Check out these pro tips for party-planning on a budget

On this episode of Getting Rich, sponsored by Acura, go on a financial journey with Carmen Perez as she outlines the pro tips and tricks to own your bank account, from credit scores to crushing student loan debt.

Everyone loves a good party, but planning a party on a budget isn’t as easy as doing the Macarena! Arranging for food, music, and a venue without the costs adding up can be tricky. Fortunately, financial expert Carmen Perez (@makerealcents) of Make Real Cents has some useful tips for saving money when you’re planning your next party! 

In this episode of In The Know’s Getting Rich, Carmen shares her advice for party-planning on a budget, then sits down with guest Serena Ryen, who is recently engaged, to advise her on how to save money on her upcoming wedding

When it comes to party-planning on a budget, the first step, according to Carmen, is to determine how much money you feel comfortable spending. “Determine how much you can spend and stick to it,” Carmen recommends. “Things can add up very quickly and you don’t want to be the only person not having fun at your party because you’re stressed about how much you spent.”

Once you have your budget locked down, it’s time to work on your guest list. Whether you’re planning a formal party with invitations and RSVPs, or a more informal get together, getting a rough sense of how many people to expect is crucial to keeping everything within your budget. “If it’s a smaller, more intimate kind of party, your budget will go a lot further,” says Carmen. “If you’ve got a long guest list, you’ll probably need to book a venue.”

Finally, if possible, enlist your friends and family to lend their talents to helping you plan your party! Ask your creative friends if, instead of giving a gift, they’d be willing to help out with the party. “So for instance, a graphic designer can make you some really awesome invitations,” explains Carmen. “Not only is it a way to save more money, but creative contributions from your friends and family will add a really cool personal touch to any event.”

Next, Carmen sits down with Serena Ryen, who is currently trying to plan a wedding and honeymoon for under $20,000. Serena asks Carmen for her tips for wedding-planning on a budget.

Carmen recommends that Serena identify elements of the wedding she can execute on her own, without hiring outside help. “What can you DIY?” asks Carmen. “Flowers can be extremely expensive. I went to Costco, got all the garlands, all the things, [and] did all the flowers for our wedding for under $400.”

Carmen also suggests that Serena consider choosing a buffet over table service. “That can save you a little bit of money, and that’s literally the difference of maybe $20 a plate,” Carmen explains. “People mix and mingle in the buffet line and it’s just as nice.”

After chatting with Serena, Carmen concludes the episode with 3 additional tips for planning a party on a budget. First, if you’re tight on money, skip the DJ and make your own playlists instead. Second, send out digital invitations instead of paper ones to save money and help the planet. And, finally, save money by baking your own cake or buying one from an inexpensive store.

“You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on a cake that tastes good,” Carmen explains. “Flour, sugar, and butter take care of that for you!”

Carmen is not a registered investment advisor. The above information is not investment advice and is intended for educational purposes only. Please consult with a financial professional to assess what investments are suitable for you based on your financial objectives, needs, and risk tolerance.

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