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If they don't have a home, you could give a note about "5000 towards the down payment of your home". This will be not about teaching finances but genuine help that they can count on but can not use that money for useless stuff.

If they already have a home, then buying some big ticket items that they need for home.. appliances, remodel.

Weddings are not the place to give a veiled lecture about fiscal sense. Get them something kinda practical that they can use. Something they will actually like and want. Look at teh registry is there anything that in a round about way could save them money? Really warm down comforter so heat can go lower in winter?Good pans or pots so they can save money by cooking at home? A nice coffee machine so they do not go out to starbucks ever day?
Many nice gifts are ways to save money and practical too.

Maybe the best way to do this is stretch it out over time ... maybe about a week and a half?

First day you could get her something for the house - like a nice fruit tree (that way they will always have fruit to eat.) Maybe a decorative bird to go in it. (Cool things are always cooler when you put a bird on them.)

Next, you could try something that teaches her responsibility. I'd stick with the bird theme here, since they are cheap; try something in the pigeon family but a little more upscale, and get a pair so they don't get lonely.

For the next day, go back to the food theme, but a little more advanced - the Faverolles breed of chicken is excellent, both for eggs and meat, but don't burden her with a rooster as yet, and keep it manageable, somewhere between two and four. (Be sure to check on the local backyard poultry laws.)

Then just keep upping the ante. (This is probably a good time to check back and make sure that the birds, tree, etc. you already gave her are still alive.) You could throw a little jewelry in to sweeten the pot. By the middle of the second week, she should be ready to start managing a small personnel enterprise. I'd suggest entertainment, since pipers, drummers, dancers, etc. work cheap. Within 12 days you should find that she and her new hub are completely financially self-sufficient!

bullcity said:   Sisters are pretty good at picking up on passive aggressive "gestures." Her wedding is not the platform for an insulting gift. If you want to do something preachy in a year or so like a matching retirement account, feel free, but weddings are already fraught with stress and family drama. Don't add to it with an obnoxious "not-really-present" when people are already emotional and stressed. Get her something genuinely nice that will make her happy, even if you think it's stupid. The gift should have no strings attached. The "gift" you are planning right now is inappropriate, intrusive and mean-spirited, despite the supposedly "good" intentions (of demonstrating your financial superiority....)

As I've said over and over, I'm asking for advice on gifts that are not preachy or insulting (instead I am mostly getting preached to and insulted ). Is putting a nice chunk of money in a 529 for their future kid's education "passive aggressive" or "preachy" or "mean-spirited"? I know not to get you guys any gifts, geez.

Thanks to everyone who replied with useful suggestions. The suggestions to get appliances and such that could save them money long-term is a good idea also.

P.S.: Wordgirl wins the thread.


wordgirl said:   Maybe the best way to do this is stretch it out over time ... maybe about a week and a half?

First day you could get her something for the house - like a nice fruit tree (that way they will always have fruit to eat.) Maybe a decorative bird to go in it. (Cool things are always cooler when you put a bird on them.)

Next, you could try something that teaches her responsibility. I'd stick with the bird theme here, since they are cheap; try something in the pigeon family but a little more upscale, and get a pair so they don't get lonely.

For the next day, go back to the food theme, but a little more advanced - the Faverolles breed of chicken is excellent, both for eggs and meat, but don't burden her with a rooster as yet, and keep it manageable, somewhere between two and four. (Be sure to check on the local backyard poultry laws.)

Then just keep upping the ante. (This is probably a good time to check back and make sure that the birds, tree, etc. you already gave her are still alive.) You could throw a little jewelry in to sweeten the pot. By the middle of the second week, she should be ready to start managing a small personnel enterprise. I'd suggest entertainment, since pipers, drummers, dancers, etc. work cheap. Within 12 days you should find that she and her new hub are completely financially self-sufficient!


How much do you think he loves his sister? Cost of '12 Days of Christmas' tops $107,000

AlwaysWrite said:   bullcity said:   Sisters are pretty good at picking up on passive aggressive "gestures." Her wedding is not the platform for an insulting gift. If you want to do something preachy in a year or so like a matching retirement account, feel free, but weddings are already fraught with stress and family drama. Don't add to it with an obnoxious "not-really-present" when people are already emotional and stressed. Get her something genuinely nice that will make her happy, even if you think it's stupid. The gift should have no strings attached. The "gift" you are planning right now is inappropriate, intrusive and mean-spirited, despite the supposedly "good" intentions (of demonstrating your financial superiority....)

