Budget Birthday Bashes For College Buddies

Since I was two years old, my birthday has been flecked with confetti and smothered in vanilla bean icing. My parents always made me feel so important by blowing up balloons in my ever-fickle favorite color and inviting all the kids I came home beaming about at school. All the work they put in was largely a labor of love. Since I saw this from them, I want to do the same for others, especially my newer friends who may not know quite how much I adore and appreciate them. 

At college, I want to shower the world in love. However, love sometimes requires lots of money. Going to Target to get the pastel-colored, gold dazzled birthday decorations is much more expensive than I imagined. Ordering an engraved necklace from Etsy that is made with material that will not dye my friend's neck is rather pricey.

So, knowing what I know, that gifts are a tangible way to show love and are expensive, how do I proceed? Well, here is how to throw a ballin' birthday bash on a budget:

  1. 1. The Dollar Store

    The Dollar Tree is five hundred feet from my house. As one of my roommate's birthday is approaching this weekend, I waltzed on into the dollar store last Friday. They have two aisles devoted to parties, crafts and decorating. They had all different colored balloons, streamers, garland, plates, cups and hats. Better yet, everything is, you got it, a dollar. I was able to buy a huge pack of balloons, wrapping paper, ribbons and streamers for four bucks and some cents. 

  2. 2. Amazon

    If you are a prime member, Amazon doesn't charge shipping and it has so many options. Not paying for shipping can mean the world, because shipping on handmade items is far more expensive. With Amazon, you can browse easily from your phone and search to find the cheapest gift. I got a pair of cactus earrings for my roommate for $10 and they are adorable! 

  3. 3. Baking

    Yes, I know, you are busy. I am busy, and we are all so freaking busy our eyes can't focus. Perhaps the last thing you want to do is bake a cake, cupcakes or cookies. However, homemade is so much more thoughtful and price-efficient. Especially when you already own the basic cooking supplies, this option could cost you very little. If you don't own baking supplies, I guarantee that you will use them if you buy them. This is also so much more personal than going out and just buying whatever.

  4. 4. A Night in Celebration

    Movie night? Face mask night? Game night? Surprise gathering? Nail night? Baking competition? Just Dance Marathon? Don't all these things sound like fun? Try them! 

  5. 5. Look for Local Events

    My roommate's birthday is the day of Pride! We are going to go, check everything out, celebrate love, put on cute clothing, listen to some jamming music and get some free stuff. Look at your local events. Maybe there's a festival or standup comedy night? You never know until you look!

  6. 6. Split the Gift

    Maybe you and your friend group could go in together on one gift. My roommate really wanted the rainbow crocs with the white top and rainbow platform, so we all looked in her closet to find her size and split the shoes! Super thoughtful and cheaper!

There are a million other ways to save money but these are just some easy ones. Make a birthday a big deal while also prioritizing your budget!

Photo credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8