How to Throw Great Parties on A Budget


If you wanna throw a great party on a budget, then this episode is for you. Well, we all love a good party, don't we? And we all would love to be able to host a great party, whether it's a wedding shower, a baby shower, maybe a birthday party for your kids or your spouse, or even your own wedding unless you're like Monica and you refuse to call your wedding a party. Remember when she was like, "Chandler, if you call my wedding a party one more time, "you may not be invited!" Friends, anyone, Friends, anyways. When you are throwing a party there are two filters to be thinking about, okay. So there's the money filter and the motivational filter. Depending on where you are financially, that's going to affect what kind of party you're going to throw. Listen, there's a lot of life events to celebrate. It's so fun. We love confetti, we love balloons, but you have to be responsible when it comes to your money, and also you wanna make sure that your motivation is in the right spot. Now if you're paying off debt or you're saving up for your emergency funds, then your party is probably gonna look a little different than those of you who have no debt, a fully funded emergency fund, and you're like rockin' and rollin', okay. But neither party is right or wrong, it's all dependent upon where you are financially. It reminded me of the story of Jay-Z when he was like in the news a few months ago because he took a bunch of people out and threw this big party and spent 100 grand at this one restaurant, and people were like losin' their minds. I was like, well, I wonder how rich Jay-Z is? I mean, he's married to Queen B so I mean like he's got it pretty good, right? I mean like he's a smart guy. So I looked and Jay-Z, himself, he made $42 million last year. $42 million. Like a million dollars but 42 times in just a year. I mean like a lot of money, it's a lot of money. So he spent $100,000 in one night. Okay, so what if you just took some zeros off. That would be like someone who makes $420,000 a year spending $1,000 on a party. Or if you're making $42,000 a year, spending $100 on a party. $100, that's what you spend when you walk into Target. Yes, I know, I know you, yes. So, I mean, 100 bucks. I mean I'm looking and I'm like, yeah, Jay-Z you go spend 100 grand, I think you're okay. And you could probably spend it every night for the next two weeks and you're still gonna be fine, right? So, again, it's ratio. So if you can pay for a great party, then go and have it. But if you can't, then your party's gonna be more on a budget, which is still okay. Remember, people are coming to your party because they love you and not all the stuff you're doing to throw the party, okay, so remember that. So when you're looking at a party to throw and you're like how much can I spend, remember our filters, right, the money filter and the motivation filter. So if you have the money, but your motivation is just because you wanna post on Instagram and get a lot of likes, not great motivation, so check yourself. Or if you have the money and your motivation really is that I wanna throw a great party for my friends, or I wanna throw a cute one-year-old birthday party for my one-year-old and I love to create things, good, good motivation, good money. Good to go. Great! Or if you don't have the money, then I don't care what your motivation is your party's gonna be on a budget. And, again, that is okay. So I have learned for myself that I have fallen into both traps when it comes to party planning. I remember the first party I threw when Winston and I moved to Nashville in our house, it was kind of a disaster. So Winston and I had moved to Nashville. We had been in our house for maybe like four months. We got part of a small group at church and there's all these new people and it was right around Christmas time, and everyone was like, oh you know, we should do a small group Christmas party. I was like, "We can host, we can host!" I'm like 22 years old, right. Like we just got out of college, just starting jobs, like just we don't even have furniture in our house, people. This is like where we're at in life. But I was like, no, we can throw a great party; this is great. So then I leave the small group after we've decided we're gonna throw the party, and I just kind of go in this spiral. I remember thinking, oh my gosh, everyone's gonna come to our house, and what are they gonna expect? It has to be really nice and really great. So I went to Pottery Barn and I spent who knows how much on placemats and cloth napkins and even the napkin rings, like all this stuff. You guys, we did not have the money for me to go to Pottery Barn and spend on like placemats, okay. It was not a wise decision. But I was doing it because I really was like, oh my gosh, these people have to think that I'm great, really. Then I ask my sweet mother of a great recipe because I wanted to cook a homemade meal. Why, I don't know, bad motivation. Remember, bad motivation. My mom was like, oh this is the easiest chicken recipe ever. It was some chicken recipe but you've gotta fry it on the stove, then you put it and bake it, then you do all this other stuff while it's baking, and it's supposed to be the most easiest, best chicken recipe ever. It was like five minutes before people were coming. I had like watery spinach in the crock pot, some crock pot recipe I tried to make. My chicken was like, it