As I've said over and over, I'm asking for advice on gifts that are not preachy or insulting (instead I am mostly getting preached to and insulted ). Is putting a nice chunk of money in a 529 for their future kid's education "passive aggressive" or "preachy" or "mean-spirited"? I know not to get you guys any gifts, geez.

Thanks to everyone who replied with useful suggestions. The suggestions to get appliances and such that could save them money long-term is a good idea also.

I think the education fund is passive aggressive.

And as for the appliances... don't do it to save them money. Assume that anything you save them will get spent on more evenings out at a nice restaurant.

Look at their registry, pick something in the price range you want to *spend*, and spend it. From her point of view, whether it's right or wrong, she will say that this wedding is about her, not you.

It's tough to not help a person in this situation, and I definitely understand that. I think that by being supportive, they will be more welcome to advice the day it's time to change their habits. If we oppose them every day until they need it, they won't take the advice even when it's needed, despite them realizing you may have been right. I've learned to not fight things too much - do as you wish with your own money, but as long as you've voiced your opinion once or twice to the other person, don't bring it up to the point where they begin to hate you and make a decision to always oppose you. Better to be on their side so that they can someday learn from you.

AlwaysWrite said:   
As I've said over and over, I'm asking for advice on gifts that are not preachy or insulting (instead I am mostly getting preached to and insulted ). Is putting a nice chunk of money in a 529 for their future kid's education "passive aggressive" or "preachy" or "mean-spirited"? I know not to get you guys any gifts, geez.


It's a very odd wedding present considering that a child has not even been conceived. A wedding gift should be for the couple. And opening a college fund can definitely seem passive aggressive, kind of like, hurry up and give me a niece or nephew. It could be especially painful if they have trouble conceiving.

AlwaysWrite said:   bullcity said:   Sisters are pretty good at picking up on passive aggressive "gestures." Her wedding is not the platform for an insulting gift. If you want to do something preachy in a year or so like a matching retirement account, feel free, but weddings are already fraught with stress and family drama. Don't add to it with an obnoxious "not-really-present" when people are already emotional and stressed. Get her something genuinely nice that will make her happy, even if you think it's stupid. The gift should have no strings attached. The "gift" you are planning right now is inappropriate, intrusive and mean-spirited, despite the supposedly "good" intentions (of demonstrating your financial superiority....)

As I've said over and over, I'm asking for advice on gifts that are not preachy or insulting (instead I am mostly getting preached to and insulted ). Is putting a nice chunk of money in a 529 for their future kid's education "passive aggressive" or "preachy" or "mean-spirited"? I know not to get you guys any gifts, geez.

Thanks to everyone who replied with useful suggestions. The suggestions to get appliances and such that could save them money long-term is a good idea also.


As others have said, any gift with a hidden message is likely going to come across as preachy or insulting. I admire your desire to help your sister but this isn't the time and way to do it. A whole ton of people have just told you that and you should seriously listen.

What would your other family members think about you giving her this type of "gift"?

wordgirl said:   Maybe the best way to do this is stretch it out over time ... maybe about a week and a half?

First day you could get her something for the house - like a nice fruit tree (that way they will always have fruit to eat.) Maybe a decorative bird to go in it. (Cool things are always cooler when you put a bird on them.)

Next, you could try something that teaches her responsibility. I'd stick with the bird theme here, since they are cheap; try something in the pigeon family but a little more upscale, and get a pair so they don't get lonely.

For the next day, go back to the food theme, but a little more advanced - the Faverolles breed of chicken is excellent, both for eggs and meat, but don't burden her with a rooster as yet, and keep it manageable, somewhere between two and four. (Be sure to check on the local backyard poultry laws.)

Then just keep upping the ante. (This is probably a good time to check back and make sure that the birds, tree, etc. you already gave her are still alive.) You could throw a little jewelry in to sweeten the pot. By the middle of the second week, she should be ready to start managing a small personnel enterprise. I'd suggest entertainment, since pipers, drummers, dancers, etc. work cheap. Within 12 days you should find that she and her new hub are completely financially self-sufficient!


well played wordgirl. well played.

