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Tips For Throwing A Great Party On a Budget

One of the depressing aspects of being short of cash is not being able to treat yourself, or your friends and family. Christmas and birthdays can be difficult, as you want to buy the perfect gifts and celebrate in style, but it can be an expensive undertaking that is often just not possible when you’re hard up. Having social get-togethers is a vital part of human social interaction, and an activity people find one of the most enjoyable in their lives. It’s no wonder then that so many of us risk getting into debt in order to celebrate properly, but there are ways you can avoid the debt trap and still have an awesome time.

Getting your finances in order

Pretending your money worries will sort themselves out, or ignoring the situation you are in will only put off the inevitable. No-one is going to wave a magic wand and fill your bank account with plenty of cash; you have to take charge of your finances for yourself. It might not be much fun, but working out your income and outgoings is an essential first step in taking control of your situation, so before you go any further, sit yourself down and start doing some calculations. A simple budget on a spreadsheet just lists each expense, takes it away from your income each month, and gives you a working balance. It shows you where your money is going and gives you a chance to spot ways to economise on certain costs, for example reducing your grocery shopping bills, or changing your utility suppliers to save costs on basic household expenses. Once you’ve set up your budget, you can look at ways of managing the shortfall or making and credit go further.

Credit and debt

There are many reasons why you could find yourself short of cash. Young people who are just starting out in life, going to university or getting their first job, are particularly vulnerable to having limited incomes. Young families, single parents, people who have lost their jobs or had problems with ill-health or incarceration, can all find it hard to balance their books, and often turn to credit to help them out. Using credit facilities can be a sensible way to deal with a shortfall providing you choose your products carefully so that you don’t end up getting stuck in a debt spiral. You can find out about the options available to you by looking at a financial services broker website such as Bonsai Finance, where you will get independent advice and guidance on your best options.

How parties and celebrations could help your situation

If you have no opportunity to relax and enjoy yourself, you end up simply existing from day to day, rather than living your life to the full. That can be dispiriting and depressing and can lead to health issues that will make your problems even worse. Having the odd treat and maintaining social relationships is therefore extremely important if you want to avoid having a cashflow problem blighting your life. However, although blowing what little you have or burdening yourself with unmanageable debt might provide temporary relief, it will make you feel worse in the long run. You need to strike a balance between keeping control of your expenditure and getting the benefits of being part of a social gathering.

Throwing a budget party

How then do you host a great party without it costing a fortune? Here are a few budget-friendly ideas:
  • Hold your gathering at a location that will be free to use. If anyone has a large enough house or apartment, that could be an option, but bear in mind the possible risk of damage if your guests become overenthusiastic. Losing a security deposit or facing a big repair bill will cancel out the benefits of not having to pay for a venue. Outdoor locations are a good alternative, such as the park, a local landowner’s field (with permission of course), or the beach. You need somewhere that’s accessible, comfortable, and has plenty of space for everyone to spread out. Just be mindful of any regulations such as restrictions on noise and alcohol consumption in your prospective location.
  • Bring your own contribution party. Buying food and drinks for a party can be a costly undertaking, but if everyone brings one item, you will soon have plenty of refreshments for minimal cost. You could ask your guests to bring a bottle or a six pack or ask for donations of food. To avoid everyone bringing the same thing, you might want to make a list of what you need and get all the guests to sign up for a specific item; or just make a note of what everyone intends to bring along, so you can avoid having hundreds of pizza slices and no chicken wings!
  • Ask an upcoming band to play for you. You might not realise it, but there could be restrictions applicable on playing recorded music at gatherings and parties which mean you need a permit. You can get around this by asking a local band or performer to play instead. If they are just starting out and trying to make a name for themselves they may well be happy to perform for free, or a nominal sum. That way you can get live music for very little outlay.
  • Group together on gifts for special occasions. If you have a birthday, graduation, anniversary, or any party that is celebrating a special occasion, get together with your friends and all chip in to buy the perfect gift for the person concerned. Adults, in particular, will prefer to receive one expensive item that is something they truly desire rather than a lot of small, insignificant gifts.
Managing on a low income is never easy, but there are ways to get through a lean patch and still enjoy your life. A celebration with friends and family is one of the best ways to connect with the people you love, so see if you can use or adapt some of these ideas to create your own special party.

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