5 Creative Ways to Celebrate Birthdays on a Budget

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This post is part of the 31 Days to Radically Reduce Your Expenses series. Visit this page for even more ways to slash costs and eliminate unnecessary spending! 

Next time you're planning a birthday bash, try one or ALL of these 5 creative ways to celebrate on a budget. Anyone can do #2!

Although I’m not a huge fan of getting older (Okay, I have a major aversion to it!), I love everything about birthdays — the scrumptious cake, fun little gifts, and special day activities can just keep on coming!

But as much fun as birthdays are to have yourself, they are also tons of fun to plan for others too. I could spend hours browsing Pinterest and creating themed birthday boards for just about any party, and don’t even get me started on all the do-it-yourself projects that take your bash to the next level. Maybe it’s a good thing we don’t have kids? I could see myself going a little overboard!

As with any celebration, the food, favors, decorations, and activities can really add up, and while it’s definitely more exciting to spend during the planning stage, it’s not so fun paying such a huge bill afterwards. Next time you’re in the middle of a big party planning session, try one or all of these 5 budget-friendly ideas to reduce your expenses, then sit back and enjoy the savings!

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How to Celebrate Birthdays on a Budget:

1. Ditch the Yearly Party – As much fun as it is to have a party every year, it’s certainly not a necessity. My parents were very intentional about our birthday parties, and we were allowed to have 2 major ones growing up {Year 6 and Year 13}. While I might have been a little disappointed that my whole class couldn’t go bowling or play mini-golf every year, it saved my family a lot of money in the long run and made the birthday parties that we did have, extra special!

2. Make Your Own Cake – Want to know something really crazy? I had my own cake business for a couple years straight out of college! It was fun while it lasted, but I quickly found out that cake decorating just wasn’t my passion. Still, I am very thankful I have all the necessary skills to create bakery-inspired cakes at home, and guess what? You can do it too! Not everything needs to be Cake Boss-worthy, and but if you would like to learn some basic techniques, sign up for a cake decorating course at A.C. Moore or Michaels. And, if you’d rather practice in the comfort of your own home, I definitely recommend a Bluprint class – there are some that you have to pay for, but quite a few are available for free!

3. Plan an Inexpensive Menu – Don’t feel like you have to provide a gourmet dinner for every birthday. A simple soup buffet in the Winter, or a backyard party with hotdog and hamburgers in the Summer are perfect alternatives to an expensive meal. Shop at discounted grocery stores for the best prices, and go generic when you can. Simple sides, such as seasonal fruit or potato chips are great to have on hand too!

4. Shop the Dollar Store for Accessories {or DIY Your Own} – The dollar store is THE best place to find frugal place settings, plastic cups, streamers, balloons, and more. Give yourself a budget, then challenge yourself to see how much you can get for that amount. If you’re the DIY/Crafty type, there are thousands of party decorating ideas on Pinterest that you can do yourself. Many of them are pretty frugal too!

5. Sign Up for Freebies – Treat yourself {or your family} to a few restaurant meals that come free courtesy of these birthday freebies. Sign up for them at least 30 days before your birthday to grab them all, then print and keep on hand all throughout your birthday month. We have enjoyed free dessert, ice cream, entrees, and even a few special birthday gifts from Ulta and Kohls!

Today’s Challenge:

Start planning now for the next birthday celebration you have coming up in your family. Create a Party Ideas board on Pinterest, and get a head start on planning the menu, including a DIY cake if you feel confident you can pull one off — psst…..which I know you can! I’d love to hear all about your birthday traditions in the comments below, or tweet @KalynBr00ke using #ReduceYourExpenses!

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