This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Say No to Office Parties That Cost You Too Much

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- If you've worked in an office, chances are you've celebrated colleagues' birthdays and other life milestones with expensive lunches out, cakes, gifts and more. Although it's always nice to have a chance to party, co-worker celebrations can really add up.

In a survey by staffing firm OfficeTeam, 75% percent of executives said employees are asked by peers to contribute money to pay for celebrations such as birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers and retirements at least once per year, but requests sometimes come as frequently as once a month or even once a week.

"Though it's common for employees to pool resources to plan informal events and festivities to acknowledge personal milestones like staff birthdays or weddings, it's the frequency and amount requested that may cause employees to feel tapped out," says OfficeTeam Executive Director Robert Hosking.

If you're sick of spending too much to raise a glass with office friends, there are a few alternatives and ways to bow out gracefully. Experts weigh in with five alternatives to expensive office celebrations.

Must Read: 4 Top Money Mistakes of Young Adults

1. Don't be afraid to ask your boss to foot the bill

"If you want things to change, just tell your boss nicely, 'I want you to take me out to lunch,'" says Yorgen Edhlom, CEO of Accellion, which hosts monthly birthday lunches for everyone on staff.

"Don't be afraid to ask. If your boss isn't doing anything to celebrate, then it's time for you to ask. It's not like you're asking for a $5,000 or $10,000 raise -- it's a $10 or $15 lunch," Edhlom says. "Most employers will be grateful that you asked. It's important for you to feel good about the company that you work for."

Companies are always trying to figure out the next "smart thing" to do when it comes to making employees feel special, Edhlom says. Most realize that the "small gestures" such as a birthday lunch or cake really mean a lot to employees, and they'll do it if they can.

2. Say that you want to start a tradition

If the company won't pitch in for celebrations, initiate your own ideas, says Kirk Sears, managing partner at International Executive Recruiting.

"Find an accomplice or two and say, 'I'd like to suggest starting a new office tradition,'" Sears says. "Suggest a theme of 'Gifts for $1,' which are funny and easy to give. You can go to the dollar-store and pre-buy for the whole year for $20."

If buying cakes, pizzas or other unhealthy items are the problem, it's OK to say, "Hey, I want to eat healthy, I think we should stop the whole birthday junk food thing," Edhlom suggests.

Just make sure you don't offend someone who really looks forward to having cake.

"Some people are really passionate about those celebrations, and they may want an even bigger birthday cakes with even more whipped cream, so make sure you get a group consensus first," he advises.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $93.74 0.00%
FB $117.58 0.00%
GOOG $693.01 0.00%
TSLA $240.76 0.00%
YHOO $36.60 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs