Author Topic: Paid off the House Party--socially acceptable?  (Read 16806 times)

BikesAreTheAnswer

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Paid off the House Party--socially acceptable?
« on: May 30, 2012, 10:06:24 PM »
My wife and I are about one month away from paying off our house (30 year note in 3 years!) and I am very excited.  From my perspective, it seems like a great reason to celebrate.  And I think every celebration is better with friends and neighbors.  But if we reveal the reason for the revelry, I fear that it would be perceived as pretentious by potential party-goers.

So here's the question--should we just have the party and hide the reason?  Or is there some particular way to throw the party that could acknowledge the occasion but not offend our friends?  I'll admit to a disregard for social taboos and secrecy, so I'm hoping my fellow Mustachians can come up with a way to allow us to throw this party and to show what Muchachian living can accomplish. 

One entertaining idea came from a conversation with a friend.  He quipped that instead of guests bringing gifts (like at a housewarming party), the etiquette for a "houseowning party" should reverse--i.e., the host should give gifts to the guests.  This led to our establishing the "mortgage rule", which states that in order for a houseowning party to be socially acceptable, the host had to spend one month's mortgage payment on the party.  This seemed like a decent rule of thumb, because with nice wine in their bellies and gift cards in their pockets, the guests would feel reason to celebrate along with the hosts.  Plus it highlights the generosity that financial freedom enables. 

But is celebrating extravagantly a proper and fitting celebration for the accomplishments of frugal living?  I'm torn, so I want to hear the thoughts of my fellow Mustachians.  Is a houseowning party socially acceptable?  Have any of you already thrown your own houseowning party?  How did it turn out?

Will

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Re: Paid off the House Party--socially acceptable?
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2012, 10:19:16 PM »
As someone that lives frighteningly close to Oregon (and I work there), and since you are giving gifts to the attendees, I'd say I am all for it (if I get invited).

Seriously though, you have something amazing to celebrate, so I would say go for it!  Those who truly are your friends will be happy for you, and those who would be offended: fuck them!

arebelspy

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Re: Paid off the House Party--socially acceptable?
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2012, 10:37:31 PM »
Previous discussion on this topic (student loan or mortgage payoff parties/Facebook posts) here: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/welcome-to-the-forum/is-it-celebrating-or-bragging/
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AJ

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Re: Paid off the House Party--socially acceptable?
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2012, 10:54:53 PM »
I think that's a great way to make the party more palatable, but you may still run into the post-party social issues (see other link for details). Also, as a fellow Oregonian,  I am expecting an invite ;)

Bethany J

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Re: Paid off the House Party--socially acceptable?
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2012, 06:46:53 AM »
My husband and I discussed this when we paid off our mortgage a few months ago. We thought it would be nice to celebrate a great accomplishment with friends and who doesn't like a fun party, but we decided against it. None of our friends are in the same situation (we are 33 and 41) and it felt too much like rubbing it in their faces. Actually, we haven't even told anyone except for our parents. To me, it's kind of like, would I want to go to a party celebrating someone loosing 100 pounds if I was 50 pounds overweight myself?

darkelenchus

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Re: Paid off the House Party--socially acceptable?
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2012, 07:08:22 AM »
Seriously though, you have something amazing to celebrate, so I would say go for it!  Those who truly are your friends will be happy for you, and those who would be offended: fuck them!

Seconded. Haters gonna hate.

Norman Johnson

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Re: Paid off the House Party--socially acceptable?
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2012, 07:33:16 AM »
We paid off our house last year and we didn't really tell anyone except when it came up in conversation. We aren't embarrassed, but with everyone shitting kittens about credit cards and jobs, I didn't think it was a good idea to scream it from the rooftops.

I'm sad that I can't tell everyone and celebrate with people because I think it's a big accomplishment to be out of debt at 30. So I post here and celebrate with the MMMers.

skyrefuge

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Re: Paid off the House Party--socially acceptable?
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2012, 07:41:55 AM »
I was on the "sure, what the heck?/lead-by-example" side (probably putting me in the minority) in the last thread, though I would say that actually handing out gift cards sounds like it would be a step too far...even if your friends aren't the resentful type, explicitly pointing out your awesomeness by actually handing out money to them could seem extremely patronizing ("here, we don't need this money because we're so awesome, but know *you* could use it...")  I also think that a celebration should be proportional to the struggle/effort you went through, and paying off a mortgage in 3 years doesn't sound like an epic struggle worthy of a big blowout.

