Over-the-top birthday celebrations complete with bounce houses, lavish cakes and even fireworks are more common in today’s generation. If your budget isn’t big enough to accommodate pony rides or a live band, a little creativity allows you to throw a memorable party without spending all your savings. Setting a party budget before the planning begins helps stay on track.
Making the party invitations saves money and gives them a custom look. A package of card stock in a color that matches the party’s color scheme creates the base of simple invitations. Cutting them into a shape that relates to the party theme creates the invitation cards. For example, invitations for a child’s party might be cut into the shape of a duck, barn or tiara, depending on the party theme. If you aren’t a crafts person, a graphic computer program will help you design an invitation on the computer. The Scholastic website recommends letting the birthday child design her own invitations for a personal touch.
Decorations at a birthday party help set the stage and carry the selected theme. Party supply stores sell everything from table coverings to pinatas and table settings for various themes. While purchasing the entire line of decorations creates a coordinated look, it also increases the party costs significantly. The Scholastic website suggests purchasing some themed decorations to mix in with generic party supplies. Dollar stores offer affordable party supply options.
The guests at the party influence the type of entertainment chosen. Backyard games, such as tag, relay races, obstacle courses and ball games, keep kids entertained without costing much money. For an indoor game, playing dress-up, dancing to music or making simple crafts works well. Adult birthday party entertainment might include board or video games, dancing or enjoying a barbecue in the backyard.
Food costs add up quickly, especially for a large guest list. Scheduling the birthday party mid-afternoon allows you to avoid serving a full meal. Cake, ice cream and a few inexpensive snacks fit the menu for an afternoon party. For an adult party, scheduling the party later in the evening works well for serving less food to keep the food budget low.
The Party Spot website recommends developing your own system of tracking party expenses to stay within your budget. Unexpected expenses often come up in the course of party planning. Keeping a buffer in the budget to account for those expenses helps avoid going over the budget.
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