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December 31, 2009

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Get violently sick just before you arrive at the indoor skydiving place. Apologize later.

You can also skip the alcohol - or at least drink it very slowly - and stick to singles-only for stripper tips (no lapdances!) to keep overall costs down. :)

Perhaps you could feign illness and just skip the "party"?

Or just tell the truth---you can't go unless someone pays your way. Surely everyone has heard of the economic meltdown by now...shouldn't be too surprising.

1) You can hang with your friends other times--why do you have to go to this particular event? 2) You can always get drunk together and watch porn DVDs in someone's basement other times (or not). And for way less than $300. 3) You'll win points with his fiance if you bail, making your continuing the friendship after his marriage even easier. 4) Why not spend your money for something you and he would really enjoy? Get tickets and take the guy (or both him and his wife) to a major league football/hockey/baseball game.

MC: Does bailing on a friend's bachelor party really win points with his fiance?

To the emailer: Your plan sounds about right.

I would think it would be easier to cut back on the drinking and strip club expense than the skydiving - at least as far as getting flak from your friends. Is it the expense you are concerned with, or are you not that excited about the activity planned?

My personal philosophy is to treat expenses like bachelor parties almost like I do car repairs - I have money set aside for one-time expenses that I can use without messing with my budget or savings plans.

Another thing to think of is your friend (the groom) - he knows you were willing to spend money at this previous bachelor party for real skydiving (more than $90 I'm assuming) - and yet you aren't spending it for his party. Is he the type of person who might take offense to that? The other friends attending the party are periphery - but do take into account how the person who you are celebrating and congratulating through this party will feel.

Just be honest with your friend. Tell him you've already done the real skydiving and the indoor thing will just take away money that you would prefer to use to pay off your dept. Tell him you'll be there to watch everyone else. As for the rest...have a little fun ...a few drinks , Tuck a few dollars. Make a toast and act like your having fun like everyone else even though you skipped the skydive. Whatever you do don't be pressured into spending money you don't want to spend. If that bothers anyone...tell them ....Oh well.

MattJ: I'm trying to imagine a universe where the friend's fiance is really super enthusiastic about her about-to-be-husband boozing it up with strippers and his male friends all night in a hotel on the night before her wedding.

Of course, I can't imagine marrying a man who thought that type of "party" was sooo way cool (or even appropriate for the occasion), either. Nor is my ideal wedding one where the groom shows up smelling like barf, hungover, and nursing a fresh STD.

Wow, I guess I am uncool. Oh well!

MC --

I thought the same thing too. Maybe it's our ages that are showing? ;-)

You could go and be the guy who takes pictures (at the indoor skydiving place, not the strip club...the big guys with muscles as big as my chest don't like that). So that saves you $90 right there. Then you don't HAVE to pay the strippers, only if you're in the front seat or if you get a lap dance. I believe there is a cover charge to get in though. I've only been to a scrip club once and if you hang back but also enjoying the show, I found out you don't have to tip the strippers.

Finally you can volunteer to be the designated driver (if you don't, then please please get one or get a cab) so you have a great excuse not to drink and save even more money. The hotel you'll have to pay up for unless you just don't go. But if he's a good friend, I would want to hang with him and pay for a couple "activities".

In case anyone is wondering, here's what I told him:

Here's what I would do: I'd go skydiving. Reasons:

1. It's a group activity and you're with the group.

2. It's a memory that will last a lifetime. It's probably going to be worth $90.

3. You can save in other areas: how about rooming with someone to save hotel costs, eating/drinking less when you're out, etc.? If nothing else, I think you could save $50 easily by "only" giving him a $100 present.

4. The crap factor. We both know how guys can be...

Ultimately, only you can decide for yourself (is there any sort of danger here -- if so, I'd probably not go for that reason). I commend the fact that you want to pay down your debt, but if you're really committed to it, $90 is not going to break the bank (or save the day -- depending on how you look at it.)

Good luck.

This is in Vegas, yes? We've been to the indoor skydiving place. It's fun, but I don't think I'd want to do it if I had gone skydiving for real. If you don't skydive, you could stand in the viewing area and take photos or video!

Hm. I don't think it's wise to plead penury for that sort of thing. You might never live it down. And it would be too bad to miss an event like this, which is on a different order from getting sh**-faced and watching porn movies in the basement.

If I were a guy, I'd either claim I'd wrenched my back doing something manly (extreme downhill skiing? moving a friend's baby grand piano single-handed?) and so couldn't do the skydiving gig, or I'd just pony up the $90 and quit bellyaching. It's not enough to break you up in business.