But I also had a new idea.  If you're concerned that your friends might be resentful, just make sure you also invite a couple of the more mathematically-oriented guys from the forum here.  When giving a toast, they'll point out how paying off your mortgage 27 years early was actually a pretty dumb thing to do financially in this environment.  That will make your friends feel a lot better (though I'm not sure what it would do for you!)  :-)

BikesAreTheAnswer

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Re: Paid off the House Party--socially acceptable?
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2012, 07:53:12 AM »
Thanks for the heads-up on the previous post, arebelspy.  I'll head over there and read up on the old discussion.

I think your point about the gift cards is reasonable, skyrefuge.  My friend and I talked about gift cards only because I have so little experience with extravagance that I might have trouble finding ways to spend the entire amount on just food/drink.  Or because I might end up feeling wasteful ("why am I buying $80 cheese when I know the $10 stuff is just as good?"), so at least with an Amazon gift card, I know that my generosity would find its way to a good use.

Sounds like a mixed bag thus far in our discussion.  I'm entertained by all the Oregon Mustachians inviting themselves to the party!  In fact, this post seems to have been more successful at soliciting a Mustachian Meetup than my purpose-built one over in the Social Events section! http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/meetups-and-social-events/willamette-valley-mustachians-(oregon)
« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 07:57:45 AM by BikesAreTheAnswer »

Will

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Re: Paid off the House Party--socially acceptable?
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2012, 09:18:38 AM »
In fact, this post seems to have been more successful at soliciting a Mustachian Meetup than my purpose-built one over in the Social Events section! http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/meetups-and-social-events/willamette-valley-mustachians-(oregon)

Hey now!  I posted over there a few days ago! 

Here's an idea:  you want to have a party, so how about you make it more like a "fundraiser" for charity?  Have a game of some sort set up  (like bingo or something) and for a small donation, people get to play for fabulous prizes (provided by you, but nobody needs to know that) and some money can go to a local charity/food bank/whatever.  Its win/win/win!

menorman

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Re: Paid off the House Party--socially acceptable?
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2012, 09:20:33 AM »
If you want to celebrate with a party, then have a party, just don't really give a reason. People have parties "just because" all the time, and no one gets mad. Alternatively, you could couple it with a holiday to further legitimize it to the attendees. Of course, it also seems like a fair number of Mustachians are interested in attending, so you could just invite only Mustachians so you don't have to hide the reason.

Mrs MM

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Re: Paid off the House Party--socially acceptable?
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2012, 10:06:50 AM »
Great question!  When we paid off our mortgage, we had a little family party - basically we had some wine with dinner that night and talked about how awesome we were.  ;)

I'd say that having a party is great and depending on who your friends are, you could disclose why.  But, I would definitely skip the gift cards and whatnot.  I would just tell people to bring themselves and you'll provide everything else. 

If you wanted to mention the mortgage payoff, I'd just mention it casually in the invite and if people want to talk about it at the party, then you can talk about it.  But, I'd keep the mortgage thing kind of low key...  or say something like: "we've been working super hard to pay off our mortgage and finally made the last payment on Friday, so we thought it would be fun to celebrate this milestone with a party!  We'll provide everything, just bring yourselves."  Or something like that.

Anyway, congratulations!!  That is an awesome accomplishment.  I can't believe how many folks on this forum have a paid off house.  Pretty incredible stuff.  And, you can celebrate with us virtually anytime!  :)

AmbystomaOpacum

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Re: Paid off the House Party--socially acceptable?
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2012, 10:36:41 AM »
Think about it this way: Would you throw a reached-my-weight-loss-goal party and invite overweight friends?

I say throw a party, but make it generic (call it a "Summer Party").

Ultimately the goal is for you to celebrate. You can do that whether anyone knows why you're celebrating or not. Later on, you can tell your closer friends (those you know will be happy for you and celebrate with you).

On the subject of gift cards, I think it's a strange idea. I would feel extremely awkward about receiving anything of more than nominal value at a party of any kind.

On the subject of spending a whole mortgage payment, if it doesn't make sense to do so, don't. Guests expecting a casual get-together will just be overwhelmed by extravagance. For me at least, if I go to a casual-type party and get served 20-year old French wine, I'm going to be scared to drink it. Give me a burger and good beer, and I'll feel at ease and well-taken-care-of.

Also, Miss Manners has covered the issue:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/10/AR2010091005903.html
« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 10:42:09 AM by AmbystomaOpacum »

darkelenchus

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Re: Paid off the House Party--socially acceptable?
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2012, 10:48:53 AM »
Here's how my wife and I celebrated after paying off our house, just last Tuesday: We built footrests and a table for our patio out of pallets we found laying in a parking lot near our house.




Then we sat in those chairs and laughed with delight.

bdub

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Re: Paid off the House Party--socially acceptable?
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2012, 11:16:04 AM »
it's kind of like, would I want to go to a party celebrating someone loosing 100 pounds if I was 50 pounds overweight myself?

