Sweet 16 parties used to simply consist of cake, gifts and maybe a giggly sleepover complete with chick flicks and prank calls to cute high school boys. But thanks to reality television and our celebrity-obsessed culture, today’s Sweet 16 parties look more like miniature, alcohol-free wedding celebrations, right down to costly party preparations, dress fittings and celebrity-inspired DJs and live performances.
All those added expenses are enough to keep a cash-conscious parent awake at night, especially in our currently shaky economic environment. Fortunately, there are plenty of budget-savvy ways to throw your little prince or princess his or her dream Sweet 16 party without dipping into your retirement account, or you child’s hard-earned college fund. To generate some extra cash in a pinch, visit plaingreenloans.com to avoid a potentially dangerous loan from a family member or friend. Once you’ve safely secured a party fund, follow these money-saving steps to throw your baby the best birthday on a smart budget!
Utilize Your Friendors
When your child gets married, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to drop huge chunks of cash on everything from a world-famous catering company to a celebrity cake baker, so why spend big on their birthday?
Save the budget for their future wedding, and utilize your favorite friendors! A friendor is a friend or family member that will happily cook, bake or snap photos pro bono. Always loved Aunt Kathy’s cupcakes? Commission her to create the perfect birthday cake in lieu of a pricey venue-provided one. Never see Cousin Anthony without his camera? Ask if he’d like to serve as official paparazzi for your child’s big day, and let him bring a friend as payment instead of dropping tons of money on a professional.
Let the Birthday Boy or Girl Shine
We’ve all seen examples of parents chasing down the hottest R&B artist or celebrity DJ to perform at their child’s extravagant Sweet 16. But A-list acts are a surefire budget buster, so leave the famous talent to the celebrities, and let your son or daughter take center stage!
Does your daughter love to sing? Hand her the mic during her party and let her belt out her best Lady Gaga. Is your son the best break-dancer in town? Let him showcase his talent on stage in front of all his friends!
Instead of a lavish stretch limo or fancy party bus, drive the shuttle yourself in your trusty Dodge Grand Caravan or Honda CR-V. Decorate the windows in the birthday boy or girl’s favorite colors, and save big on transportation.
Keep these ideas in mind when planning that big birthday bash. You’ll be relieved to still have money in the bank, and your son or daughter will never know you managed such a great event on a wallet-friendly budget! Do you think we left anything off the list?