I'd cut back on a whole lot more than just the skydiving. I'd go and participate by watching and acting stupid with the others while they booze it up. You don't need alcohol to have a good time, and that'll save a lot of money. Plus probably the friends will be too drunk to remember what you did or didn't do anyway.

lol... I lost it at strippers :)

The funny thing I thought was that this guy is completely serious. People still do this?

Not only does it seem a little low class, but c'mon, is it really appropriate to get lap dances from *other* women the night before your wedding day??? (or any other time? but we won't go there)

Skip the strip club...you fiancee will appreciate it. She might say she's ok with it, but really she's not.

Do the skydiving... much more fun. Better memories to last you much longer.

Just skip it. This is why you should always have some savings on hand, whether you're paying off debt or not - things WILL come up. $90 isn't a lot of money to be freaking out about, so you're in a pretty bad place if $90 matters this much. I suggest just going to the party (not the skydiving), and from now on, set $20-$50 per paycheck aside for things that inevitably will come up (it's called LIFE). I applaud you for being so concerned about debt repayment, however, and hope you're out soon!

Ah man! E-Mailer...don't listen to the women and older folk (28 here). You even suggesting getting booze and watching dvd porn in a dude's basement is just CREEPY and will get you 1000 times more sh!t. Why not suggest a circle jerk while you are at it.

My bach party was NUTS - simply ridiculous over the top, but I had some buddies that just couldn't do some events and that is all they had to say to me/my brother (best man).

No sh!t was given. Nothing.

If you want to give an excuse say you need to save your money to buy some more drinks/lap dances.

OR start pregamming while people are jumping.

P.S. PLEASE, FOR YOUR OWN SAKE, DO NOT SUGGEST DVD PORN IN A DUDE'S BASEMENT.

Tell your buddy you are on a tight budget and see if he spots you for the evening. I would, for a buddy in need.

Evan, you sound pretty crazy. I'm afraid to ask for more details, really.

-Mike

Young people like this man need to rethink what is important for their future.
Is it all about one's IMAGE with your friends or is it about doing what is necessary, which in this economy is paying down one's debt and living within one's means?

My son went through this phase when he was young and foolish. He ignored what was important and spent far too much time and money in Surfing, Power Boats, Starting a Heavy Metal Rock & Roll Band, Sky Diving, Carousing, and finally Car Racing. I called him a LOSER many times during this phase of his life and sure enough he ended up having to declare bankruptcy and make a fresh start in life.

After spending a week, flat on his back in hospital after a back surgery, with time to think, and a visit from one of his contemporaries that had become a successful home builder, he left the hospital a changed man and turned his life around. Now at age 46 he is his company's top salesman, makes about $120K/year, has a wife and a beautiful 10 year old daughter, owns his condo outright, and is very close to a net worth of one million dollars. He is now a son that I am very proud of. Sometimes it takes Tough Love to deal with a son that's only interested in sowing his wild oats.

I'm sure its already been said, honesty is the best policy. A true friend would understand.

I would simply be honest with your buddies and tell em that you're running low on cash & your debts are "piling up". Explain that you can't spend the $90 on fake skydiving cause you wanted to make sure you had the $ for the rest of the bachelor party and the wedding gift.

If your buddies aren't mature enough and you can't handle their 'crap' over it then just go fake skydiving, pay the $90 and cut back $90 anywhere else in your life to make up for it.


I'm assuming cutting back on the strippers & booze isn't an option. I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt that he's not already 'justified' blowing tons of money on booze & strippers while in debt and then draw the budget line on the $90 skydiving which he just doesn't really wanna do.

A weekend in vegas (or anywhere) for a bachelor party is not a cheap thing and it adds up easy. Just hotel, cabs & food could easily hit $150. He may also be expected and previously committed to cover an equal share of the grooms bills for the night.

I have to 2nd Evans advice. The 'need to save money for booze & strip joint' argument is fairly good counter to macho peer pressure to go "fake" skydiving.

MC:

I guess I don't see what the fiance's enthusiam about her husband's pre-marital shenanigans have to do with her future relationship with the buddy who bailed on the party. It's not like the emailer is taking a stand against the idea of strip clubs and carousing - he just doesn't have the money to pay for it right now. So, in your universe, after he bails on the party, how is the fiance going to find out about it? Is he going to announce it to her or something?

For what it's worth, I am the friend who doesn't get invited to nonsense like this, but I wouldn't expect the friends I have who go to stripclubs and get plastered to stay my friends if I tried to ingratiate myself with their fiances / girlfriends / wives by seeking them out and letting them know that I don't approve of their man's (someone who is supposedly my friend) moral choices.

