Financial Feud: Cheap party vs. Bachelorette blowout

Financial Feud

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In Dispute:

$100 a person

The Argument:

Sarah

I’m planning a bachelorette party for my sister, but her friends say it's too expensive. At first, everyone agreed to chip in $300, so I went ahead and made reservations. Now, some say it’s too much money. They want me to cut costs by $100 a person. I think everyone should pay what they agreed to up front. AM I RIGHT?

Expert Opinion:

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sarah

The Argument:

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A couple of months ago, I came up with the idea of renting a house for my sister’s bachelorette party. I thought we could all spend the weekend and hire a private chef to cook us a special meal. I did my research and found out that it would cost everyone about $300 up front.

When I ran the idea by the other women in my sister’s bridal party, everyone said they were on board, so I booked the house and put down my credit card.

Four weeks later, some said they thought $300 was too much money. They suggested staying one night instead of two and said $200 per person was more reasonable.

I understand that everyone has different financial situations, and $300 is no small sum, but I wish people had brought up their concerns earlier, before I made our reservations.

Budget constraints are often real and binding for people once the bills actually come due.  Sometimes we like a fun idea when we first think of or hear about it, speak too loosely about our willingness to make it happen, and then reality sets in later and we get some “buyer’s remorse.” 

If I were you I would have a heart-to-heart talk with your sister’s friends. See which of them is able and willing to contribute a full share of the costs and listen with compassion to those who cannot.  Then, given that it was your idea, I would decide if you’re willing to cover the balance or not.  (I actually don’t think it’s unreasonable that you as a sister pay a larger portion than each of the friends.)  If you cannot afford this remainder though, I would see if you can follow the friends’ idea of decreasing your length of stay or maybe moving to a cheaper alternative.

About the author

Diane Lim is a DC-area economist dedicated to wise, fiscally-responsible and socially-valuable public policies, and a mom dedicated to four great kids.

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