looked disgusting. So I made Winston taste it and he was like, "Babe, I don't even think it's done," and it wasn't; it was still raw in the middle. Within five minutes, it was people were coming at 6:30, it was like 6:23 and I was breaking down. I was like, oh my gosh, this is so bad. So Winston had to go to Publix, true story, and buy rotisserie chickens, and that's all we ate was just chicken. We didn't even have sides, we had nothing. It was a disaster. It really was. And I look back and I was like that was so silly of me, but that was, I mean, I was in this cycle of wanting to impress everyone; I really was. Then I contrast that with just two weeks ago I had eight girlfriends over. We made pasta and a salad, sat and drank wine. I don't even know if there were placemats. Actually, I think there were placemats that I had gotten from the first party I ever threw. But there were paper napkins and we all just sat around and talked and it was so fun. I mean there was nothing. There was no flowers. There was nothing exciting about it, but I just wanted to throw a girls night out, and we had such a good time. It's just that reminder, you guys, that you can have a great experience inviting people over, hosting, whether it's a shower or it's just a girls night out, whatever it is, and the people that are coming are there for you, and that's their expectations. So do not feel like you have to spend a crazy amount of money, because even if you did and everything went right and the chicken like actually was made correctly in the first party, I still, the night still would have gone through and I would have been like, eh, I guess it was okay, because my motivation was so off. So have the right motivation and don't feel like you have to spend a ton of money. That's one reason I am so excited that Courtney from Pizzazzerie is coming on the show next to show us how we can throw a great party on a budget. Hey guys, I am here with Courtney from Pizzazzerie, and we're gonna talk all about how to throw a great party. So thanks for being here. - Excited to be here. - This is so fun. - Yep. - So we're gonna walk through how to throw a great tailgating party, a baby shower, and a birthday party. And thanks to my friends Home Chef for making this segment possible. So this first party is a tailgate party. - Football. - I'm so ready for football. - So excited! - So great. - Okay, so you have some great tips of how to host a great tailgating party. - Stay on budget, so first thing is don't feel obligated or like you have to go to your favorite burger joint or barbecue place to get food for the crowd because it'll get expensive and fast. So make like large dish recipes for a crowd like pasta salad, a lot of burgers, a lot of hot dogs. Kind of make a few things and just make a lot of them that are easy, crowd-pleasing favorites. - Instead of small things, big. You'll save money that way. - Big batch, absolutely. - Love it, okay, tip number two? - Number two, instead of going to the party store where the prices are raised a little bit, head to the dollar store for your team's colors in plates, napkins, cups, and things. - Yes, I love that! - That's actually like that's so great because this plate would be orange if it was up to me, go Vols, but instead of it feeling you have to buy like the logo T or all of that, - Yes and me too. - you just get more-- - Just stay in your - color scheme. - And it's more simple. - Yes. - And I kinda like that too. - Keep it classy, people. - Yeah. - And cheap, it's wonderful. - Absolutely! - And last tip for a tailgating party? - At the grocery store don't feel like you have to buy the brand name everything. - That's good. - Buy store brand because you'll save a few dollars here and there and it really adds up when you're throwing like a big tailgating party. - Yes, I mean mustard is mustard. - It's all the same. - It's all the same. - So just get the store brand and it'll be awesome. - So great, oh, okay before we head inside we're probably gonna eat all this food. - Absolutely. - Because it smells so good. - All right, next up we have baby showers which is like my season of life. - Absolutely, I love to throw baby showers, it's so fun. One of my favorite types of parties to throw. - So great, okay, so number one tip is? - Clear glass or white cake stands and trays. - Oh I love that, yes. - Because you can get them one time like from Home Goods, Target, and then you can use them for any occasion, any color scheme, they'll always works. - Reuse and I think it makes it look beautiful. I just feel like it makes it look clean and classy. - Goes with everything, yes, perfect. - So great, all right, tip number two? - Food, don't feel like you have to serve a whole meal at a baby shower. - Oh that's so good. - Three to four appetizers, cupcakes or a cake, and you're done. It doesn't have to be a lot, the people are there-- - Which is so inexpensive, by the way. Finger foods, praise Jesus, hallelujah. - Yes, you'll end up with leftover food. Like it always happens because they're there to see that mom-to-be. - So they don't eat much! - Yes, they're busy kind of watching her open the gifts, so that's kind of what the focus is. - So what foods do you like doing more like of a brunch or an afternoon? - Yes, I like brunch because I think it's fun. People have normally had breakfast, they're not looking for a like a second breakfast. So just a few little pick up things, fruit, and