When your birthday rolls around but your budget is tight, inexpensive and fun activities can provide a big celebration without a big cash outlay. As you plan, consider ways you can involve your friends and family, and stay away from large parties and fancy evenings out, which can be costly for everyone involved.
If your birthday falls during a season of generally good weather, organise a camping trip birthday celebration. Invite your friends. Depending on your level of wilderness skills, you might hike to a campsite or simply drive up so that the cars and supplies are close at hand. Have a bonfire in the evening, roast marshmallows and cook inexpensive camp foods like hot dogs and grilled vegetables.
To celebrate your birthday, prove to yourself that you can complete a challenging physical feat. Pick something that is within your abilities and close enough to home so that you do not have to spend much on transportation costs. You might climb a mountain for the first time, run a race, compete in a triathlon, or hike the length of a trail in your area. Completing a difficult physical feat can be a symbolic and meaningful activity, and will allow you time to reflect on the year to come.
When you don't have the money to shell out on a big birthday party but want to celebrate with friends, host a potluck dinner. You provide the house and snacks, and ask everyone to bring a dish to share; this will give your friends and family the opportunity to show off their cooking skills and allow everyone the chance to try different foods. During the evening, play games, watch movies, or simply enjoy being in each other's company on your special day.
If you are looking for a fun, high-energy way to celebrate your birthday, plan a karaoke night. You can organise a group to go out to a karaoke bar, where you can keep your tab within your budget, or you can rent a karaoke machine to set up at your house. Encourage your guests to sing solos and perform big group numbers that are sure to get crowd participation; be prepared for the inevitable "Happy Birthday" performance. Even for non-singers, karaoke can be a fun way to let loose.
Thrift Store Prom
For a birthday party that allows guests to dress up without spending a fortune, hold a thrift store prom. Set a spending limit and ask each guest to visit a local thrift store or garage sale to buy an outfit for the party. Your friends and family will have fun comparing outfits, and you can keep the party costs in line by connecting mp3 players to speakers to play oldies and crowd favourites, and by putting out cheap snacks like chips and sodas.