How to Plan a Summer Party on a Student Budget

July 28, 2022

For students, there’s no better time for a party than during the summer. Your schedule is less stressful, and you have poolside hangouts, barbecues, and beautiful weather ahead. What else could you ask for? Well, a few extra bucks to make it happen would be nice. But with a student budget, you don’t always have the extra cash for parties.

Fortunately, we’ve gathered some thrifty ways to host warm-weather events that won’t break the bank. If you follow these tips, you’ll have all the fun you’re looking for without declaring bankruptcy by the start of next semester:

Determine Your Actual Budget

You may have a rough idea of how much you’re willing to spend, but you should set a strict number for your event and stick to it. Once you’ve established that amount, you can strategically plan purchases so that every part of the budget is carefully spent. It may sound a little intense, but that kind of discipline will save dollars in the long run.

Create a Prioritized List

When planning a party, there are three essentials you can’t forget: food, drinks, and music. Truth be told, you can have a pretty good event with only these three elements. Just remember, before committing to anything extra, always cover the basics.

Once you have those items out of the way, any remaining budget can be spent on the extras. Whether you double down on decor or buy a bouncy house, you’ll have the peace of mind that the essential items are covered. By creating that prioritized list of party needs early, you won’t risk spending too much too early on something unimportant.

Call-In Favors from Friends

You don’t have to plan alone. In fact, we recommend adding to your party committee. Because if you have more people, you have more resources. Now, if you don’t have anyone right away that wants to help out, no worries. This is the time to call in favors. Did you help a friend with their homework? Ask them for extra help setting up. Did you help plan your roommate’s house party? Ask them to return the favor. You never know what other people can bring to the table. You might be surprised what you can make happen just by asking for help.

Crowdsource It

Let’s get one thing straight. By “crowdsourcing,” we don’t mean setting up a GoFundMe page for your party planning budget. This approach is not only somewhat unrealistic but even a little unethical, too.

Instead, send a message to invitees and see if they’re willing to chip in to make it happen. That could mean contributing needed items, cooking food, or throwing in some spare cash. If that doesn’t yield results, consider charging a cover to get into the party. You’d be surprised how willing people are to chip in five dollars for a fun event.

Cut Costs Where You Can

Let’s be honest. One-dollar cups hold drinks just as well as five-dollar ones, right? There’s no need to overspend on the small things that no one really cares about.

Certain items, like cheap glasses or plates, will do the trick when planning a party on a budget. In fact, consider catching all of your paper goods (and even some decorations) at a dollar or discount store.

Don’t Overdo It

It’s not unusual if some food goes uneaten, some games aren’t played, and some drinks are left behind. Don’t let your vision get too out of hand when you’re planning a party on a budget, or you may spend more money than you need to on things that won’t even get used. Instead, consider a minimalistic approach.

Now, suppose budgeting just isn’t your thing. In that case, you might need to practice a little restraint in other areas before putting money toward a party. For more tips on managing your money, check out our guy for budget-conscious travel or gift-buying. If you can cut costs elsewhere, you can reallocate them to your summer soiree.

But no matter how you host it, it all comes down to planning. If you have a limited budget, remember to stay in your dollar range, stick with the basics, and invite the people you enjoy spending time with. After that, the only thing left to do is enjoy the evening. Good luck!