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More brother financial woes...

I posted on here a few weeks ago about my DH and I splitting the cost of my Dad's 60th birthday party with my younger (26-year-old) brother. An update on that: my brother actively asked to pay a third of the overall price, and I agreed. I thought my brother quibbled over costs a little too much, but I let it go--the amount of money wasn't more than 250 total, and I didn't feel it was worth arguing about. DH and I did, however, decide between ourselves not to split present costs with my brother in the future, as we both didn't appreciate how tedious the whole process became. 

Anyway, something else has come up now, and I'm starting to become truly annoyed. A few weeks ago, my brother told me that a famous comedian is going to be doing a live stand up routine during the month of my birthday, and he asked if I was interested in going. He sort of implied that he could take me for my birthday, and I said sure, that would be great. I have not brought it up since.

This morning, my brother calls me and says that he already bought me another, more sentimental birthday gift, but that if I still want to go to the comedy show, he'll pay for the tickets as an additional gift if I'm willing to split the cost of the 1 appetizer + 2 drink minimum + parking with him. 

Now, this totally rubbed me the wrong way. I think it's poor taste to offer someone a gift, but then attach strings to it. It's like saying "I'll take you out to dinner for your birthday, but if you want desert you have to pay for it."

I told my brother that he was putting me in an awkward position; obviously, I'm not going to tell him to spend more money on me for my birthday, but now it will be difficult for me to really enjoy the gift because he's making it sound like he'll have to strain to afford it. We discussed the possibility of us going to the concert, taking my birthday off the table, and just splitting everything down the middle (it would just be me and him attending; my DH will not be there).  I also suggested that in the future we set a birthday present minimum, given that DH and I will be on a more fixed budget when our first baby arrives soon (I won't be working at all until December, and even then I'm only going back part time). 

My brother, who must have been feeling bad at that point, started to back peddle, and said that he could afford the whole comedy show. He then (without my asking) told me that he currently has 10,000 dollars in Apple stock, and that's not counting what he has in savings. I know this info is none of my business, but I couldn't help but feel frustrated. You have all that money saved up, and you call me to quibble over an extra 50 dollars for my birhday? Really?

In the end, I told him I would have to think about whether I still wanted to go the comedy show, and whether or not it should be a birthday gift. The fact is, I really don't care about the show either way--I'm more upset that my brother is so darn cheap, and is becoming unpleasant. I would like him to know that it's in poor taste to split hairs over what should be a birthday gift (especially to split hairs with the person whose gift it is). I'm also very tempted to tell him that I think he's crossed the line from being financially careful to downright stingy.

 I told DH all this, and he thinks I should confront the issue before it gets worse.

What do you all think? Confront? Or is it not my problem?

 

Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

Re: More brother financial woes...

  • Could he be saving up for something else for himself? If you feel that slighted by the comedy show with strings attached, don't go. But just because he has money saved up doesn't mean he should get you 2 presents. You know how men are, they say the first gift idea that comes to mind then if they mull it over for a while, they might think of something better. I'd be THRILLED if my brother thought enough about me to get me something sentimental, instead of the usual $25 gift card to a place that I don't shop at. From an outsiders perspective, I think you're overracting a bit.
  • imageMSUMands:
    Could he be saving up for something else for himself? If you feel that slighted by the comedy show with strings attached, don't go. But just because he has money saved up doesn't mean he should get you 2 presents. You know how men are, they say the first gift idea that comes to mind then if they mull it over for a while, they might think of something better. I'd be THRILLED if my brother thought enough about me to get me something sentimental, instead of the usual $25 gift card to a place that I don't shop at. From an outsiders perspective, I think you're overracting a bit.

    I don't need (or ask for) two gifts, nor do I need my brother to spend over a certain amount. If he's saving up for something and only wants to spend 25 on a gift card, that's fine. I just think it's in poor taste to call someone up and discuss the cost of their birthday gift with them directly.

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • I get why you are upset. It is completely out of poor taste to brag about some awesome gift idea, pump someone up, share the price of the present and then back out. And no..you aren't over-reacting. In fact I think you are handling it well. You're coming here first to get some perspective and venting a tad before you do over-react. 

    Confront on the whole gift giving thing but I wouldn't confront on the financially careful thing. Then you would be crossing the line from honest into down right rude. I know you only said tempted but just a friendly heads up that it's not recommended! 

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  • Stop talking about money with your brother. Stay out of his wallet and his portfolio.

    Next time he starts, change the subject. This is only going to annoy you more when you take the hit of going to a single salary for 3 people.

  • Honestly, it sounds like you're looking to be annoyed by your brother. This is a pretty long post about really nothing at all.

    Maybe your brother is broke. Maybe he's just cheap. Maybe  he just likes to bargain. Maybe he's trying to save for something. There are lots of possible reasons why he behaves as he does, none of which are of any real consequence to you.

    If you want to go the comedian and are okay paying for part of the evening then go. If not, then decline. And try to stop reading so much into your brother's behavior. It will drive you mad.

    imageLilypie Fourth Birthday tickers
  • Decline the evening out. Stop going in on group gifts with him and you will no longer have this problem. 

