budget

Successful Event Planning on a Budget

As we near the end of summer, many people are planning their birthdays, weddings, and other fun celebrations while the weather is still warm and we aren’t quite as bogged down with work and school. If you are on a budget but you still want to have a good time, try the tips and tricks below to plan any celebration without breaking the bank.

Birthdays and General Get-Togethers

Whether you are planning your baby’s first birthday party or a baby shower, a couple of aspects of planning on a budget will always apply. For instance, one of the budgeting mistakes people make when planning parties is not budgeting their guest list. Take a hard look at your guest list and limit the folks you invite according to what you can afford. Once you have that done, you need to look at your actual budget and determine how much you can truly afford. Set that number in stone and then plan accordingly.

You can start saving money right off the bat by skipping the paper and sending digital invites via email to your guests instead. Next, you can save hundreds of dollars that would be spent on renting out a formal space by having the party at your own home. However, if you do want to take the party outside of the house, consider setting up at a park or creating a water theme at the beach.

Kids love to have fun decorations at their parties, but if you are not careful, a majority of your budget could be gone in a flash. Instead, take a trip to the dollar store or find decorations online and print them out at home. If this isn’t your first party, consider going with a theme you have used in the past so you can use your existing decorations. If friends or family have decorations from one of their previous parties, ask to use those as well.

Baby Shower on a Budget

For new parents, there is nothing quite as exciting as that first baby shower, and if you plan right, you can have the festivities on a budget. Again, hosting inside someone’s home is smart, and reusing decorations from a past baby shower or that of a friend is ideal. It is a great idea to focus on gender-neutral decorations that can be used time and time again for all babies going forward.

A big attraction at most baby showers are the games, so you don’t want to keep those out of the mix. Instead of going out to buy new games, go online and look for printable bingo cards, baby shower karaoke boards, and more. You can even play games with items around the house, such as guessing the size of mommy’s belly by using a piece of string. For prizes, consider giving out homemade crafts.

When planning a baby shower, enlist your friends to help with the setup and to bring extra supplies. While you should supply the main dish, ask your guests to bring the sides, salad, and any beverages. It might be best to go with a non-alcoholic party as that will save the most money.

Saving on the Wedding

While your wedding may be one of the biggest days of your life, it doesn’t mean that you have to spend your entire savings on that one day. If you are really on a budget, then limit the attendees to only your closest family and friends so you can save money on food and table space. With so many moving parts, you will definitely want to make a budget when planning your wedding. Once you do, stick to it.

You can cut a lot of unnecessary expenses by putting your guests to work. See if you can borrow the equipment for your audio setup and have one of your friends be the DJ during the affair. Also, you can eliminate the need for a professional photographer by asking your guests to take pictures and video during the event that you can then turn into a slide show.

It is also important to remember that you don’t need to necessarily get married in a church or wedding chapel. Cementing your nuptials on a beach or at the forest preserve can be just as romantic. If you do go with the option to have your wedding outdoors, ask guests to bring their own chairs to further reduce the cost. You can complete the day by having the reception at your home and cater to a small meal as one of your few costs of the day.

Regardless of how much money is in the bank, everyone deserves the chance to celebrate a big moment. Consider the tips discussed above and throw a great party without taking a big financial hit.

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