Just because you aren’t in the best place financially, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy life with your friends. Financial stress can sometimes seem like it is consuming your life. In those times, the best thing to do is get your mind off of it occasionally. The perfect way to do this is to spend a long evening with friends or family eating delicious food, drinking good drinks, talking and listening to awesome music, and perhaps even a little bit of dancing. You may be wondering how to throw a party on a budget and, honestly, it’s not as hard as many people tend to think it is. Here are some terrific tips on how you can host a great party on a tight budget:
1. No Need for Paper Invitations
There is no need to send out old fashioned paper invitations unless it is an extremely formal event or a wedding. They can cause the money to add up with the cost of paper and envelopes along with all the printing costs. Instead just send out an Evite through email that has RSVP capabilities. Additionally, if everyone who you are inviting is on Facebook, you could just create a Facebook event and invite everyone that way. You will get an accurate number of who can make it without any added costs.
2. Make Your Own Playlist
Upbeat music can turn a typical hangout with friends into a real party. Once people hear a beat or a groove that they need to dance to, it is no longer just a chill gathering. Simply use one of today’s many music streaming services like Spotify or Tidal or Apple Music to create your own personalized party playlist with all your guests’ favorite hits. Pick songs that you know people have memorized the words to or love to dance to. Why hire a DJ when you can be your own DJ?
3. Cheap Alcohol Or BYOB
Alcohol can sometimes be the most expensive part of any party. It costs an arm and a leg to stock a full bar. Rather than waste all that money, buy some more inexpensive options from your local grocery store. For example, Trader Joe’s has pretty good wine at only around five dollars a bottle. And if that is still a bit too pricey or there are just too many guests then suggest a bring your own booze option (BYOB). By doing this, everyone contributes a little bit to the party and everyone gets to have their preferred drink!
4. Make It a Potluck
Rather than spend a lot of time and money on going to the grocery store and getting enough food for all those guests, consider making your party a potluck. If everyone brings something different there is guaranteed to be enough food for everyone and each guest will feel like they are contributing to the creation of the party. And if you have a food theme that you want to keep with, it’s a great idea to make a list of possible dishes for your guests to cook up and bring. If you make it on a sharable google drive document then people can update the list so no one brings the same dish! You will have a whole array of delicious food at very little cost to you!
5. Ask for Help
Ask some of your close friends, roommates, or family members to help you set up and clean up afterwards. There is no need for hired help when you have good friends. They can even help you do some deep cleaning before set up so that your home is acceptable for company. Instruct them to set up special stations for food and for drinks. Make a mingling section near the food and drinks and separate that from a seating area for drinks or longer conversations. If you don’t have a set of speakers for the music, then ask a friend to borrow theirs. With good speakers, you can set up a music station where people can make requests or queue songs.
6. Buy Inexpensive Decorations
Don’t be deceived, you can still deck your halls on a budget. Simply go to the dollar store and buy some great cheap decorations. Balloons are only a few bucks but can spice up an entire room. Also, there are great decorations at Target for very reasonable prices. Lace up some twinkly lights or get colored light bulbs for only a dollar and the mood of the room will make people feel ready to party.
7. Keep It Simple
Some people are under the assumption that they need to prepare a bunch of activities in order to keep their party guests amused but, actually, that could not be further from the truth. Once people have food, drinks, and good music they are usually content to chat and laugh and eat and dance. If you are still worried that people might be bored, then simply provide a pack of cards and a board game or two. You don’t need to spend as much time and money on entertainment as you think you need to. Most people are happy to just be around good friends!
Good luck on your party and be sure to let us know if you use any of these tips and if you have any great results with them!