    Anniversary Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • I find with my brother and BIL guys just approach money and gifts differently until they are in a relationship. My BIL makes what my DH and I do combined but he never spends money. He's not cheap, he's just not considerate either, we never get birthday gifts from him, one year i didnt even get a christmas gift and he thought nothing of it, he said he didn't find anything he thought i would like. Even though his birthday is right after my DH we still give him a gift. I think your brother is just being a typical single 26 yr old guy when it comes to money and not reading into things as much as you. I can see how he doesn't see anything wrong with asking you to split parking, etc. 
  • WahooWahoo member
    Ancient Membership 2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker

    There was a point in my life when I stopped going in on group gifts with my sister (Sis#1).  She had a habit of not paying anyone back, and it was frustrating reminding her.  My other sister (Sis#2) would only include her if she paid up front.  If the non-paying back sister suggested a group gift, either she had to get it, or I would say "oh, I thought of something else I was going to get Mom for Mother's Day......"

    Doing things this way prevented any bad feelings or anger on my part.  And I don't think my sister was cheap - just irresponsible and obviously not as consciencious (sp?) as I or Sis#2 was about paying people back.

    FF several years - and my sisters and I will do group gifts again.  Sis#1 either grew up, or had an "aha!" moment, or maybe someone didn't pay her back and was po'd.  Either way, the situation changed so now the way we do gifts changed.

    Hopefully the end of group gifts will prevent you from nickel and diming everything your parents or your brother does.  Birthday gift MINIMUM?  Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?  How about a MAXIMUM?  And are you going to expect that he buy gifts for you, your H, and your child(ren)?  Unless you and H spend 3x as much on your brother, can you see that your family costs your brother more than gifts for him cost you?

     

     

    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
  • imageWahoo:

     Birthday gift MINIMUM?  Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?  How about a MAXIMUM?  And are you going to expect that he buy gifts for you, your H, and your child(ren)?  Unless you and H spend 3x as much on your brother, can you see that your family costs your brother more than gifts for him cost you?

    FWIW, "maximum" is what I mean to say originally. My mistake. 

    But yeah, good point on the 3x thing... 

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • sounds to me like you need to just stop discussing anyting remotely about money if it bothers you so much.

    perhaps he told you about the apple stock and savings so that you wouldn't think that he was being cheap but sticking to a budget-perhaps he's trying his best to save for something or just security-who knows-but you can't and shouldn't fault him for trying to make good on his offer-as wacky as it is-perhaps he shouldn't have brought up the comedy show thing in the first place and he realized that and to do the right thing he explained the situation. i think he was being honest with you and wants to spend the night with you but can't afford it all.

    frankly you seem to be looking for things to pick on at this point. your choice is easy-drop the sillyness over the drinks, have a fun time iwth your brother who's buying you TWO birthday presents---------------------or decline.

    to me you sound like the petty one---just saying.

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  • imagealithebride:

    sounds to me like you need to just stop discussing anyting remotely about money if it bothers you so much.

    perhaps he told you about the apple stock and savings so that you wouldn't think that he was being cheap but sticking to a budget-perhaps he's trying his best to save for something or just security-who knows-but you can't and shouldn't fault him for trying to make good on his offer-as wacky as it is-perhaps he shouldn't have brought up the comedy show thing in the first place and he realized that and to do the right thing he explained the situation. i think he was being honest with you and wants to spend the night with you but can't afford it all.

    frankly you seem to be looking for things to pick on at this point. your choice is easy-drop the sillyness over the drinks, have a fun time iwth your brother who's buying you TWO birthday presents---------------------or decline.

    to me you sound like the petty one---just saying.

     

    this. Seems like you and your DH care way to much about money, let it go, you'll be happier. I think it is nice he even tried to still pay for the show somewhat even when HE DECIDED to get you something else instead. People have done that to me before, they are basically thinking of ideas out loud, you cannot take it as a permanent or set plan. You didnt even want to do the comedy show so I would just drop it and decline every time he wants to go in on anything with you, problem solved. You have to understand your brother is the way he is for now, and just accept him for who he is.

    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • Decline.

    That will make your point about him being stingy and cheap.

    If he wants to make a gift of anything, he can ... what, with all that Apple stock and savings ... just keep you out of it.

    It's already been beyond awkward to have your mother muddle-in with what she thinks he should pay, his comments and then his declaration of assets.

    JUST DECLINE. And be done with it. He's made a mess of things. Just end it.

  • I have this same issue with my brother and I never talk to him about anything moderately financially related.

    He isn't financially responsible or stable and he lives in the same country my parents do. Last year for my mom's birthday, he recommended a present and said it was cheaper in the states and asked me to buy it and he would refund me his portion. He never paid me back and I just never went into another group gift with him.

    Let it go, graciously accept the sentimental gift and tell him the other one isn't by any means necessary. Just don't talk portfolio, earnings, roth, anything financially linked with him - it will make you go grey...

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