On the flip side, a 'friend' of mine trying to win points with my girlfriend by being critical of me is not a good friend, in my opinion. And a girlfriend who encouraged that kind of underhandedness would creep me out, I think.

Wow where do I start. I'm the emailer.

I guess I'll start with MC:

WOW really?!, skipping the bachelor party all together for a friend I've know since childhood?! I'm sure that would not get me in good with ANYONE. Seeing as how 20 years from now when "remember at my bachelor party" comes up, where will I be? Hanging out with his wife and her gf's saying thank god I didnt go to that huh? I mean really, I won't even address the porn in a basement thing, that's just absurd even if it is an exaggeration to make a point. Which I don't think it is.

My main concern here was justifying paying for INDOOR skydiving, when I have already done REAL skydiving. Kinda like paying to go on a swing after you've done bunjee jumping. In my eyes it is wasteful, which is where my dilemma came from.

As an FYI to XoXo and Old Limey
And anyone else, I AM prepared for life and am working off paying my debt if you read the paragraph prior to this you will see the real dilemma. Why would I have even wrote the email to begin with if I were a LOSER?, as you so easily called your own son. I happen to be in a decent position, I have a great,steady job, my own house, a school loan and just $2,000 in credit card debt to pay off.However I just feel like paying for something very similiar to what I have already done is wasteful.

As Jim Said (Thanks for your support):

What some people seem to be forgetting here, unless maybe it's a rule amongst my own group of friends, is the people attending the bachelor party pay for EVERYTHING, the Bachelor essentially does not pay for a single thing. That is where most of my money will go. Not towards my own boozing or lap dances or what have you.

As for the rest of everyone, which appears to be older women (forgive me if I'm wrong but I think it was indicated in at least one post):

Not to be a jerk, but strip clubs exist, deal with it. I'm not looking to get into a debate over whether they are justified or not. And for the record I just assumed, as I'm sure 95% of guys do that it would be part of the Bachelor party. For all I know it might not be even part of the planned activities.

Also for Jackie:

Just because alcohol will be involved doesn't mean anyone feels its REQUIRED or even needed to have a good time. Or for that matter that, it also doesn't mean I plan to get trashed out of my mind. I happen to be a very responsible drinker, and in case you were wondering I have no criminal record and would never drink and drive (especially after two of my VERY close friends were killed by a repeat drunk driver).

But I digress, I understand there are critics for everything, and some people think an ideal bachelor party would be sitting around a table discussing politics and the bible. To each his or her own.

Thank you for all your comments, it's greatly appreciated.

For the record:
Since I have the money, and it will be a new experience, AND since the ultimate idea is to celebrate with a friend, although I have already done the REAL skydiving. I have decided to participate in the Indoor skydiving. I don't NEED to save the $90, it's just that I would rather put it towards debt.

Matt J I agree with you wholeheartedly. Who wants their friends saddling up to their fiance's saying they dissaprove.

FMF
Please no more posts like this one.

Emailer, you are a loser (or worse a troll).
Don't ask for advice on a financial blog and be surprised that folks don't give you the answer you want. Grow up. If you had a life you would not have posted this qx. Next time go to Ann Landers.

It is obvious you knew what you wanted to do but were looking for validation. You say in your last sentence you have the money. So why the need to ask? How you party and spend your money is nobodies business but yours--until you ask for advice. Have a good time anyway.

BillV

I don't think FMF could have known ahead of time that Rob was going to reject frugal advice. Given that, I'm not sure how he can avoid 'posts like this one'.

Actually BillV I didn't know what I wanted to do, people's advice here and people I know actually helped. I'm going to venture a guess that the blogger here at FMF actually likes helping people. As far as being suprised at anyones answer, I really wasn't with the exception of the outlandish porn in the basement thing. As far as why the need to ask? People don't get rich by spending money just because they have it, it's called spending wisely and considering every purchase. I think that's a pretty well known fact, as evidenced by the post here and on financial blogs and magazines everywhere.

But thanks for your input as well.

Forgive me if it seems as though I'm rejecting frugal advice I don't intend to. I actually felt FMF had a point in that it is a new experience, and $90 won't break the bank if I'm comitted to paying down debt, which I am.

MattJ
Perhaps MattJ perhaps. There have been a couple recently that that poster needs a different kind of advice then can be found here. (EG the man in family business for 20 years and now thinks he wasted all that time)

Now, when I start my blog things will be different! More perfect! >

Happy New Year to all.
See you next year. Thanks FMF.

great fun IF you got $300 and NO debts, otherwise go say "hi", have a few and skip the diving, hotel, et all, ....seems we had just as much fun for $10-$20 not 25 years ago! Seems a little childish behavior to get married :)

I am in my 20s and got married a couple of years ago. I did not go to a strip club for my bachelor party and none of the bachelor parties I have been to involved strip clubs. Drinking, yes.