OK, then if most people feel that it is impossible to teach anyone anything and I shouldn't even try (which I said from the get-go I'm not trying to give finance lessons or anything like that), hopefully you can at least understand my desire to get them something they will enjoy and get use and enjoyment from long-term. Something special, something lasting, something that makes a positive impact on their lives. Something they will appreciate the most in the long term. (If you think that is "mean-spirited," we will just have to agree to disagree.)

People are not saying its impossible to teach anyone anything. But that this is not an appropriate time to be "instructive" or gifts that "prod" people towards behavior you desire is not generally going to be a great or welcome wedding gift. Basically I think most people feel your goal of being "instructive but not preachy" via a wedding gift is not possible.

AlwaysWrite said:   OK, then if most people feel that it is impossible to teach anyone anything and I shouldn't even try (which I said from the get-go I'm not trying to give finance lessons or anything like that), hopefully you can at least understand my desire to get them something they will enjoy and get use and enjoyment from long-term. Something special, something lasting, something that makes a positive impact on their lives. Something they will appreciate the most in the long term. (If you think that is "mean-spirited," we will just have to agree to disagree.)

get them a blender.

Seriously, AlwaysWrite, I think there are gifts you can give that will give them long-term happiness and lasting benefit. I would NOT do a straight-up cash gift, but something like a CD (maybe put the details on a piece of paper inside a house-shaped piggy bank or picture frame engraved with something that expresses hope for their long happy life together).

I think your heart is very much in the right place, it's just the marketing part you need to worry about Make it a message of hope and belief in the new couple's ability to build a strong, stable and secure future for themselves. You may not have that kind of faith now, but she doesn't need to know that - that kind of positive reinforcement from her "responsible" brother may just give her the push she needs to get her financial life on track. (And a lot of people do go through a wild spending phase and then settle down - I know I did. There was a time when I was making good money and yet living paycheck to paycheck; in any emergency, I'd have to call the bank of Mom and Dad. That has completely turned around now, in large part because I moved away from an environment where everyone regarded me as the Eternal Ditz, and into one where my peers just assumed I was a financially responsible adult like them.)

Give her the gift of faith in her (achievable) good judgment and the reassurance that you love her. Which you obviously do. Tell her you love her, that you believe in her, that you're optimistic about their future. If things go wrong, there will be plenty of time later to console and counsel her.

(The 529 could be pitched in somewhat the same manner, but unfortunately, it's not doable at this point - you need the child's SSN to open an account.)

OK, now Wordgirl has won the thread twice and is just running up the score.

AlwaysWrite said:   OK, then if most people feel that it is impossible to teach anyone anything and I shouldn't even try (which I said from the get-go I'm not trying to give finance lessons or anything like that), hopefully you can at least understand my desire to get them something they will enjoy and get use and enjoyment from long-term. Something special, something lasting, something that makes a positive impact on their lives. Something they will appreciate the most in the long term. (If you think that is "mean-spirited," we will just have to agree to disagree.)I've been married 15 years. I honestly couldn't tell you what a single person gave us for a wedding present. Don't get yourself too caught up in this.

I think energy saving household things are the best bet - a gift that doesnt have a "financially superior" message but rather an eco friendly one

Those led bulbs, a warm comforter , those Belkin surge protectors that automatically stop phantom electrical waste , etc. if they can save $20-30 a month without even knowing or realizing it that will be great - but then again they'll just blow the extra money due to spending habits

My mom was going to buy her brother a home warranty bc he never has money for home breakdowns, but he also doesn't have the skills to fight their denials either so it would cause more grief than it helped

In case anyone still cares, I decided to get them a nice gas grill. They don't have one, and were thinking about buying one anyway (who doesn't like a grill?). It's a nice gift for him, because he'll probably be the one doing the grilling, he can invite his buddies over for BBQs, etc. It's nice for her because it will mean some days he can do the cooking instead of her. And it's nice for both of them since it will save money and be much more healthy than eating out. And I'll get them a good one that they can enjoy for many years to come.

And I won't even mention the money-saving aspects to them. See, not preachy. My whole point was asking for gift ideas that were NOT preachy, while many people wanted to tell me not to be preachy and were arguing a point I had never debated. Thank you again to everyone who provided helpful gift ideas -- I know some of you suggested stoves or other kitchen appliances and this is similar but (I think) more fun than a stove. But maybe that's because I'm a guy and like fire…

A tasty solution, sir.

Fantastic choice

Win for you! That's a very nice gift that they will enjoy, whether or not it saves them money.

