#21. Poor And Want To Party? 7 Tips To Party Plan On A Budget
Updated: Jan 22
My wife and I love to throw parties. We have thrown theme parties, murder mystery parties, surprise parties, just to name a few. I believe our love for throwing parties is rooted in us loving to entertain guests.
Throwing parties and trying to reach financial independence sound like two competing themes. However, through trial and error, my wife and I have discovered that this does not have to be the case.
Due to our experience, we have developed a routine for optimizing our dollars when party planning. We have come up with these seven tips to help others throw a memorable party on a budget.
One - Utilize the dollar store.
Go to your local dollar store (if you are lucky enough to have one) and spend $5 to $10 on buying random knick-knacks to spruce up the party. My wife and I have made small take-home bags for couples for less than $1.00 a piece. We have also bought random items to give out to people as prizes for games we planned to throw at the party. Gift bags or cheesy game prizes are easy ways to make your party more memorable.
Two - Make two different cheap proteins in bulk.
If you are wanting to throw your party on a budget, this is not the time to get fancy with gourmet food options. We generally default to keeping things simple, and choosing to make two different cheap proteins in bulk is the way to go.
Some examples are pulled chicken or pork in the crockpot, hotdogs on the grill, or chicken drumsticks. Whatever you choose, making two options is a good way to account for pickier guests and does not make you look cheap.
Three - Do not be scared to ask guests to bring simple sides.
If you are looking to save some money, do not be afraid to ask your party guests to bring specific, inexpensive items. Asking guests to bring something is not uncommon, like with potlucks. Also, a lot of guests enjoy being able to help out in some way.
We have found it is beneficial to be somewhat specific when you ask your guest to bring something, so it will not cause them any unnecessary stress. An example of this is asking one couple to bring any 2-liter of pop they want. You are allowing the guests some freedom to choose what kind they want, but they will not have to stress about trying to avoid bringing something another guest may bring.
Four - Use evites.
If you wish to send out official invitations, which is often fun to do, make sure to utilize electronic invitations. We have used evites.com and have sent invitations via email and text message. Not only are evites free to use, but it is a whole lot easier than trying to get everyone's mailing address.
Five - Be creative with your entertainment options.
If it is a smaller party with around 10 to 15 guests, there are many cheap options out there to keep your guests entertained. Just a few of the things my wife and I have done in the past are homemade trivia, pin the tail on the dinosaur (this was actually hilarious to watch 15 or so blind-folded adults attempt), and guess the amount of cookies in a jar. We have also asked guests to bring any outdoor games they may have (such as cornhole).
Six - Don't supply alcohol.
If you want alcohol to be at your party, there is no cheap way to buy the alcohol for everyone. We have found that letting others know that you will supply non-alcoholic drink options, but they are more than welcome to bring their own alcohol (B.Y.O.B.), will not offend the the average guest. Putting this information on the evite is the easiest way to go about it.
Seven - Stick to a budget.
No matter how you utilize our above tips, at the end of the day you must stick to your budget, whatever you determine that to be. If you plan to throw a memorable party for $50, then use these tips to make sure you stick to that $50. Avoid buying "just one more thing" after your planning and purchases are complete.
I hope now you can see that seeking financial independence does not mean you must wait to have fun until later in life. Actually enjoying life today will give your future self plenty of fulfilling memories to look back on.
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