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Creative Graduation Party Ideas On A Budget

Trying to plan a creative graduation party on a budget? There are plenty of options out there to celebrate your high school or college graduate without going into debt. Here are some unique and affordable party ideas.

Avoid debt with these budget-friendly creative graduation party tips.

Avoid debt with these budget-friendly creative graduation party tips.

Creative Graduation Party Options

Throwing a party to honor the accomplishments of your graduate can be difficult when you’re in debt management. If you wanted an extra special event, you might be tempted to build up even more debt. However, a creative graduation party doesn’t have to mean a high end, fabulous gala of sorts.

Budgeting for a Creative Graduation Party

Before getting to any party ideas, it’s crucial to create your budget first. This is one way to help prevent further consumer debt. Let’s get started.

You may need to consider a spending freeze to get some extra money out of the budget. Discretionary categories like entertainment, dining out and travel are good places to start. You might also try carpooling to reduce gas and car expenses. Another avenue is to generate more income. Think through seasonal work options, cleaning for friends and family, babysitting or selling some unused possessions.

After you examine the budget, you can estimate how much you will be able to save for the party. This number is the start of your budget. Every purchase you make has to come from this amount of money. Try estimating some expenses and running some mock budgets for your party ideas. This exercise can reveal if your ideas for a creative graduation party are too ambitious or right on target. You may have to limit the number of invites, refreshments or other party features to make it work.

Unique Graduation Party Ideas

Rather than hosting your own party, invite friends and family to celebrate together as an outing. If your grad likes baseball, have everyone buy tickets to a local Triple A game. This is a great way to have a memorable and entertaining event. In this creative graduation party scenario, everyone is handling their own expenses, like tickets and refreshments. You can choose your expenses and thus avoid more credit card debt.

Another option is to host multiple parties at once. Everyone has a friend or two where the families are friends. This is a great opportunity to host one party for 2 or 3 grads. Costs for food, decorations and other items can be shared. Hosting the party at someone’s home is another way to save on venue costs.

Finally, everyone loves dessert, so make it the centerpiece of the party! In party season, people are hopping from one event to the other; you can bet they will fill up elsewhere. Everyone saves room for dessert though. Baking your own cookies and cupcakes can save tons of money. Plus, you just have to focus on dessert, maybe some other lite refreshment options and beverages.

Take these ideas and see how your budget can stretch to accommodate a creative graduation party while getting rid of credit card debt.

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today. 


Michelle is a regular contributor to Talking Cents. She has taken several financial courses on debt management and is ready to circulate what she has learned from them as well as lessons from her own life- family to DIY projects to student loan debt.

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