If you’ve ever hosted a party, you’ll know that it can be quite a pricey affair. The food, decor, entertainment – it all adds up and when the guests leave, you’re left with an almighty mess and a massive bill.

So I don’t exactly blame this mum for considering passing the buck, quite literally, when planning a party for her hubby.

The woman shared her dilemma on Mumsnet, hoping to get some support for her idea. She explained that her husband would soon be celebrating a milestone birthday.

Passing On The Cost

“He has asked me to plan something as a surprise. I have some ideas for activities, but the cost is roughly $60 per person,” she said.

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She was wondering whether it would be reasonable to ask the guests to pay $60 each to join in the birthday fun.

“Is it OK to invite people and tell them they have to pay for themselves or should I pay for everyone?” she asked.

“I want to invite 10 people,” she added.

Yes Or No?

The clearly controversial post sparked a huge debate, with readers expressing their differing views.

Some were in full support of the pay-your-own-way proposal.

“I think it’s fine. Just make sure you tell people so they can budget,” one suggested.

“I think it’s completely fine to ask people to pay if it’s an activity etc, I’d be happy with that for a friends birthday, I wouldn’t expect to have a ticket paid for me,” added another.

It Depends….

Others said that it very much depends on the situation.

“I think it depends. If it’s a party and you want them to cover food and drink that’s a bit off. However, if I received a text from a friend ‘it’s DH’s birthday I thought we could all go paintballing, it will be $60 each’ I wouldn’t think twice about paying.”

Another contributed: “Generally speaking I think it’s better to do what you can afford than asking people to pay (aside from pay bar at a party or something) but only you know your friends.”


Many thought that it was downright “rude” to put guests in this awkward situation and expect them to pay for a birthday party they may not want to even attend.

“You can’t invite people and ask them to pay!!!” one said.

The poster later added that she was definitely looking at planning an activity for the birthday celebration. She wrote: “I should have been clearer in my title. It is an activity. I’m not thinking of charging entry into my house for a party.”

Have you charged guests to attend a birthday party you have planned Would you? Could you? Tell us in the comments below.

  • No not a fan of charging people. If you can’t afford the party then maybe look at another celebration option that is more cost effective for you.


  • I don’t really like the idea, but I suppose if she were having the event at a restaurant or something people often expect guests to chip in for food and drink for something like that. It depends a bit how it’s phrased- could come across as tacky if you weren’t careful.


  • I would have zero problems being asked to pay for an activity like paintball. That’s not a party that’s just celebrating a birthday found simeyjng fun with friends.


  • Perhaps you could provide some food and drink after the Hot Air Balloon ride. In the invitation perhaps put something like. We would like to save you the hassel of trying to selct a present so instead of presents it would be great if you coulf make a small con tribution to the Hot air balloon ride that I am planning”


  • If it’s an activity of some kind, you could suggest making a donation toward the cost in lieu of presents …..


  • I’ve been to a party where someone has organised a wine tasting bus and lunch and paid for it, i was shocked at their generosity and would have liked to have contributed. I’ve also been to parties where you know up front you are paying for an event and that doesn’t matter as long as it isn’t too expensive.


  • If it’s money instead of a gift then I think that’s okay.


  • I haven’t planned such an event but I’ve been invited to an activity party at a cost. I’m wondering if the poster intends to provide food and drinks after the event or if everyone just goes home. Not really my idea of a party.


  • I think it’s ok for an activity if you do like a group messenger and let people know in advance. I would happily pay for an activity for a friends party. Depends on your friends financial position as well though.


  • Definitely a no imagine the headache of collecting money its like asking guests to pay for wedding


  • When I would consider about asking money for a party I think I would ask those I plan to invite in advance if this is something they’re open for.


  • Well, as many have said, there’s no real right or wrong here. Depends on the situation.


  • I guess it all depends on your friends and how you word it.
    My husband is having a milestone birthday and wants to go for a hot air balloon ride. They are very expensive. I want to have a celebration for him. When I invite guests I will say please no presents (but as people ALWAYS give one I will add) he would love to go on a hot air balloon ride so if you feel the need to give something, make a small contribution towards that!
    I guess it’s different as it’s not going to be for the guests nor is it going to be an upfront out of pocket expense for us. But maybe the poster can pay for the event and say no presents please however, if you want to give something I will have a jar for money (or similar) where you can recoup some of the expenses of the activity. Depending on your friends and the milestone some might gift $100 each

    • That’s a good way to do it Forgetful Mumma


  • I think its fine if you’re upfront about the activity and cost so people can make their own decision on attending. As long as its not to cover food and drink!


  • Oh wow, that is a bit rude.


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