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Have you ever felt forced to go on a stag/hen do you couldn’t afford?

Posted 02 June 2014

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As many stag and hen events become increasingly expensive, 15% of people say they have felt obliged to go on one they knew they couldn’t really afford.

Not that long ago, the traditional stag and hen night consisted of little more than a meal out with your closest friends, followed by a drink (or several) to see you off into married life. However, today these 'nights' have become 'weekends' … and the price tag to attend seems to be growing all the time.


A weekend to remember

When asked whether they had ever actually gone away for either a hen or stag do, more than one in four people taking part in a survey* conducted for us said they had. However, one in five admitted they have also had to turn down at least one invitation in the past because they simply couldn’t afford to take part.

Yet because the stag and hen celebrations are seen as increasingly important events, there are those who feel they have to go when they’re invited … even if they can’t afford to. And 15% of survey respondents revealed they have previously felt obliged to attend despite the fact they couldn’t really afford it.


Quite a price tag

It’s no surprise that most of us want to be there to help our closest friends or members of our family to celebrate as their big day approaches. That might explain why so many people agree to attend even though they know their bank balances will be stretched.

The money involved in some stag and hen dos isn’t small change either. More than one in five people who’ve been to one of these events say it set them back £300 or more, while one in 20 revealed they had forked out over £500 to join in. Worryingly, one in five attendees had to borrow money so they could afford to take part.


Heart to heart

If the bride or groom is a really good friend, it’s unlikely they would want you to push yourself into the red just so you can attend their stag or hen. It’s bad enough feeling obliged to go when you really can’t afford it, but borrowing money to cover your attendance leaves you even more financially stretched.

Should you receive an invitation to an expensive stag or hen weekend, rather than worrying alone about how you can afford to go, it might be worth speaking to the bride or groom-to-be instead. There may be the option of just attending half of the weekend, or celebrating with them in a different way.

And if you’re worried that previous stag/hen weekends, weddings and other events have pushed your finances too far and left you struggling with a problem debt, there is expert help available so you don’t have to cope with the situation alone.

*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 2nd May and 12th May 2014, of whom 500 were Scottish residents.

by Shelley Bowers

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.