sometimes I really don't (like if money is tight) and sometimes it doesn't matter. I just like that he asks. :)

Amanda

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