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If you’ve ever hosted a party, you’ve probably been asked the question “what can I bring?” What your guests are really trying to do is help you out by contributing to the party. It’s a genuinely nice gesture that does help remove some of the financial burden of hosting, but is it the best way for guests to contribute?  We believe that often the best way for guests to contribute is to just chip-in a little cash ahead of time.  Here is why:

1. Hosting is Expensive – Even if everyone brings something to eat or drink the host still has to shell out a lot of money to make sure there is enough food and drinks to go around. They have to plan ahead just in case people don’t bring enough, or cancel.  At the end of the day, it’s the host’s responsibility to make sure the party is a success, so they always end up spending more than everyone else to make sure they don’t run out.

2. One Person Going to the Store > Everyone Going to the Store – If the host is already going to the store to buy things for the party, why should everyone else coming to the party also go out of their way to go to the store?  Similarly, while potlucks can be really fun in certain situations, they are a bit wasteful, time-wise.  If the host is already spending 3 hours in the kitchen preparing a feast, why shouldn’t they make enough for everyone instead of all the guests also spending 3 hours in the kitchen to produce the same amount of food?

3. Coordinating Who Brings What is Hard – When you’ve got a 5 Yes’s, 10 maybes and a bunch of people who haven’t responded, it can be difficult and time consuming to coordinate who all is bringing what and how much they ought to bring.  If folks just chip-in, the host can scale what they buy to how much money they get.

4.  When people Chip-In They Show Up! – Most importantly, when people actually contribute to a party, they feel more connected to it, and as such they are more likely to actually commit one way or another to going.  With Zokos, guests contribute before they even go to the party, so they are more likely to show up.  This helps make a host’s life easier by giving them an idea of how many people to expect.

So Why Don’t People Have Their Friends Chip-In More? We’ve heard two primary reasons why people don’t ask their friends to chip-in more often:  First, that it feels funny to ask friends to contribute money and second, that it’s awkward collecting money from your friends in person.  Now that you’ve read this blog post, you have a solution for both of those problems.  For the first problem, just forward them the link to this blog post.  For the second problem, use Zokos.com and have your friends chip in when they rsvp to your party.  Zokos lets you focus on planning an awesome party, not stressing on how you’ll pay for it!