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Summer is party central! And whether you’re planning a graduation, retirement, engagement or other milestone party to celebrate a special occasion, the cost of hosting a fabulous party adds up quickly. Check out these 6 tips to help you save money planning your celebration this summer:

Celebration - A group of young adults sit around a table at a garden party.

#1. Party Priorities

Unless the party is meant to be a surprise, sit down with the guest of honor and prioritize what’s important to them. Once you have a date, create a budget with an online money management tool like Trends to manage expenses and set spending categories and goals.

Celebration - A mature woman is talking on a cell phone while using a computer to make party arrangements.

#2. Home is Where the Heart Is

Save money by hosting at home. Along with skipping hall rental fees and staffing costs, you’ll save additional dollars by using caterers, florists and other vendors that fit your budget and party theme.

Celebration - Family celebrating a party in the backyard.

#3. Slash the Guest List

One of the best ways to stay within budget is to cut the guest list. You’ll save dollars, lots of dollars, on invitation, postage, food and drink costs by crossing distant relatives, acquaintances and social media friends off the list.

Instead focus on the people that matter most to the guest of honor – think about it, does your teenager care if your co-workers attend their high school graduation party? Probably not, they’d rather hang out with their friends one last time before heading off to college. So invite their friends to a casual Open House instead.

Celebration- Hands of a woman making pink invitations.

#4. Whip-up Your Own Celebration Menu

Instead of hiring a caterer, consider creating your own dishes. Your celebration feast could be as simple as brats and burgers on the grill or something a bit more elaborate such as tapas.

Simply serve food you know your guests will enjoy. Teens and children alike would appreciate a make your own pizza station, while discerning adults might appreciate petit fours or a charcuterie platter instead.

Want to save even more money? Host a potluck and invite everyone to bring a favorite dish to share.

Celebration - Nacho appetizer.

#5. Calling All Friends and Neighbors

Whether you need an additional grill, a volleyball net, punch bowl or extra chairs reach out to friends and family and borrow. You’ll save money and a trip to the mall by just asking.

Celebration - Teen-aged girl playing volleyball outside.

#6. Create a Signature Drink

The cost of alcohol and soda can many times be the most expensive items on your list. It’s best to keep it simple by offering a signature cocktail, a non-alcoholic punch, iced-tea and pitchers of water with lemon, lime or cucumber wedges to help quench thirst.

If soft drinks and beer are on your menu, take advantage of Memorial Day and Independence Day sales to purchase your party supplies.

Celebration - A pitcher of iced water with lemon wedges and mint leaves on a table in the backyard.

One last tip for saving money on a summer celebration – don’t forget to charge your party expenses to DuPage Credit Union’s Inspire Cash Back Visa® Signature Card. It’s the premier cash back card for all of your purchases.

Do you have any tips on how to save money planning a celebration? If so, please share:


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