When you think “low-budget,” what do you think? Low-quality? Low-fun? Low-morale?

Well, stop that!

Just because you’re living on a small budget doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy life. It doesn’t mean you need to sit out on things like eating delicious food, hearing great music, or throwing banging birthday parties!

Living on a small budget means you’ll need to be smart about the different ways in which you spend your money. It means you’ll still be totally able to throw an awesome birthday party for your loved one!

Parties hardly ever need to be expensive or extravagant in order to be loads of fun and totally memorable. With a bit of careful planning, a lot of careful spending, and maybe a couple of balloons, you can throw an amazing birthday party!

“But how?!” you say? Read on for our top 7 cheap birthday party ideas that’ll help you throw the birthday party of the year using only a small portion of your week’s budget!

1. Start Planning Early

Before anything else, you should consider getting to work on planning as far in advance as possible. And after all, birthdays happen on the same day year after year, so do your best to stay on top of it!

Starting your planning a month or several weeks in advance saves you energy and money in lots of ways. It gives you enough time to comparison shop, to refine your budget and supplies lists, and it saves you from spending way too much money because you have no time and it’s your only choice!

Planning your party as far in advance as possible means you’ll be on the ball–and your bank account will be in the clear.

2. Think About What You Really Need

When planning a birthday party, it can be super easy to get carried away in the world of possibilities. You’ll need streamers and poppers and party hats and food and drinks and games and balloons and–wait. Do you really need all that?

Some of us tend to go overboard when it comes to party supplies. But if we’re honest, is anyone really going to remember those little details after? Think about what it’ll take for your partygoers to have a great time, and purchase those things exclusively!

3. Order Supplies Online

Although being picky about what, exactly, you order for your party is extremely important if you’re hoping to stick to a budget, it’s likely you’ll still need to buy a few supplies. By skipping out on the store and ordering things online, you’re less likely to suffer from impulse buys.

Consider doing all of your party supply shopping online, to begin with–then if you have some wiggle room in your budget, head to the store for a few special items.

The other bonus with ordering online is that you’re generally more likely to pick up on bulk sales and brief deals.

4. Pull Out the Aprons

The thing that kills budgets more than most other things on this earth is none other than everyone’s favorite party supply: Food.

One way to combat this big expenditure is to skip out on ordering food. Often, the convenience of doing so is hugely outweighed by the sheer price of it! Plus, since you planned so far in advance, you should have plenty of time for cooking and baking…right?!

Head to a bulk supply or bargain grocery store; you’ll be shocked at how much you’ll save! Plus, you’ll feel super validated with the slew of compliments to the chef.

5. Never Underestimate Free Activities

It seems that, especially when it comes to birthday parties, many of us feel pressured to plan a crazy, new experience for guests. But just because you’re partying on a budget doesn’t mean your party has to be boring!

For most, looking back on the different parties we’ve attended over our lives, some of the best ones were spent in the backyard and in the living room. Others were spent at the park or free afternoons at the museum. Think about the person whose birthday you’re celebrating–then brainstorm awesome free and affordable birthday places to throw them the best possible party!

The point is, just because an activity is free doesn’t mean it’s not fun, memorable, or worthy of being a birthday party activity. Your party doesn’t need to be extravagant to be amazing!

6. Turn to Your Smartphone

Okay, no, we’re not suggesting that everyone spend your party zoned into their own cell phones! But your smartphone is actually a great key to a budget-friendly, ideal birthday party.

You can skip hiring a DJ entirely by compiling a fun birthday party playlist on Spotify or Pandora. You can avoid buying a bunch of new board games by downloading an app or 2 for free or a small price. You can replace the pro photographer with fun smartphone photography.

Use the tools you’ve got access to; chances are, your guests will be impressed by your creativity and resourcefulness–and they won’t even think of how kind your genius has been to your wallet!

7. Accept People’s Offers

If you struggle with asking for help, you’re not alone! But when it comes to planning a party on a budget, consider taking 1 baby step toward asking for help: accept help when it’s offered to you.

If a partygoer asks what they can bring, let them choose from a few things you’re in need of. If they offer to bring a specific thing, let them.

The time will come for you to return the favor, and your guests will be glad when you do. Accept help as it comes, and watch your party become even more meaningful because of the collaborative nature of it!

Need More Cheap Birthday Party Ideas?

Just because you’re working on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t throw a banging birthday bash for your loved one! This world comes with loads of tips, tricks, and hacks for the frugal party-thrower.

If you’re looking for more cheap birthday party ideas or other awesome content you’ll love, check out our page!

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