It’s your birthday! Yay! You want to do something special; you want your partners-in-crime to share it with you! You want to make it a night to remember!
To keep it a night-to-remember and not a nightmare for you and your friends, think smart about how money factors into the planning of your celebration.
1. Assume That You Have To Pay For The Night: Even though your friends will more than likely tell you, “we got you” when the bill comes, it is good practice to assume that you will have to pay for everyone since you invited them. Keeping this in mind will help you distinguish between what you really want to do and what would be nice to do.
2. Consider Your Friends’ Financial Commitments: I know it your birthday and you may want to have an extravagant evening of dinner, dancing, and drink, but each of your friends has their own financial commitments, especially those that are single parents, going back to school, helping out family members, and paying mortgages. In selecting the venue or activity for your birthday, do not make it hard for your friends to chose between making memories with you and their financial priorities.
3. Set The Expectations About How Expenses Will Be Covered: Your friends and family will respect you for being proactive and preemptive when it comes to establishing how the cost of the evening will be shared so they can plan accordingly. I had one friend send an email to those attending her birthday party dinner stating that she will be paying for her own dinner and so will everyone else.
4. Only Invite Friends With Home-Training To Celebrate With You: Real Talk: Unfortunately, some of our friends do not know how to act when they hear that bills will be spilt equally. They take advantage of the situation and order more of everything or the more expensive items and when the bill comes, others are paying for their good time. This can make the end of an evening a really tense one, especially when everyone knows who the opportunists are.
5. Low-Cost Fun Activities Before Or After The Main Celebration: Low-cost activities such as get-togethers at home, a movie, or a brunch at a restaurant with a pre-fix menu give your friends some flexibility in how they can demonstrate their love and stay on track with their financial goals. Plus, with smaller groups of friends, you will be able to connect more.
If you need deeper work around healing your relationship with money or overcoming your blocks and fears, maybe it’s time for some money therapy.