Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

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SteelPenny
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Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by SteelPenny » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:43 am

Spouse and I are trying to work through the following situation, and I’m wondering if others find this acceptable or how we should plan to share these expenses.

Last year my in-laws informed us that they would renting a vacation house in June and hoped everyone could join them. They let us know the dates and sent a link of the property rental site. They rented the property for a week, and there was no collaboration regarding dates or location, it was just an open invitation to get the family together— including spouse, spouses siblings, their children (in-laws grandchildren). The location is driving distance in a mountainous location from in-laws and other siblings. We live on the east coast, about 2000 miles away from the vacation home. It isn’t our ideal vacation setting, but obviously since we weren’t involved in planning the vacation and we weren’t asked about it, we didn’t have any complaint consider it was an open invitation to a vacation house rented by someone else. Never look a gift horse in the mouth and all that. So for the past 8-9 months, we have known that they are renting a vacation house and inviting the family to get together. We arranged our work schedules and planned to attend for 3 nights out of the 7. We’ve purchased plane tickets and reserved rental car, total for travel is around $2000-2500 so far to get there.

Now fast forward to last week, we are notified that the cost of the vacation home is $4500 (this was reserved 8+ months ago and this is the first mention of money) and it seems spouse’s siblings are ok with splitting the cost of the total price evenly. This would mean another $1100 to pay, but mostly it just caught us completely off guard because of the way it transpired. Not to mention we are traveling 2000 miles with kids and already paying $2500 in expenses when everyone else is driving < 3 hours. We also are staying less than half the entire length of the rental (and wouldn’t have suggested that length of rental if we had been involved in the planning).

Hope I didn’t leave out any important details, feel free to ask for clarification if it’s unclear. Interested in any similar experiences and advice for equitable sharing of expenses in this case.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by cheese_breath » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:49 am

What does your spouse say? They're his / her parents. If (s)he wants to do it to keep peace in the family, then do it. If not, then don't.

Either way, you know what to expect from the next invitation.
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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by msk » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:51 am

Pull your nose out of it and let your spouse handle everything. Getting the family (his family) together is relevant to him, not so much to you. Maybe he thinks it was all worth it to let his kids know their cousins better, maybe not. Obviously you are in the maybe-not camp. I can appreciate your exasperation but possibly he has a better appreciation as regards the crazy dynamics in his family...

Leemiller
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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by Leemiller » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:57 am

Why not just be honest? Say you’re surprised, but perhaps also give something like a quarter of the cost to keep the peace. Unfortunately, from personal experience I’ve discovered that sometimes parents of adult children seem to claim they want a big family vacation but don’t seem to seek or value the input of all their adult children equally during the planning phases. This is probably hurting your spouse’s feelings, so I’d focus on being supportive & not harp on the cost.

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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by HomeStretch » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:05 am

It’s understandable you and spouse have been caught off-guard by the cost-sharing proposal.

If you go, it seems like “majority rules” since most of the family is willing to split cost and you will be expected to pay the additional $1,100.

If you can’t afford the extra $1,100, I’d be upfront and explain that. Maybe in-laws will pay your share or you will need to cancel.

For future vacation “invitations”, you will know to ask upfront what the cost-sharing arrangements, if any, will be.

Most importantly, I would defer to spouse’s wishes as it is spouse’s family.

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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by stoptothink » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:07 am

This is the story of every single "vacation" we've ever been on with my in-laws. In fact, we are going "camping" (we are actually camping, in tents, they got a cabin) with them (wife's parents, her brothers, and her sister's entire family) this weekend. Although they invited us just this past week and never mentioned us contributing to the cost of the site they reserved without our knowledge months ago, we decided we'd provide all the food and cook it (for 12), and we are just expecting to be asked for money afterwards. When we first married, they'd regularly invite us to activities and then not so thinly-veiled expect us to pay for everybody because we are more financially stable. I let my wife have a long talk with them where she let them know we were just going to stop spending time with them.

This being the first instance, I agree to let your spouse handle it. Sucks that it is a rather large expense.

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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by bungalow10 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:08 am

This is why my first response to invitations like this is "Thanks for including us, what would our share of the cost be? I'll have to check our calendars and get back to you."
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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:18 am

Ditto to the posts about leaving it up to spouse: not your circus, not your monkey.

Make a mental note about the next time. Surprise me once, shame on you. Surprise me twice...
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TxAg
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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by TxAg » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:23 am

That would really annoy me, but I'd pay it this time. Next time I'd beat them to the punch and ask up front.

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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by Watty » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:23 am

+1

on letting your spouse handle it.

