Party budget planning can be overwhelming. Parties are expensive-no two ways about it; ESPECIALLY if you want to throw a one of a kind event. It’s important, BEFORE you start planning your party, to start some party budget planning.
One key thing to remember is that you need to budget with room-otherwise, you’ll break your budget. Purposely give yourself some leeway- you never know where sneaky extra expenses could come from-extra cardstock, extra favors, etc.
Party Budget Planning 101:
First, Your party budget planning should be centered around the decor/tablescapes, as you can always adjust numbers for food later down the road. Give yourself a budget that includes all the decor and favors. (While you may think planning for favors before food is unwise, you can always give extra favors out at later parties, or give out some extras at the end.) Since your decor and table should all go together, they should be planned together. Your dessert/food table should have one focus point-usually cupcakes or cake. If it’s cupcakes, you’ll need to plan for a way to display them, whether it’s a cupcake tower or different heights of boxes covered by a tablecloth. Next come the table decor items.
I always shop BOTH Hobby Lobby and Michaels on the same day, using their coupon apps on my phone. This way I can score 40% or 50% off one item at both stores. I usually go to Hobby Lobby or Michaels at least once every two weeks to get deals and to capitalize on post-holiday sales. For my area, Hobby Lobby is cheaper, and had more party-friendly items, so I usually shop there more frequently. I plan for usually a tablecover, containers to display food, silverware, plates, napkins, serving utensils, and table decor-usually at least 6 things that help communicate the theme of the party to the attendants. If the budget allows, I can continue to plan for things outside of the table-games, favor tables, guest table decor, etc. That part is usually the biggest money zapper, as you usually have to construct things or purchase large things.
Always give a good chunk of your party budget planning time and money to making great favors. I usually get edible favors that tie in to my theme, but sometimes, like in my Elmo party, I planned goldfish and little bowls as favors. The fish, at about $3, along with food, $2, and a $1 glass bowl made a wonderful favor that also doubled as awesome table decor!
I also try to re-use things in my parties. I re-use my cupcake tower, I save neutral backdrops, along with my balloon wreath. I always save seasonal party decor as well.
Party budget planning is a necessary party of throwing a good shindig, and keeping your wallet in tact!