As far as the money goes, you have already made up your mind so you don't need my two cents on that.

Just wanted to let you know that I don't think 95% of all guys go to strip clubs.

FMF - I love the blog and specifically enjoy when you post interesting reader questions and then reading the respective advice that some of the readers give.

For Rob the emailer - I am a 30 year old male and have been to several bachelor parties in the past (yes, including ones where we went to a strip club). Since it seems as though you have already made up your mind on the situation from a financial perspective, allow me to comment from the perspective of a Christian male - even though this isn't the focus of your questioning. As for the statistics: about 80% of Americans consider themselves Christian, and no, 95% of guys don't assume a strip joint is going to have to happen during a bachelor party, and 0% (if they are intellectually honest) of Christian males could possibly believe that attending/frequenting a strip club falls anywhere near the teachings of Christ (during a bachelor party or not). Why do I say this? Because I was challenged on this exact point by an older and wiser individual than myself about four years ago (and am therefore returning the "favor" to you). If you are not a Christian, than that is fine, however I still recommend against frequenting strip clubs. You can always call the best man and find out what the actual itinerary is for the party instead of assuming that it is included in the festivities as well.
One could argue that there are many things that would go against the teachings of Christ or the bible that Christians do every day (deception, greed, envy, etc) however, not many more things could be as black and white as going to a strip club. There is no silver lining where one would be able to say, "yeah I was deceiving someone so as not to hurt their feelings" etc when it comes to strip clubs. There is no "upside" or justification that I can see.
Like you said, this point wasn't the intent of your questioning and I understand that, but being that this is a Christian blog, if you are a Christian then I think it important to mention this fact to allow you to reflect and try to make the correct decision and stand out as someone with morals and principles even in the face of the peer pressure you will undoubtedly receive from your friends.
Good luck.

Travis D:
According to "About FMF" this blog is primarily a Free discussion of Money and Finance, hence FMF.
As far as I know it isn't a Christian blog even though there is always a Sunday topic that does discuss issues where Religion and Money are connected.

As for Strip Clubs it's been almost 50 years since I have been in one. They must have changed a lot since then. Fifty years ago the clientele was mainly comprised of married couples, and the performers were highly talented and beautifully costumed dancers that did eventually remove about 99% of their clothes but there was no physical contact with the members of the audience whatsoever. If you need more information than that just do an internet search on Carol Doda or Tempest Storm. It was a popular night on the town in the 60's for married couples living near San Francisco (in what is now Silicon Valley) to get a baby sitter and visit several clubs in North Beach and China Town. One of the most popular clubs used to be Finocchio's, some of their dancers and singers were really gorgeous except they happened to also be female impersonators.

Shut up and live a little you whiner!!

BillV summed it up nicely.

Old Limey,

You are correct. I stated incorrectly that is is a Christian Blog. It is a finance blog (free of course) that also takes into account Christian principles in regards to finance based on FMF's beliefs. Being that Rob the emailer had already seemed to make his decision in regards to the financial ramifications of the bachelor party, I decided to weigh in on the unpopular subject that is non-finance related. And yes, strip clubs have changed drastically from your description. You wouldn't want your daughter (or any friend's daughter, or anyone really) to ever have to work in one.

pay off the debt, your friends won't.

when you have goals, you have to stop caring
what other people think.

what is your goal?
evaluate each activity by asking if it will
take you closer to your goal or farther from it?
closer, do it,
farther, do not do it

Maybe a contrarian view - with all the other expenses, if another $90 is make or break for you, then maybe you should not go at all. If you are already spending $300-$500 between weekend and wedding gift and such and another $90 is such a problem, then skip the whole thing because you cannot afford the first bit. If you are as financially sound as you claim in your posted response, then who cares about another $90?

Hi Rob, thanks for clarifying!

Yes indeed, I am an "older" woman--I guess that makes me irrelevant for giving advice to your hot young self, but you did ask in general terms, you know. Next time maybe you can specify the type of people you want advice from?

I don't have anything against strip clubs, but all I was doing was pointing out that they are a notorious waste of money if all you want is to spend some special time with your friends and honor the guy getting married.

But if, like you say, it's something you've never done before (especially if you've never seen a woman naked before), by all means I agree you should probably not miss the opportunity! Who knows when you'll get another chance? And yes, I do agree that in 20 years you will probably still be all sitting around and reminiscing about "that one time we went to the strip club".