Part of it may be different expectations for different families. In my wife's family when the extended family would go out to a restaurant you might end up with a dozen people and it was expected that the bill would be split and you would pay for your meal even though someone else may have organized the diner. It was never stated in the planning it was just what everyone expected.

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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by fru-gal » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:24 am

If you can't afford it, just say that. Or if it comes in the annoyingly expensive we wouldn't have agreed to this if we'd known it, say you can't afford it.

Otherwise, I would give your spouse the deciding vote among the two of you, but in the future find out up front what is expected financially before you decide about agreeing.

Are you newlyweds? Because I'm thinking this situation probably isn't the first time this has happened in your spouse's family.
Last edited by fru-gal on Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mr.BB
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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by Mr.BB » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:25 am

might just be worth it to eat this one and use it as a learning curve for next time you get such an invitation from your in-laws or other family members.
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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by livesoft » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:25 am

I'm surprised you thought you would not have to contribute your share of the expenses. Our families do this all the time. No one has ever been under the impression that they would not pay no matter who invited who.

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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by mmmodem » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:29 am

1. As others already indicated, let your spouse handle the specifics of communication.
2. Your higher travel expense have no consequence on the share of the vacation rental. If you want to make your case about paying your fair share, it's best to leave that part out. It's none of their business and only obfuscates the issue.
3. Consider $1100 well spent on education the next time your spouse considers vacationing with in-laws.

What you described is fairly typical for a vacation with in-laws and family for me. And from what I have heard for a lot of other people too. That is, we try not to let something like money get in the way of spending time with one another. With one of my siblings, she always pays more than her share. When I'm with another sibling, I always pay more than my share. If the cost is significant, we decline to go.

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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:31 am

1 Discuss with spouse. (don't make an issue out of it to the detriment of harmony)
2 If spouse feels that it should be brought up with siblings, then let that happen. Better to fact find than complain. Do not cause damage.
(it may even be risky encouraging your spouse to bring this up and more costly than the $1100 in the long run. . . tread carefully lest you be the instigator)
3 The issue here is just to find out what the siblings "assumed". No more than that. Just find out intention.
4 Pay what is required without causing a riff. Show appreciation.
5 Don't get involved again unless everything is up front. Ask politely for the details, then decline as needed.

Often, there are assumptions made by both parties, most often with good intention.
consider it was an open invitation to a vacation house rented by someone else. Never look a gift horse in the mouth and all that.
The fee is not worth a disruption in family dynamics and future "labeling".

It may not be an "issue" unless made to be one.

Some things are best not to be called attention to as they grow exponentially when fed.

The more we focus on something, the more disproportionate it gets, the less peace and balance remains.

Good luck.
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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by MikeG62 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:35 am

cheese_breath wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:49 am
What does your spouse say? They're his / her parents. If (s)he wants to do it to keep peace in the family, then do it. If not, then don't.

Either way, you know what to expect from the next invitation.
+1.

If you both feel it's inappropriate of them to ask or expect everyone to kick in for (share) the cost (even if you pay this year), then next year when they ask tell them you'd rather select the destination and timing of vacations that you are paying for.
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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by carolinaman » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:41 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:18 am
Ditto to the posts about leaving it up to spouse: not your circus, not your monkey.

Make a mental note about the next time. Surprise me once, shame on you. Surprise me twice...
+1. Spot on advice.

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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by bob60014 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:41 am

bungalow10 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:08 am
This is why my first response to invitations like this is "Thanks for including us, what would our share of the cost be? I'll have to check our calendars and get back to you."
+1. This! Too late now of course. Let the spouse resolve it.

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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by KlangFool » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:48 am

OP,

1) Let your spouse handle this.

2) Actually, in my opinion, it is your spouse's fault of not telling you about this. Or, you never ask your spouse about this. You assume that his family dynamic in a certain way. You were wrong. He should know his family dynamic.

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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by smitcat » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:50 am

carolinaman wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:41 am
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:18 am
Ditto to the posts about leaving it up to spouse: not your circus, not your monkey.

Make a mental note about the next time. Surprise me once, shame on you. Surprise me twice...
+1. Spot on advice.
+2. exactly.

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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:09 am

We have been invited to share vacations with my parents (in Aruba) and with DWs parents (Cape Cod) many times. Not once has anyone ever asked us for money towards the vacation.

In your case, since you have paid the air and taken the time off, suck it up. Next invitation, decline. Simple as that.
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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by dm200 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:14 am

Mr.BB wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:25 am
might just be worth it to eat this one and use it as a learning curve for next time you get such an invitation from your in-laws or other family members.
Yes - I think this might be the best, long term solution. "Next time" - know to ask the cost of such an invitation.

