Ideas for a 22nd birthday on a budget

Written by kate bradley
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  • Introduction

    Ideas for a 22nd birthday on a budget

    Money may be tight, but that doesn't mean you have to sit on the sidelines for your 22nd birthday. You can have a fun and memorable birthday celebration without breaking the bank. A little creativity and flexibility are all that's needed to turn your low-budget celebration into an unforgettable bash.

    Your 22nd birthday celebration doesn't have to cost a lot of money. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

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    If you're low on cash, chances are most of your friends are too. Keep everyone's costs down with a potluck birthday dinner at your house. Tell everyone to bring a dish, something to drink and a source of entertainment; for example, a karaoke machine or a board game. You could also embrace the "budget" side of your party and turn it into a theme. Tell everyone to dress in cheap, tacky clothes and bring their own meal from a fast-food restaurant, a cheap bottle of wine and a bargain-bin DVD. Everyone will get a laugh from the silly outfits and eating like high-schoolers again.

    If everyone pitches in, the results can be delicious. (Thomas Jackson/Lifesize/Getty Images)

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    Hold a massive, citywide scavenger hunt for your guests. Ask a non-guest to create the clues so that you can participate. Split guests into teams. Ask each team to donate a "prize" from their homes, such as a gently-used small kitchen appliance. The winning team members get the prizes. Or, head to a Sunday afternoon matinee for low ticket and concession prices. You could also join the kids for a night of roller-skating at the local rink. Or, have a budget barhopping fest: set a per-person budget and hit every happy hour in your town. Compete to see who can get the most bang for her buck.

    Enjoy a birthday happy hour with your friends. (Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

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    Getting out of town on a budget can be challenging, but it's not impossible. Pick a few friends and choose an inexpensive or less-popular location that is still relatively close. Split the cost of a hotel suite or room. Ask parents with military or educators' discounts to book it for you. Shop for groceries beforehand and don't eat out. Look for free guided tours and attractions. You could also simply take a celebratory road trip with a few friends. Use a 100-mile radius to choose your destinations and spend a few days on the road. Save money by packing sleeping bags and groceries.

    A road trip can provide wonderful birthday memories. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

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    Other Ideas

    Go camping and hiking with a few friends. Go to a professional sports game and sit in the nosebleed section (bring binoculars!). Go on a budget "shopping spree" with your friends; set a budget of £32 or lower and try to assemble an entire outfit. You could also have an old-fashioned sleepover. Don't order pizza, though; make your own from scratch. Don't rent movies, either; instead, use a family member's online movie rental account to watch free streaming movies. Or, head out for fast food, a trip to the mall and a few hours playing video games at an arcade. Guests can redeem the tickets they win for "birthday gifts" from the arcade.

    You don't have to buy anything to have a great shopping trip. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

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