For some families, birthday parties are a big deal. Whether it’s your baby’s fourth birthday or Dad’s forty-fifth, your family wants to throw a bash. There’s just one hitch: An all-out party just isn’t in the budget this year.
When birthday traditions come with a price tag, it can often be difficult to separate the two. But you really can throw an awesome birthday party without putting your household finances in jeopardy.
8 Tips Plan A Great Party On A Budget
The key is to know what is important and where you can find savings. For most people, all they really need for a happy birthday is friends and family, a cake with candles in their favourite flavour, a few presents, and a good time had by all.
Location, Location, Location
The first step is to choose a totally free location to have your party. You can do it at home or there are dozens of places in every neighbourhood where you can gather with friends and family for a party without paying a cent. Public parks often even have fun features like playgrounds, mini water parks, ball courts, and frisbee golf courses.
You can have your party in the comfort of your own living room, in the neighbourhood park, or even at your local community centre. Whatever will make the family happiest without reaching into your wallet.
Bake The Cake
Ordering a cake may be tradition, but it’s not a necessary one. Baking a cake is far more affordable than buying one from the store, even a grocery store cake. And you don’t have to be a master chef to figure out how to make a birthday cake from a box mix and canister of icing. If you want a big cake, use two box-mixes.
Here’s the secret: Box mix cakes can actually be even more delicious than store-bought, especially in the lower price range. We suggest you add a teaspoon of vanilla extract in the mix to make the flavour extra rich. This also gives you the opportunity to ultimately customise the cake flavour and icing combination. Or even to put favourite additions into the cake like crushed walnuts or chocolate chips.
Quick and Easy Hors-d’Oeuvres
Don’t worry too much about going all-out for a birthday dinner unless that’s something you’ve already budgeted for. Instead, you can keep everyone well fed with a few platters of surprisingly affordable hors-d’oeuvres (party snacks).
The key is to provide a satisfying mix of protein, starch, veggies, and sugary treats.
Even something as simple as ham sandwiches quartered and stacked on a platter can be a delicious hors-d’oeuvre. Peanut butter on apples or celery, cheese on crackers, and s’mores are all great birthday snacks for party time.
Keep Your Candles
One trick that households on a budget learn is to keep the birthday candles. Now, birthday candles cost basically nothing but this trick not only saves you on coloured wax. It also can allow you to invest in nicer candles that you will use time and time again. Like sparklers, a whole set of big numbers, or favourite coloured candles for family birthdays.
You can also reuse cake toppers, if you have any, to make homemade cakes more festive and celebratory.
Rent What You Don’t Have
If you want to throw a bash but don’t have enough tables, chairs, or big pretty punch bowls for the event there’s no need to break the bank buying them. Especially if you won’t be using them again for months at a time.
Party rental companies like Walkers Party Hire specialise in offering every kind of non-perishable party supply like catering equipment that you may need for one day at a better price than buying the items for good. Especially when you calculate in long-term storage space.
If you need a dozen tables and two hundred chairs, renting can save your guest list and your budget. You might even save a bundle cooking for yourself with rental catering equipment or on one-day fun like slushie machines and photo booths with the party supply package.
Creative And Fun Party Games
You don’t need to break the bank to plan a fantastically fun party for children or adults. A $2 pack of balloons can turn a summer party into an all-day water balloon fight. A pack of home-made cards can be more fun than any premade trivia game. And a few theatre games you learned in school or activities brought back from camps and conferences can liven up a party more than store-bought activities.
By getting creative and using household items to plan your party games, there’s no need to overspend on activities.
Chill On Decorations
Most parties don’t go over budget on party games. They go over on decorations. But do you really need $200 in streamers, banners, flowers, or coloured table cloths to have a good time? You can make a party attractive with some minimal and affordable decor that doesn’t have to break your budget. Colourful paper chains from construction paper, cheap crepe paper streamers, and a pack of silly party hats may be all your guests need to have a wonderful time and feel that the party was something really special.
Personal And Experiential Gifts
Then, of course, there’s the question of gifts. Budgeting for everyone to give the birthday-relative a gift may be at risk of stretching your finances too thin. But that’s alright. Birthdays aren’t about getting expensive presents, they’re about celebrating making it another year with the people you love.
So instead, focus on personalised gifts and experiential gifts. If you can’t splurge on jewellery for your wife, consider hand-binding a little coupon book for massages and you taking extra turns doing the dishes. Get the kids to draw a picture or make a craft as a present instead of choosing something to buy. Or decide to invest in one gift as a family that the birthday person has been wanting for some time.
Let’s Get Started
The parties you throw when your household is short on funds might become the most special and personal celebrations your family can share. With handmade gifts, the fun of cooking the cake together at home, and the joy of being together you can enjoy family birthday parties this year without breaking the bank.
Let Walkers Party Hire help with affordable party hire and great deals on activities and stations that you might not otherwise have planned for on your tight birthday budget this year. Contact us to reserve your party supplies.