It might also be that there is more to the story - ask spouse. Maybe (?) find out, quietly, if any other family members were also "surprised".

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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by Ruger » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:18 am

They rented the house for a week, you are spending three days there. I would offer to pay for the three nights (approx $471) and not more. You should be involved in this decision because it is your money as well as your wife's. They should have made it clear at the beginning what the cost was, and others should not have assumed it was a free stay.

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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by Abe » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:19 am

bungalow10 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:08 am
This is why my first response to invitations like this is "Thanks for including us, what would our share of the cost be? I'll have to check our calendars and get back to you."
I agree with this. Any time there is any doubt, always ask. Then you won't be surprised later. This is a good situation where you learn from your mistake.

Edited: I will add that your relatives should have told you in the beginning that they expected you to share in the cost of the rental. You can't assume anything.
Last edited by Abe on Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by runner3081 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:20 am

bungalow10 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:08 am
This is why my first response to invitations like this is "Thanks for including us, what would our share of the cost be? I'll have to check our calendars and get back to you."
+1, I never commit without knowing the costs and will ask up front.

Worst case, you don't go.

Best case, you at least look like a nice person asking what your share of the costs are!

Sort of like having dinner at someone's house. Even if you know they don't want you to bring anything, you still ask.

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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by dm200 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:21 am

Abe wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:19 am
bungalow10 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:08 am
This is why my first response to invitations like this is "Thanks for including us, what would our share of the cost be? I'll have to check our calendars and get back to you."
I agree with this. Any time there is any doubt, always ask. Then you won't be surprised later. This is a good situation where you learn from your mistake.
Yes - and such a factual and un-emotional response should not be at all offensive either.

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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by Thegame14 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:22 am

what if you didn't go? Then it would be split based on who went? Then if no one goes, then what happens? It seems odd to me, can you wife talk to siblings and see what they think? I guess you have to pay it if you are going and then I wouldn't do it again.

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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by an_asker » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:25 am

Ruger wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:18 am
They rented the house for a week, you are spending three days there. I would offer to pay for the three nights (approx $471) and not more. You should be involved in this decision because it is your money as well as your wife's. They should have made it clear at the beginning what the cost was, and others should not have assumed it was a free stay.
I think I am with the majority of the other respondents - disagree with this one as well as with livesoft. The damage has been done this time; suck it up.

Next time, decline. Whether you can afford it or not is not the issue. The surprise is the issue. If someone invites you, that person is taking care of the costs, though nothing stops you from defraying that person's expenses!

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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by 123 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:31 am

Congratulations on your relatively recent marriage. These kinds of things involving relatives and in-laws (as well as spouses) do come up from time to time. There's not much you can do about it.

If you're so far away that you only get surprised once a year, consider yourself lucky.
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dm200
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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by dm200 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:31 am

It seems very likely, near certainty in my opinion, that raising a stink about $1100 would cause a family rift.

In my opinion, $1,100 is worth not having the rift. Treat it as a "learning expense" and be 100% clear with your spouse how you feel.

"Pro-rate" the $1100 over the expected duration of your marriage! :sharebeer

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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by Psyayeayeduck » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:34 am

livesoft wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:25 am
I'm surprised you thought you would not have to contribute your share of the expenses. Our families do this all the time. No one has ever been under the impression that they would not pay no matter who invited who.
I'm surprised that it is okay to drop financial bombs just because they are family. Seems like a poor excuse for people to go wild on purchases.

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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by cheese_breath » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:39 am

If you do decide to contest or even mention this be sure your spouse makes it crystal clear these are his feelings. Otherwise there's a real risk of you (the outsider) being labeled as the bad guy.
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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by onourway » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:43 am

If one is invited on a vacation where the details are set and one was not consulted regarding the location, housing, or timing, the expectation should be that the cost will primarily be borne by the one extending the invitation. As a guest, you should of course offer to contribute to the cost, the host should decline, and you should still show up with a generous offering, probably in the form of food/alcohol or both - making dinner for everyone/taking everyone out for a meal, or so on.

That said, in this particular situation, I agree you need to largely let your spouse be the one to handle this, although it should certainly inform future decisions about spending time with these family members.

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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by DanMahowny » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:43 am

It's your fault for not asking about "your share" of the cost up front.

You should go, pay up, and learn from it.

