Birthday Expense for Food

by Danita
(St. Paul, MN)

My husband is turning 50 in a couple of weeks. We simply cannot afford much of a party. We would like to have dinner at his favorite restaurant with the family and a handful of close friends.

We can't afford to pay for everyone's dinner and I know the family will pay for their own. Is it monumentally tacky to ask guests to pay for their dinner?

If not, how do we address that issue on the invitations? Your quick response is greatly appreciated.

Linda

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Amanda's Reply:

Hi! That’s a great question, and there is a lot of talk around about the topic – many tend to think it is tacky or rude. But it is definitely not! Most people understand that not everyone has a money tree (okay, most of us don’t but I would like to know where to buy one I can plant!). This being with your family and close friends they will be even more understanding of the situation. In today’s economics it is even more common for people to be in financially tight situations and almost everyone would understand that you cannot pay for everyone.

To be able to address this topic:

Instead of creating invitations and making it formal, you can always just give causal phone calls and just let the guests know what you want to do. Let them know the average cost per person, and don't pressure them to have to come. Just leave it with a "Give me a shout if you can join us". This way for those who cannot themselves afford to go, they can decline and not feel uncomfortable. This is a no pressure casual way of setting things up.

Hopefully your favorite restaurant is not an expensive one. It's harder to ask people to pay if it’s a very expensive place.

If you do have some friends that want to attend but are tight themselves on cash, maybe something that you can do is see if the restaurant has some sort of discount if there is a large number in your reservation. Some restaurants may offer for a group of 20 you get a percentage off – never hurts to ask!

Hope the party goes well, let us know!!!

Happy Birthday to him!

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