I’ve never met someone who doesn’t love attending a good party, but throwing one can be slightly intimidating. And if you think throwing a good party’s scary, imagine wanting to throw the best party of the year…while on (gasp) a BUDGET! I’m gonna let that sink in for a moment. Okay, anxiety attack over? Great! Let’s get started. Here’s how to Host the Best Party of the Year Without It Being the Most Expensive Party of the Year!
Know Your Budget
Determine a budget and stick to it! If you’re trying to not spend a lot of money, then it’s probably a good idea to know your limits immediately. Use whatever tricks you have to. Buy everything with cash, constantly check your account, or keep a spreadsheet with you. Get as simple or as complicated as you want, but a budget will be absolutely necessary if you don’t want to accidentally throw an insanely pricey party!
Stick to Easy Themes or No Themes at All
As fun as decorating your entire apartment or house like the ocean or Hawaii might sound, it’ll be expensive. Plus, not all your guests will be able to fit in, whether it be due to their own funding or discomfort with costumes. (Don’t shame them. Costumes aren’t for everyone.) Guests should be able to attend your party as themselves and feel like they belong. Also, themed parties are expensive. Did I mention that? Because I really want to make sure that comes across. Themes are expensive.
Use Social Media Sites
Maybe you feel as though this one shouldn’t even be included. It’s 2018 (maybe even later by the time you read this!) Who actually sends invitations by mail anymore? Well, I do, but I really shouldn’t. Creating an event page (at least a month in advance) allows you to keep in constant touch with all of your guests. You can have all party requests – music, food, games – all organized in one area. Facebook has that nifty little feature where you can see who’s going, who can’t make it, and who “might” attend. You know your friends. You’ll be able to translate whether that “maybe” is a yes or a not.
Come Up With an Entry Fee
No, I’m not saying to charge your friends five bucks to enter your household. Have you ever heard the phrase, “BYOB?” Well it stands for “Bring Your Own Beer,” and it’s an absolute wallet-saver at parties! And no, your guests can’t get out of this rule by saying that they don’t drink. I don’t drink either. BYOB is just a fancy way of saying “please bring anything.” Someone might bring a liter of soda. Others might bring brownies (without nuts please; I’m not a fan). Some people WILL bring adult beverages (which ARE adult by the way. If anyone under the age of 21 is reading this, you had better not be involving alcohol at your parties). The point is that it doesn’t matter how big or how small the donation is. The more your guests bring, the less you have to worry about, and the more food and drink there is to be enjoyed!
Reach Out to Family and Friends
Chances are that they have plenty of decorations, dishes, or accessories that they can lend you for an evening. Just make sure to develop a system to determine what belongs to whom. Once you build inventory, you can start worrying about what to buy yourself. There’s sure to be a lot less by then!
Have Friends Make Some of the Decorations
Have a party before the party! Get some friends together and design all sorts of fun decor for the big day! Here’s a really cool factor that will come with this: your selected friends will feel like they’re immediately part of the party and carry a vibe of pride throughout the event! Cheerful moods are what you want, and this will get you a head start on them!
Use Apps for Music and Theme Music
You’d be shocked how big of a difference having music playing makes for the environment. Parties automatically seem much more lively when there’s always music to distract from potential awkward silences, especially when a party is first beginning. There are great apps like Pandora or simple tools like iTunes to put together great playlists. Use ‘em!
Start Early and Browse Discount Sites
Amazon is sure to have some great deals on all sorts of things; decorations, party favors, even food! If you start early, you can take your sweet time tracking down great deals and spend as little money as possible, rather than deal with your last minute panic of just taking anything you can get! And remember, download the web app, “Honey” to automatically generate great coupons on the checkout page!
Don't Use Helium Balloons
Helium adds an extra expense that you don’t need to deal with! Blow balloons up yourself and plan decor around walls, poles etc. to tape balloons rather than letting them float. This will also force you to get a little creative on how you utilize the balloons and is sure to generate even better results.
Take Advantage of Clubs and Discount Stores
Places like Sam’s Club and Costco sell food and drink in bulk…and for pretty good prices, too! Why not take a little trip and see what you can find? If you’ve followed all the other steps on this list, your required items shouldn’t be too crazy, and you can finish off at one of these stores. Or hey, why not just go to a discount market or buy store brand snacks and beverages? Publix Cola isn’t THAT much worse than Coca-Cola (although I’m sure I just offended a person or two). It’s definitely satisfactory at a good party…a good party that you’re going to turn MAGNIFICENT!