Happy new year!

MC - I am a middle aged woman, and I agree with you. Could it be our age?

I don't have anything against strip clubs. But I do believe that friends should be considerate of their friends. One of the aspects of being considerate about others is caring about their financial situation and not putting them into position where they would have to spend more money than they may be able to afford. An example: when a daughter of a friend of mine got married she decided not to have bridesmaids. Why? Because she was in no position to pay for bridesmaids' dresses and she didn't want to put her friends into position where they would have to spend money on a dress they'd never were. She said "I don't want to do this to my friends. I know they are students, have no money and student debt. I don't want to put them into position where they'd have to spend more money than they could afford. I was put into this position myself, and I don't want to do it to others". This is a true friend. But if Rob's friends decided on spending money without caring if everyone in the party can or cannot afford it, I don't think much of these friends.

Rob says he is in good financial position and can waste - oops, I mean spend - all this money, than how come he has $2000 in credit card debt that he needs to "work to pay off"? People in good financial situation who have money for $300 parties and are wondering about spending $90 on skydiving, can easily pay $2000 with a single check.

But whatever. If Rob thinks he can afford it, why ask about it?

Find another area to save $90 a month. Then go and enjoy yourself. There's always a place to cut spending. This, of course, takes self-control.

MC
Ouch. Some of the best sarcasm I have read in along time. Yes I believe Rob really will still be talking about " the night at the strip club" in 20 years.

I'll try to stay on your good side. ;-}

MC: Nice one!

Especially when you think of the classy strip joint you can visit in Vegas for $100 or so.

MC: yes, just wanted to join the other commenters -- this was great.

I saw indoor skydiving as the activity to spend the money on since it would be a fun way to celebrate...I'd skip the strip club. It's a waste of money. My husband is 26 and hasn't been to a strip club. He hasn't wanted to go (he's cheap too). Somehow he has survived.

For the record we didn't even go to a stip club, as I said previously I just assumed, admitedly, obviously wrongfully assumed, that it would be part of it. However some of the comments seem to have taken off on that, however irrelevant part, of the general finance question, in this financial blog.

I will not even address the comments about enjoying a strip club experience for the next 20 years etc etc, because this IS a financial blog and no need to get into irrelevant pissing matches, but hey if that's what makes you feel better about yourself...

Most people were commenting on the financial aspects of strip clubs like it being an unnecessary expense that would cost more than the $90 indoor skydiving...seems relevant in a financial blog.

I was surprised that you even asked a financial question about less than $300 and then followed it up that it wasn't that big of a deal...why ask if it isn't that serious of a question to you? Why act surprised when everyone answers with their own opinions in a blog?

Anyway, hope the indoor skydiving was fun...I thought it sounded pretty awesome. A great thrill with less risk of death. :-)

Rob,
for the record did you do the skydiving event? Did everyone have a good time?
And remember, you only got comments on items you yourself posted. Happy New Year.

I did do the indoor skydiving, and it was incredibly fun, I highly recommend it to anyone. It's a whole different animal believe it or not, compared to real skydiving. It was best described by my friend as follows (if it makes sense to you), skydiving is falling, indoor skydiving is learning how to fly (basically how to orient yourself when skydiving).

The money was a big deal to me, for the life of me I can't figure where people are getting the idea that it wasn't or that I didn't like the comments receieved. If the money wasn't a big deal to me I wouldnt have asked the question to begin with.I have said more then once I appreciate all the input. It was more then a $300 question, overall it was a $450 question. Anyway I attempted to play it as conservative as possible and came out of it spending $260 including skydiving, lunch, dinner, hotel, cab fare, and drinks at the bar at the end of the night. So essentially I spent $170 not counting the skydiving if that figure matters to anyone. I think that's not a bad bang for my buck. It would have been cheaper had I not given up at fighting against splitting the lunch bill 12 ways when I only had 1 beer and an order of wings, as opposed to shots, about 5 beers each, and lunches, for everyone else. I combatted this at dinner by ordering Filet Mignon =P though I still think others made out better in splitting dinner then I did, not that I'm bitter.

Again, i did appreciate everyones advice, and those that actually addressed my question were considered. In the end I figured it was a) a life experience I would probably enjoy (and did) and b.) a good time to enjoy with my friends and c.) I could attempt to cut costs elsewhere, which I did a decent job of,though, admittedly could have done a little better at.

P.S

Overall I made a much greater impression on my friends then did the one that didn't come due to financial reasons (whom we all, including myself offered to pitch in for)and still declined. But that's another argument all together.

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