Why not?  I would be happy for my friend and maybe it would motivate me.  Do you not go to a friend's weddings because you are single and looking for a mate?  Do you not go to happy hour to celebrate a friend's promotion if you don't get a promotion? 

It may be difficult because the logic runs counter to the egocentricity of being human but I don't think I would look back on the party with negative feelings.  We need to get over ourselves and realize "It ain't all about me".

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Re: Paid off the House Party--socially acceptable?
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2012, 11:23:48 AM »
Here's how my wife and I celebrated after paying off our house, just last Tuesday: We built footrests and a table for our patio out of pallets we found laying in a parking lot near our house.




Then we sat in those chairs and laughed with delight.

Hahaha!  Excellent.  Great footrests!

AmbystomaOpacum

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Re: Paid off the House Party--socially acceptable?
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2012, 11:28:22 AM »
Actually, we haven't even told anyone except for our parents. To me, it's kind of like, would I want to go to a party celebrating someone loosing 100 pounds if I was 50 pounds overweight myself?

Somehow I totally missed your comment when I made my post (and basically duplicated what you said). I think this is a great analogy.

We need to get over ourselves and realize "It ain't all about me".

This seems like a good argument for not revealing the purpose of the party.

darkelenchus

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Re: Paid off the House Party--socially acceptable?
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2012, 12:45:45 PM »
Here's how my wife and I celebrated after paying off our house, just last Tuesday: We built footrests and a table for our patio out of pallets we found laying in a parking lot near our house.




Then we sat in those chairs and laughed with delight.

Hahaha!  Excellent.  Great footrests!

Hey, thanks! :-)

bdub

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Re: Paid off the House Party--socially acceptable?
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2012, 12:54:28 PM »

We need to get over ourselves and realize "It ain't all about me".

This seems like a good argument for not revealing the purpose of the party.

I said it isn't ALL about me, but that doesn't mean it should NEVER be about me :)

I agree you could just have a party and if people ask what is being celebrated, you should be open with them.

As was covered in the previous discussion about this topic, this isn't really a jealousy-inducing topic since 98% of 30-somethings can't even fathom paying off a mortgage (whereas 50% or more of us are overweight).

Another idea:  before the party, gain a bunch of weight.  This way, the guests can be happy for you AND feel sorry for you!

AmbystomaOpacum

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Re: Paid off the House Party--socially acceptable?
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2012, 01:23:11 PM »
Another idea:  before the party, gain a bunch of weight.  This way, the guests can be happy for you AND feel sorry for you!

And with all the money recently freed up, it should be easy. I like it!

BikesAreTheAnswer

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Re: Paid off the House Party--socially acceptable?
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2012, 02:11:17 PM »
Great discussion, both in this post and in the previous discussion on the subject!  Thus far, the arguments have me leaning towards the following:

A small party for good friends and the in-laws (not that the in-laws aren't friends...)  Some of them are close enough to already know what's going on, so I won't ever directly link the party to the reason.  We're pretty open about money with our family and friends already, so anyone it would be okay to tell already knows, and anyone who doesn't already know probably shouldn't be told.  No post on Facebook (I had never considered this before, and I think that would be casting the net far too widely.)  No gifts.  No arbitrary extravagance (nix on the mortgage rule).  Just put together a really kick-ass party, and it costs what it costs.  The point is for us to celebrate and for our guests to have a great time.  So if talking about the former ever endangers the latter, just shut up.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 03:07:58 PM by BikesAreTheAnswer »

Mrs MM

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Re: Paid off the House Party--socially acceptable?
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2012, 05:43:38 PM »
Great discussion, both in this post and in the previous discussion on the subject!  Thus far, the arguments have me leaning towards the following:

A small party for good friends and the in-laws (not that the in-laws aren't friends...)  Some of them are close enough to already know what's going on, so I won't ever directly link the party to the reason.  We're pretty open about money with our family and friends already, so anyone it would be okay to tell already knows, and anyone who doesn't already know probably shouldn't be told.  No post on Facebook (I had never considered this before, and I think that would be casting the net far too widely.)  No gifts.  No arbitrary extravagance (nix on the mortgage rule).  Just put together a really kick-ass party, and it costs what it costs.  The point is for us to celebrate and for our guests to have a great time.  So if talking about the former ever endangers the latter, just shut up.

Sounds great!  Enjoy yourself! 

arebelspy

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Re: Paid off the House Party--socially acceptable?
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2012, 07:32:57 PM »
Sounds like a good plan.  Have fun, and watch out for Mustachian crashers!

Oh, and congrats!  Way to go on paying off the mortgage, that's awesome.
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