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AIBU to be tired of paying for other people's parties

(97 Posts)
WorkingBling Tue 03-Nov-15 11:24:42

I don't mind forking out for dinner or a few drinks at a birthday celebration. Not everyone can afford a huge party laid on for all their friends. But, I am so tired of having to fork out a lot of money for things I'd never normally do to spend time with people I'd never normally spend time with. Simply because it's a "big" birthday.

I'm currently being asked to spend over £50 on something I'd never do usually. It's for a friend's birthday. I like her a lot, but she's a "couple" friend if you know what I mean - her DH and mine are old friends and we do couple stuff together rather than her and I meeting up one on one. But for her birthday she's just having women.

AIBU to say politely that no, I won't be attending? I don't understand why she doesn't choose something cheaper if she's going to make everyone pay. Or at least pay a piece of it for her guests. And believe me, her and her DH can afford it...

TheSpottedZebra Tue 03-Nov-15 11:27:29

Just have a prior engagement and politely decline?

CocktailQueen Tue 03-Nov-15 11:29:41

Just politely decline. It does sound odd bonkers

WorkingBling Tue 03-Nov-15 11:30:08

Yes, I would never say I'm not attending because I don't want to pay. I just wish that people would either do things that most of us would happily do anyway so don't mind paying for, or cut back on the expensive exciting events just because they like them and then expect the rest of us to pick up the cost.

Enjolrass Tue 03-Nov-15 11:34:53

Tbh I don't get adults who have big birthdays. Especially when it's every year (as someone I know does).

Yanbu. I rarely go out with dh just us. Because we can't afford it because someone's birthday is coming up.

I have said no to a few leading up to Christmas. I can afford it but don't want to cut down other plans. Which is what I would have to do.

JennyOnAPlate Tue 03-Nov-15 11:35:29

I completely agree with you and I would decline.

AwakeCantSleep Tue 03-Nov-15 11:37:24

YANBU. It's very similar to the other thread about an expensive birthday meal, except in this case you know about the cost beforehand.

I'd decline, but I'd be either open about the reason (stupid activity, high cost) or I'd give a very generic reply like "I'm sorry but I can't make it, hope you have a great time" or something (I hate lying).

IMO, people like that need to be told they are out of order.

flyhigh Tue 03-Nov-15 11:41:39

We got invited to an engagement party the other week and were asked to supply a plate of food!!

KoalaDownUnder Tue 03-Nov-15 11:42:07


If people can't afford to pay for their guests to do something expensive, they should plan something more simple.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Tue 03-Nov-15 11:50:54

There's absolutely no obligation for you to go. It's an invitation not a summons as the saying goes.

Therefore yabu. She and everyone else can plan what they like and you can opt in or out as you see fit.

The only exception to this is where the plan is unclear at the time of booking. Cash bars at weddings, being expected to stump up for the birthday girl with no prior discussion etc. etc.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Tue 03-Nov-15 11:51:18

Accepting not booking.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Tue 03-Nov-15 11:52:24

We got invited to an engagement party the other week and were asked to supply a plate of food!!

And? That's something I would happily do for a friend. And if they weren't a friend I wouldn't be going.

TheDoor1 Tue 03-Nov-15 11:55:56

YANBU. A not very close work friend of mine invited me to her hen weekend and costs just spiralled ... we had to pay for a champagne tasting day ... then fork out for a meal with wine ... and then pay to stay over in a hotel or get a train home from London on our own after 11pm. I nearly cried when I added up the expense (for not a very good time, to be truthful). I did get the offer of a free lift home in the morning from one of the girls I didn't know, but then I had to stay and have breakfast 'out' to wait for her to take me home.
And of course we still had to buy Wedding presents, pay for taxis, babysitters etc. on the day.
Lesson learned the hard way for me -- I'd make up a kind excuse not to go, and perhaps offer to meet up for a couple of drinks at some point.
I do wish now I'd joined the party just for meal and left earlier. Is this an option for you?