Keep a mental list of excuses to avoid any future obligations with these people.
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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:43 am

You do know that the next surprise is that your in-laws are going to decide to come visit you.......and then stay with you for 6 months...... :shock:
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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by cheese_breath » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:47 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:43 am
You do know that the next surprise is that your in-laws are going to decide to come visit you.......and then stay with you for 6 months...... :shock:
And not pay a penny toward their expenses because they're family.
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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by shell921 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:48 am

I think they have some nerve to make the rental arrangements without consulting you...
and then asking you to share the costs.

If you were "invited" they should not ask you to PAY. If they had ASKED in advance
"Shall we all chip in and rent a vacation house ?" you could have said no. Now you're in a position
that is awkward and I'd be resentful about it. But then again, you could have ASKED them
[ when they "invited" you ] "WHAT ARE THE COSTS OF THE RENTAL AND HOW WILL THESE COSTS BE SHARED?".
So it's a mixed bag of yuk in my opinion.

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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by mtmingus » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:50 am

Pay the $1100, don’t complain, and make sure you have learned.

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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:51 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:09 am
We have been invited to share vacations with my parents (in Aruba) and with DWs parents (Cape Cod) many times. Not once has anyone ever asked us for money towards the vacation.

In your case, since you have paid the air and taken the time off, suck it up. Next invitation, decline. Simple as that.
+1

Except that we did the inviting in recent years.
Regardless of whether it's a weekend getaway or a cruise or flying to an island, we pay. Period.
We invited them.

It's always appreciated if they offer to pick up a restaurant bill or the cost of some activity, not because we can't afford it, but because we just appreciate the reciprocity/gesture.
And sometimes they take us out for a special dinner again, after we've returned home.

It genuinely never occurred to us to "ask them to pay".
Now, this might be because we do have more money at this stage in our lives, but that only means that we can afford the trip that we are offering.

As far as truly "sharing", the way that so-called "invitation" should work, it seems, would be something like, "What do you think about all of us chipping in and renting a big vacation house to share for a week perhaps in early August? Wouldn't that be relaxing/nice/whatever?" And maybe quickly add, "We were thinking of location X." And then, maybe/hopefully, "Great. Let's ask the others and see if they're interested, too, so it could be all of us."

But this time, just pay, unless spouse is very upset also.
And decline in the future.

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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by FI4LIFE » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:55 am

I would, as others have said, just pay up now and remember for next time, even though your in-laws are completely in the wrong. In the grand scheme of things $1100 is a small price to pay.

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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:01 am

My family is normal, everyone else's family is weird.

That's important to know. The way you grew up thinking things should be done isn't the way others grew up thinking things should be done. There is no right or wrong (except how my family does it, which is right) but there is a lot of different. It's hard to know when to ask questions because sometimes you just assume things will be done a certain way, and you don't think to ask questions where the only logical answer is obvious. But now you've learned something, and maybe will think of questions to ask about other family matters in the future.

By the way, there is something her family is expecting you to do, and you never do it, and they talk about it behind your back. I have no idea what it is, but they're getting very annoyed with you. And you shouldn't have to ask what it is, you should already know.

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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by Captain kangaroo » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:05 am

I'd eat the cost and pay for it.. And learn for next time.

What will be the bigger loss, 1,000 dollars or a potentially large family feud?

Id pay it and be very suspicious and up front about costs for next time.

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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by livesoft » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:05 am

Psyayeayeduck wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:34 am
livesoft wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:25 am
I'm surprised you thought you would not have to contribute your share of the expenses. Our families do this all the time. No one has ever been under the impression that they would not pay no matter who invited who.
I'm surprised that it is okay to drop financial bombs just because they are family. Seems like a poor excuse for people to go wild on purchases.
OK, but I guess I have more experience in this area. I ALWAYS ask: How much can we pay to help out?

That is, there is never a financial bomb.
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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by dm200 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:06 am

I wonder (perhaps spouse would know) if there is a history and family understanding that such "invitations" involve sharing the costs. Maybe this is "normal" behavior for them?

adamthesmythe
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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:07 am

This is a relationship and etiquette issue.

Miss Manners says that it is improper to make an invitation and then ask people to pay for the event.

PeterParker
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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by PeterParker » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:13 am

I'm with OP on this one.

When you do 100% of the booking by yourself, without asking anyone about the item to be purchased, or the cost, that's generally on YOU. Unless you're friends with Daddy Warbucks who has written you a blank check.

Yes I've seen people do this. And it's rude. Extremely rude. "Oh yeah I bought some shows tickets to XYZ, your share is X" --- like ... what? Uhm ... I'll decide what goods and services I'll spend my money on, thank you very much. Then suddenly YOU'RE the [donkey] if you don't go along with the scam, because the money was already spent! Oh dear!

