Hope everyone had a fab weekend in this glorious weather; it came around so quickly after the four-day working week!
This year is a year of big birthdays for me and most of my friends as we enter our third decade. It means numerous birthday celebrations at various locations within the country. The inspiration for this post came from a colleague, also in the same position, who was complaining about the cost of attending all of these birthdays. My thoughts are that it is as expensive as you want it to be, so here are my tips to avoid spending ridiculous amounts on these celebrations.
1. Decide which birthday celebrations you are going to attend
Now this may seem like a no brainer – if you have been invited to a number of parties and time/money won’t allow you to attend all of them it’s time to make decisions. With each milestone birthday the constraints we face are only likely to increase. To help decide which celebrations you will attend consider the following:
- How close you are to the person? How long you have known them?
- Who is likely to be attending the party?
- Whether you have been in recent contact? I appreciate that with some friends you may not talk all the time but when you do it’s exactly like old times.
- Your motives for attending.
- Format of the party (e.g. dinner and drinks, club night). If there are multiple elements you can choose to attend part of the celebrations.
It’s also perfectly acceptable to politely decline an invitation when you are unable/don’t fancy attending.
2. Get the details & budget for it
So you’ve decided that you’re going to attend. Get the details as early as possible to allow yourself time to plan for the additional expenditure on travel, hotel, dinner, drinks etc. For budgeting tips check out step 3 in my Taking control of your money post.
3. Recycle Outfits
I am not the best at this. I tend to see a statement piece and think “wow, I’ve got to have that”. However, if the statement piece stands out too much its recycling potential is limited (particularly with the existence of social media – photo evidence means there’s less chance of getting away with it).
Instead opt for nice quality staple pieces that can be dressed up with different accessories to achieve a number of different looks. The LBD (little black dress) is the ultimate example of this. Looking for inspiration? The fashion bloggers and youtubers have so many tips on capsule wardrobe items and day to night looks – I particularly love Shirley B. Eniang.
4. Cut travel costs
You can cut travel costs when driving by teaming up with friends and splitting the petrol cost. Not only will you save, it’s also a great excuse for a road trip!
If travelling by train, plane or coach – BOOK IN ADVANCE. Most (if not all) service providers offer much lower advance fares. To benefit from these low fares you will need to be organised. If you wait until the last minute, the price will only go up! That last minute ticket is likely to end up on your credit card (especially if unplanned expenditure) and that’s the sort of debt we want to eliminate where possible.
5. Be creative with your gift
Spending more on a gift doesn’t guarantee that the gift will be better. By putting some extra thought into your gift you can find something that has maximum impact at relatively low cost. Try to decide on your gift a couple of weeks in advance. Not only will it save on last minute stress running around the shops; your friend will probably be extremely moved and your pocket will also be happy….it’s a WIN-WIN.
If you’re stuck for ideas search for “thoughtful gifts” on Pinterest. Memory Books are the perfect example of a creative gift. They have huge sentimental value and are extremely low cost (especially with many photo printers offering a number of free prints to new customers).
You’ve spent time and money prepping and travelling to the celebrations. Now it’s time to get on the dancefloor/socialise/celebrate – whatever the format of the celebration make the most of it and enjoy yourself!
Following the above steps you are less likely to find yourself in financial hot water after the event. So all your effort can be focused on nursing that hangover/ muscle pain (from those moves you can no longer do but tried anyway, lol!).
What steps have you taken to save money on attending events/functions? Comment or send me a tweet to let me know – I’m always looking for new ways to save!
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