Graduation Party Budget

 

Don't panic! You don't need to spend a fortune to enjoy a great celebration.

 

In a nationwide survey conducted by GraduationParty.com $985 was the average amount spent on graduation parties.

 

There are many ways to save money:

  • Joint Graduation PartyConsider co-hosting a party with other families. Talk to neighbors, friends, or relatives. Perhaps two or three families could go in together and host one large get-together. Joint parties take some coordinating but sharing in the rental costs, food preparation and expenses will likely be worth it.

  • Consider having your party before the graduation or on a weeknight. You will have a much better chance with caterers and rental companies if you plan a celebration in May instead of June.

  • Limit your menu to snacks that can be frozen or stored for later use.

  • If you prefer to provide a full buffet keep in mind that most people who host graduation parties often complain they had too much food left over. Limit the expensive items and stock up on non-perishable items that you can pull out if the food runs out.

  • Ask family and friends to make a food item for the buffet.

  • Share rentals with a friend or neighbor.

  • Share decorations with a friend or neighbor. Instead of buying all new plants borrow some from a good friend or neighbor.

  • Buy paper goods at a seasonal sale that corresponds with your school colors.

  • Save time and money on gifts and cards for your graduating friends by ordering everyone the same item.

After years of planning graduation parties we've come up with four sample budgets and a budget worksheet, including a printable worksheet.

 

Sample I

 
   

Invitations

79.00

Thank you notes and postage

35.00

Decorations/Balloons

25.00

Scrap book/board assembly

6.00

Banners and signs

15.00

Food

300.00

Beverages

35.00

Flowers and balloons

30.00

   

TOTAL

$525.00

 

 

Sample II

(Restaurant, closed for private party on Sunday)

 
   

Invitations

92.00

Thank you notes and postage

38.50

Decorations

20.00

Restaurant, food, tip and tax

715.00

Beverages (brought bottled water and pop)

75.00

Mini cheese cakes and cookies

85.00

Flowers and balloons

58.00

   

TOTAL

$1,038.50

 

 

Sample III

 
   

Invitations

82.20

Thank you notes and postage

38.50

Decorations

40.00

Table and linen rental

10.00

DVD production

100.00

Food

400.00

Beverages

75.00

Home improvement made for party

500.00

Flowers and balloons

25.00

Rental of Nacho Machine

65.00

   

TOTAL

$1,335.70

 

 

Sample IV (Country Club)

   

Custom Invitations

237.00

Thank you notes and postage

75.00

Country Club Buffet

2,800.00

Valet Parking

120.00

Decorations

500.00

Entertainment, Band

500.00

Tent rental

500.00

Cake or Cupcakes

135.00

Beverages

316.00

Bar Tab

120.00

Tips

580.00

Gifts for the graduate's friends

2,000.00

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream

600.00

   

TOTAL

$6,483.00

 

 

 

Here is a sample budget for you to fill in the blanks (click here for printable version):

 

Invitations:

 

     Quantity ________ x Printing Price _________ =

 

     Quantity ________ x Postage _____________ =

 

     Waiver from photographer to use photo?

 

Thank You notes and postage

 

Rental fee for park or party room

 

Decorations/Flowers and balloons

 

Entertainment

 

Tent rental

 

Table and linen rental

 

DVD production and/or scrap book assembly

 

Banners and signs

 

Caterer/Food

 

Beverages

 

Hire a food server/helper

 

Gifts for the graduates

 

Home improvement (Were you going to do it anyway?)

 

Cleaning services

 

Other fun stuff to rent or buy

 
   

TOTAL

 

 

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