Dear Annie: My family is planning a surprise party for my mom’s big birthday. One sibling lives far away, but he has frequent-flier miles and can fly free. Plus, he has friends in the area with whom to stay. The others all live nearby. However, it will cost me more than $2,000 to attend (airfare, hotel and car rental). I also am not eligible for vacation and will be docked pay for the days I miss.
I want very much to attend, but my siblings have rented a venue for the party and are hiring caterers, arranging valet parking, etc. I am afraid I will not be able to afford it all. Any suggestions? – Not Rich Kid Sis
Dear Not Rich: Please don’t wait until your siblings send you a bill. Any costs that are expected to be shared should be discussed in advance and agreed to by all parties. Call your siblings and explain your dilemma. Ask what they expect from you, and tell them what you can afford. Work it out now so there are no hard feelings down the road.
Dear Annie: “Disgusted” said that a charitable organization had sent him various free items, including a check for $2.50.
Anyone who receives an unsolicited check in the mail should read the endorsement area carefully. By signing and cashing the “free” check, you may be entering into an agreement to buy or invest in something in which you have no interest, and it will cost much more than you think. – Ed in Florida