It’s party time and you’ve been tasked with the lion’s share of the responsibility for making this shindig go off without at hitch. Sound like fun? Of course it does, unless of course you’re limited by a lack of funds. Still, there are ways to throw a great party with limited resources. With some careful planning and a realistic vision, it’s an entirely possible feat. So, are you up for the challenge? If so, here are two things that can help you create your crowd-pleasing event.
Careful budgeting and reality checks
Avoid a party meltdown by planning your budget ahead of time. Think carefully about things like appropriate kinds of food and beverages and the right kind of entertainment. For instance, if your theme is a carnival and you plan to host thirty rowdy partiers, all under the age of ten, you’re going to have a pretty specific list of have and have not items. You don’t need booze (hopefully), but you do need apple juice and punch, lots of it. So set aside part of your budget for those sugary beverages that will keep all those kids up until 2 am! Allot a certain amount of money for entertainment. You’ll have to be realistic here. Renting a special whack-a-mole machine may be feasible, whereas hiring a knife eater or lion tamer isn’t likely (consider not only for the financial downfalls of this but the liability and safety issues as well). But the bearded lady…. Now you could probably get her to come for free if your good sport of a neighbor doesn’t mind dressing in drag- just this once. Get creative, and don’t be scared to ask for a few favors. People like to help out. And be flexible! You may not be able to afford ten clowns in a clown car but one good one plus and old-timey popcorn machine should suffice.
Negotiation (otherwise known as haggling)
You dead set on having the best carnival party in the neighborhood. You’ve got to get a cotton candy machine delivered, and a jumpy castle, and don’t forget the pony rides. On a tight budget, making a magical experience come alive before your guest’s very eyes can be a tough challenge. When you do settle on the list of items that you have to go out and buy, try a little negotiating to keep costs down. Negotiation will be a key factor in bringing your party in on or under budget. Try a little good old-fashioned haggling before you hire equipment rental vendors and talent. It’s a tough economy out there and many people will be willing to play ball in order to get the business.
And if you find yourself getting dangerously close to your financial limit, don’t be afraid to reassess. Cut back on a few of the more expensive items and supplement with cheaper options. Forgo the balancing elephant but get more candied apples. Your party will still be great and everyone will appreciate the great effort you put in.