So you got them a toaster on steroids.

Does that mean i win?

On Long Island, we give cash. Giving items as a wedding gift is considered tacky.

FreddyPharkas said:   On Long Island, we give cash. Giving items as a wedding gift is considered tacky.

On Long Island weddings costs $$$$$$, so yeah cash helps. /First hand experience


Winnar! (4.41kB)
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wordgirl said:   Maybe the best way to do this is stretch it out over time ... maybe about a week and a half?

First day you could get her something for the house - like a nice fruit tree (that way they will always have fruit to eat.) Maybe a decorative bird to go in it. (Cool things are always cooler when you put a bird on them.)

Next, you could try something that teaches her responsibility. I'd stick with the bird theme here, since they are cheap; try something in the pigeon family but a little more upscale, and get a pair so they don't get lonely.

For the next day, go back to the food theme, but a little more advanced - the Faverolles breed of chicken is excellent, both for eggs and meat, but don't burden her with a rooster as yet, and keep it manageable, somewhere between two and four. (Be sure to check on the local backyard poultry laws.)

Then just keep upping the ante. (This is probably a good time to check back and make sure that the birds, tree, etc. you already gave her are still alive.) You could throw a little jewelry in to sweeten the pot. By the middle of the second week, she should be ready to start managing a small personnel enterprise. I'd suggest entertainment, since pipers, drummers, dancers, etc. work cheap. Within 12 days you should find that she and her new hub are completely financially self-sufficient!


Winnar.

We received a counterfeit $100 bill.
dcwilbur said:   AlwaysWrite said:   OK, then if most people feel that it is impossible to teach anyone anything and I shouldn't even try (which I said from the get-go I'm not trying to give finance lessons or anything like that), hopefully you can at least understand my desire to get them something they will enjoy and get use and enjoyment from long-term. Something special, something lasting, something that makes a positive impact on their lives. Something they will appreciate the most in the long term. (If you think that is "mean-spirited," we will just have to agree to disagree.)I've been married 15 years. I honestly couldn't tell you what a single person gave us for a wedding present. Don't get yourself too caught up in this.

wwdme said:   We received a counterfeit $100 bill.
dcwilbur said:   AlwaysWrite said:   OK, then if most people feel that it is impossible to teach anyone anything and I shouldn't even try (which I said from the get-go I'm not trying to give finance lessons or anything like that), hopefully you can at least understand my desire to get them something they will enjoy and get use and enjoyment from long-term. Something special, something lasting, something that makes a positive impact on their lives. Something they will appreciate the most in the long term. (If you think that is "mean-spirited," we will just have to agree to disagree.)I've been married 15 years. I honestly couldn't tell you what a single person gave us for a wedding present. Don't get yourself too caught up in this.


And you still haven't sent me a thank you note.

FreddyPharkas said:   On Long Island, we give cash. Giving items as a wedding gift is considered tacky.

I thought everything on Long Island was tacky. I am a native Connecticut Yankee saying that.

dcwilbur said:   I've been married 15 years. I honestly couldn't tell you what a single person gave us for a wedding present. Don't get yourself too caught up in this.

I only remember one. That is because of the note that came with it and the fact we still use it to this day.

It is a can opener, an expensive one I put on the registry that my wife never though anyone would buy because it was expensive for a can opener. My friends parents bought it for us and it had a note that said, "May your life be full of happiness... and opened cans".
So buy something useful and have something witty to go along with it if you want people to remember. We got tons of other stuff and most of it is long gone and/or forgotten.

vipercon said:    My friends parents bought it for us and it had a note that said, "May your life be full of happiness... and opened cans"..

If you can figure out how to get in touch with them, drop them another thank you note to let them know you still use it, and still remember their note, and that life is still full of both. They will love it - it will be a gift to them.

I remember most a gift from a college friend. It was a small box with a note sticking out that said pull here. We pulled and out came a tape with funny lines, jokes, and 50 $1 bills. The bills were taped together at the end. It was kind of neat to spend them as the cashiers would always ask why the bills had tape on the ends. So if you ever came across with a bill with tape on both ends,it might have gone through our hands.....

Yes, corny story - sorry.

get them the Weber summit

Wedding gifts I still use frequently:
Kitchen trash can (use it every day)
Plates/silverware/glasses
TiVo (am on my second one now, but used the first one a lot)



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