“There are only two things people will show up for,” an ex’s father once told me. “Weddings and funerals. No one will come for any other reason.”
I had been talking about throwing myself a graduation party, not getting married to his son. While he may be right, people are finding all kinds of reasons for celebrations lately, breaking the mold and enjoying victories that are otherwise kept hush. While we often keep quiet about our finances, some financial situations are cause for celebration—just don’t go breaking the bank.
- Divorce parties. This hardly seems like a cause for celebration, as a marriage usually begins with a big party and ends by dissolving into debt. Still, some people are celebrating with their friends to show them that the divorced couple can still be in the same room together. Other times, a person is celebrating newfound freedom, almost like a coming out party for young debutantes, a reintroducing to life. While there are still some moral questions about whether or not society should celebrate divorces, parties are happening nonetheless.
- Estate planning parties. If you’ve got kids, you absolutely should have one of these puppies on your shelf at home. If you don’t, because maybe thinking about your own death feels frightening, maybe throwing a party will help it feel more fun. Some attorneys will offer estate planning parties for groups, like a jewelry party or a Pampered Chef, where they come right to your home and help you and other families put together a will. They’ll offer childcare too. The important thing is getting it done.
- Paid off debt parties. We tend to keep quiet about our finances, but for a generation saddled by student-loan debt, those who finally manage to get out from underneath it have a reason to party. Imagining a modest pot-luck can be a great motivator for you to keep making payments. If you’ve already announced your intention, it’ll hold you accountable.
If hosting a party helps you feel supported, loved, and motivated to accomplish your goals, then go for it! Whenever we’re gathered at a funeral, we talk about how much we hate only seeing each other once in a while. Let’s make more reasons to celebrate and get together—to hold each other up and believe in one another.