I'm surprised the "your share would be $X" didn't come up when they booked. That's shady. But maybe it was a simple oversight, which doesn't say great things either.

But as you mentioned. You already spent $2,000+ on flights when they are all driving < 3 hours away. That's a lack of consideration as well.

It's a tough spot. I don't think you paying the full fare when you're staying less than half the book date (due to their lack of communication) is fair, but the question is whether the $500-$600 is worth the argument this time (lesson learned for the future).

Work it out with the spouse. I'd suggest looking into a nearby hotel/ AirBNB instead (for a family of four, would definitely be cheaper for 3 nights than $1100) --- but then, the family is still on the hook for that $1100 so that may not solve the situation.

An $1100 expense just casually brought up? Yeah that's definitely shady, even if everyone is fairly financially stable.
Last edited by PeterParker on Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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8foot7
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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by 8foot7 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:15 am

Let your spouse handle, agree

In my family when we are invited to a place at a specific date and time, then unless it was crystal clear upfront, we are guests. Sure we will pick up a dinner or whatever but if we had no say in the place, budget, date, and time, then we are not expected to pay freight.

I would very much resent an expectation to pay here especially given the inequality of costs just to get to the vacation spot, and I would not just roll over here - however I would not make a huge fight over it either.

To spouse: Since you’re only staying for a little while, I would offer to pay about half of what your “share” would’ve been had you stayed the whole time. Unless your family is ripe for drama, in which case I might just go ahead and eat the $1100 and then learn my lesson for next time.

I’d put it something like this:

Hi everyone, To be honest we were under the assumption that we were being invited to a vacation house and not that we were expected to share in everyone’s expenses. Normally when we select vacation destinations for our immediate family, we pick places that are closer and less expensive for us to get to. Had we known up front that this invitation required cost sharing, we may have elected to go elsewhere this summer, as it will cost us close to $5000 to attend given we are so far away and completely deplete our budget.

We are only staying for three nights, and so as not to leave anyone in the lurch, we are able and willing to contribute $500 to the vacation house rental. We unfortunately cannot afford anything more at this time.
Last edited by 8foot7 on Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

printer86
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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by printer86 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:16 am

Pay the bill and learn your lesson.

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dm200
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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by dm200 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:17 am

I hope the OP will let us know what was done/said or not done/said and how it turned out.

I still suspect there may be more to this when the whole story comes out.

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SteelPenny
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Re: Invited to vacation house then surprised with expenses—what now?

Post by SteelPenny » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:31 am

OP here. Thanks for all the responses and points-of-view. It is helpful to understand how different people see the situation, as there can be differences among reasonable people. I'll try to elucidate a few points that people have mentioned.

1. Spouse and I are not newlyweds, happily married--we've been through plenty. This isn't testing our relationship at all. We are on the same page. I have the BH account and spouse does not, so am asking this wise crowd.
2. We have vacationed with spouse's family before, and rented vacation houses before. Typically, one of the siblings or their spouses finds the house and sends out options / prices as the search is going on and then the place, date and cost are agreed upon at the same time and money is exchanged at that time.
3. Spouse and I have rented a house on the beach on east coast which was driving distance for us and invited my parents and siblings to stay with us (they are in Midwest and also needed to fly). We discussed the general location and time prior to booking, but nothing about the specifics or price. We invited them as our guests and would not have thought to ask them to pay. As someone mentioned, when we treat others to a stay, it's nice if they offer to buy dinner one night or something like that--not necessary but a nice gesture. But never would we invoice them a week prior to the stay when we booked and planned the trip alone months ago.

In essence, we are accustomed to 2 types of vacation rental situations:
1. The trip is planned, discussed and agreed to beforehand with input from the involved parties and costs shared.
2. The trip is planned and paid for by one party and the others are invited as a gift. As we have done before and invited others.

I suppose a third type would be,
3. "We have this beach house rented and a few people backed out so we have an open room if you care to share costs with us, it would be $x." Again, cost mentioned upfront.

In any case, we have been part of both types of situations (#1 and #2) and on both sides of the paying / accepting gift for #2, but never situation 4:

4. The trip is planned and booked exclusively by one party without discussing details or how long people can attend. No prices discussed. Others are invited with the "hope we can get everyone together."
....
....
wait 6+ months
....
....
"here's how much you owe us."

There are some other issues, such as total prices of excursions, theme park tickets (not age appropriate for our kids so we can't even take part in them), etc. being included in the total cost to share. Also not discussed.

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