Graduation season is coming, and whether you have a child who is graduating from elementary school or middle school, a student who is finishing high school, or a soon-to-be college graduate, you may be hoping to throw a fun and welcoming party without spending too much money. While throwing a graduation party isn’t required, especially when your child is young, it is often appreciated. It can be truly special to celebrate your child’s hard work and accomplishments, and having a graduation party is a great way to do so.
If you want to save money though, you will have to stick to a budget. You also may need to limit the amount of guests or extras you want to include, and to try to save money in other ways as well. Like any celebration, graduation party spending can get out of hand, but you can plan a great party on a budget, too.
1. Set a budget
The very first thing you need to do if you want to save money on graduation party costs is to set a budget. If you don’t set a budget, you will be too tempted to go overboard buying whatever your child wants. Determine specific amounts for food, entertainment, activities if you want them, and so on. Try using a party planning worksheet to keep you on track. Some of your decisions will depend on your guest list — if you have a large guest list, you will need more food. If your child is young, you might need to include activities for the kids. Your teenager might appreciate live music or other entertainment, but your college grad might prefer a smaller get-together in your backyard.
Talk to your child about what he or she wants, but be sure to set limits. You can show appreciation for your child’s hard work without spending lots of money. One good way to set limits is to give your child choices. For example, if your high school student wants an after-prom party and a graduation party, he or she might have to settle for a smaller graduation party, or just pick one or the other.