Thursday, April 3, 2014

Averting a Crisis...

Perhaps I'm being a bit dramatic, but I need your help. I've committed to paying my credit cards down, but then... my birthday is coming up. And then my best friend is having a baby... and then these summer trips are poppin and then...

Well, let's just deal with the first thing. I found the most absolutely PERFECT place to have my birthday party in Pittsburgh. It's chic and posh and fabulous and no one who I'm inviting has ever been there. SCORE! It's also expensive, hard to find parking and has a dress code and guest list limit. Minor details.

So I'm picking the place because I like it and because it's how I like to party. But my guests are basically going to have to foot the bill (20% gratuity on everything they order) and I'll pay the balance. Everyone here is always on a budget, so I have a feeling that people are going to complain about the higher price point of the drinks AND the 20% gratuity.

The way I think about parties (and life) is that it's all about the experience. So I'm thinking I may just want to pay the entire bill to make people have a better experience on my birthday. If you had a budget and then were surprised by a 20% gratuity (instead of 15%)  that could ruin your experience.

Here's the thing. I cannot pay for this party AND pay my student loans down and keep money in my savings. I would, for the first time in three months, be getting off of my plan to pay my student loans down rapidly.

But... the appeal of throwing the perfect, free party is SO alluring. But is it worth it?

Also, my savings is supposed to be for emergencies. Turning 31 and making people happy on my birthday is NOT an emergency.

When I was paying down my credit cards it was all about forming good habits and sacrifice. And even better example of forming good habits is when I decided paying my tithes was nonnegotiable. At one point anytime I wanted/needed more money, I would take it from my tithes first. Today, that's not even an option for me. What has become an option though, is considering not paying down my student loans in order to do other fun things with the money.

And this last point, perhaps, may be the biggest thing. I have to convince myself that people who come out of the house to party are responsible for their own decisions including how much they eat and drink and how much it costs. People are responsible for their own happiness and I cannot manufacture a good time. (I mean, I CAN manufacture a good time, but maybe I can't CONTROL who has a good time and who doesn't.)

And then finally, I have to convince myself that I'm worth celebrating. Like, I know this. I CLEARLY think my birthday is a very big deal and do it up every year. However, here I find myself feeling like I have to pay for other people to help me celebrate, which is just crazy.

Who wants to give me a pep talk and remind me about compound interest and remind me that good habits have rewards?

Anyone? 

1 comment:

Ishea said...

Tomorrow isn't promised and if you would like to take a moment out of your hard work and dedication of savings to celebrate yourself and those around you, I saw go for it! People will always find something to complain about. Always.

You're planning your birthday party and it's honestly not your responsibility to ensure everyone doesn't spazz on the 5% increase in gratuity. Will they be annoyed? Probably... but will they live? Yes!

There are ample work arounds if you're truly concerned folks won't be able to turn up for fear of paying that bill... you could take a portion of your funds and host a cocktail hour/pre-game at your place... or somewhere else... then rent a bus (for a nominal fee) and have everyone bused over to the location...

OR...

You can tell everyone (all working adults) that this is 1 day out of the year and give them a heads up re: the cost, etc. Allow them to plan accordingly.

It's dope that you care about all of the details. You also need to allow yourself to celebrate turning 31!!