Floggingmolly Tue 03-Nov-15 11:57:52

It depends on the party, Moving. In general, I'd never dream of throwing a party I couldn't fully finance myself. There's more to hosting than just providing the venue and then getting the guests to cater the event themselves...

Shoxfordian Tue 03-Nov-15 11:59:46

If you can't afford to go then you should tell her that. You are being unreasonable complaining about paying for it or that she should choose something cheaper; it's her celebration so it's her choice.

If you're not very close friends then she'll probably understand.

WorkingBling Tue 03-Nov-15 12:02:14

I think Flogging, that's what it comes down to. I personally wouldn't throw a party that I couldn't pay for. For a casual low key birthday, I might go for dinner and expect people to pay for themselves but I would always contribute something - usually wine - and I'd have no problem with people saying no. I felt terrible last year because I didn't realise that SIL didn't realise that the place we went to was quite pricy so she was shocked and upset when the bill came. I was mortified to have put her through that.

But for big parties - the kind people feel obliged to turn up for - I think you should pay. Or at least pay enough that the guests don't have to fork out a lot. I'm going to a 40th in a few weeks down the local pub. I have no idea if the hosts are paying for drinks or not but I suspect they'll put a few bottles of wine on and then it will be cash. I'm okay with that because paying for a few drinks down the pub is kind of what I'd do anyway.

Jux Tue 03-Nov-15 12:03:02

I think it's fine to mark a 'big birthday' with an expensive meal out, or whatever, within the family. But if you want a load of mates as well, then you host.

TinklyLittleLaugh Tue 03-Nov-15 12:05:42

Supplying a plate of food is a lot cheaper than going out to dinner. Personally I quite enjoy that sort of do; everyone gets a bit competitive and the food is great.

Abraid2 Tue 03-Nov-15 12:09:41

I only ever ask people out for a special meal if I am paying.

Viviennemary Tue 03-Nov-15 12:10:08

I think I'd be honest and say I really can't afford that kind of money at the present time. Or she might think you just don't want to go. It is a bit thoughtless of people to arrange this kind of expensive party and not give any consideration that folk might not be able to or even want to lay out large amounts to go to places they don't even particularly want to go to. Just politely refuse. If people want a get together with a large number of friends then they host a party. They don't ask lots of people to an expensive restaurant and expect everyone to pay for themselves. Especially with invitations. That's reallly crass.

spondulix Tue 03-Nov-15 12:12:24

We got invited to an engagement party the other week and were asked to supply a plate of food!!

Totally normal in my world!

MinesAPintOfTea Tue 03-Nov-15 12:13:14

I like the "plate of food" idea, because it acknowledges that funds are limited for all people involved.

ChopOrNot Tue 03-Nov-15 12:15:12

So it is OK for you to thing "For a casual low key birthday, I might go for dinner and expect people to pay for themselves but I would always contribute something - usually wine - and I'd have no problem with people saying no."

But for your friend to invite you to something - invite as pp said not issue a summons - and be totally upfront about the costs unlike you with your poor SIL it is not OK.

YABU. Just say no thank you.

SitsOnFence Tue 03-Nov-15 12:16:07

I'd probably say something along the lines of thank you so much for thinking of me, but unfortunately I've already committed to a rather expensive couple of months so I am going to have to decline

WorkingBling Tue 03-Nov-15 12:23:47

Chop - i have no problem declining if I have to. And I probably will. As I have said.

The difference between this event and a "normal" one is that I don't think people feel obliged to turn up for a random evening in the same way they do for a 50th birthday or similar.

But having said that, I think this is definitely just one of those things that there are as many opinions as there are people. Some people think it's fine, others wouldn't dream of hosting a party without paying. Different strokes and all that. which I accept.

Plus DH just made a valid point earlier that her DH is a bit odd on money and he earns all of it. It's entirely possible he doesn't consider this a legitimate household expense and that therefore she simply can't pay for anything.

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