then you're good to go. - So great. - And it's like a fun time of day to celebrate mom-to-be. - Love it, finger foods on the clear and white, beautiful. Okay, so last tip is? - Flowers, don't feel like you have to spend a ton of money at a florist. - This one does stress me out a little bit. - It can rack up fast, but you can do it yourself. Just visit a couple of grocery stores and then use - Grocery stores. - smaller vases to kind of spread out flowers across your table and add greenery. I've even picked some stems from my own yard to kind of add greenery and fluff up a few little arrangements. - I love that. - And it's easy. - Yes, so in things lik Costco even, I have seen Costco when I've walked by I'm like their flowers actually are beautiful and it's great. - Yes! - It's much more affordable, and one thing I love to do is let the mom-to-be take home the flowers so she can use them to kind of brighten up her home while she waits for baby's arrival. - Yes, okay, so good! Well I love these tips, they feel so doable and affordable. Great, okay, so coming up next we have? - Tips for birthday parties. - Birthday parties. - Yes, so fun. - Constant, yes, love it. All right, this is adorable. - I love birthday parties. - This is so cute. - They're my favorite. - Yes! So tip number one? - Tip number one is party printables. You can make your own and you don't have to be super artsy craftsy. - That's so good. - You just need a printer and some cardstock. They even have some really fun calligraphy fonts online for free that you can kind of add and decorate, and they can still be really simple, and it kind of adds that polished look to the party. - So cute, and actually I'm really excited because our team who created these printables, you guys, for you. So this banner, these name cards, and some other stuff, they're adorable and free so you should click the link below to check those out. All right, tip number two? - Number two, plan the time of your party carefully. So if you don't wanna have to serve a whole meal, just like the baby shower, do it in like the afternoon. Cake, a few snacks, and you're good. You don't have to serve a full dinner to the neighborhood for a birthday party. - So good, okay, I can't remember which kid it was. Was it the first birthday of Caroline maybe? But we did pizza, because I love pizza, and I ordered a ton, and it was like kind of expensive. When I got the total in the app I was like, oh God! - It adds up. - I know like pirate's booty Chex Mix, just call it a day. - Yes and cake, they're all there for the cake anyway, so you don't have to kind of serve a full-on meal. - So good. - So plan the time of your party like 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. And then you kinda get out of the full meal thing. - I love it, love it. Okay, last but not least? - Cake, so one of my very favorite tips for birthday parties is kind of decorate your own cake instead of going to like an expensive bakery, head to the grocery store bakery and ask for a white buttercream cake. It'll be the cheapest thing because they didn't add a lot of decorations - Brilliant! - and add your own. - So whether it's just inexpensive candies or a few extra floral blooms, or a fun little printable sign, decorate it yourself. - That's so cute, I mean like that cake, adorable. - And then it can match your theme, and you're not like trying to match colors with the bakery. Just do it yourself. - So great! - Okay, so you're a mom and you're party planning and all of this, so what do you do, like what's your number one tip when you have a party, like the week of, that's keeps you sane; what do you do? - Yes, it can be hard, but it can be done. You just have to schedule everything carefully. - That's good. - So don't leave things to the last minute. So coordinating with my husband. Like if he has my little one like I'm working like crazy, and when she goes down at night, working like crazy. You can get it all done, you just have to do it in the time slots that are right for the family schedule. - That's so good. I was throwing a shower for my friend a few weeks ago, and I feel like my biggest stress point was dinner because I prep every night of like what are we gonna do for dinner, so Home Chef for me has literally saved us, especially that week because I was like, okay good, I know my food's gonna be here and what's gonna be for dinner. Yes, you guys, I'm seriously obsessed. Because not only does it have 18 fresh choices to choose from every single week, but they deliver straight to your home, and the recipes are so easy to follow, and they send you all the ingredients so you don't ever have to wonder if you have everything you need for dinner on top of keeping track of everything you need for your party. So get $30 off your first order of Home Chef today by clicking the link below or go to Courtney, I'm obsessed with Home Chef so much that I want to give you a gift for being here. - Oh, thank you, thank you! - So here's a gift card for you. I hope you love them as much as I do. - Thank you. - For real, thanks for coming on today and helping us - with all party needs. - Thanks, it was a blast. - We love you. - Yep, thanks. - Wasn't Courtney great? I loved all of her tips, and she was just so stinkin' fun, loved it. So when it comes to throwing some great parties those were some great tips, but the biggest party you're probably ever gonna throw is your wedding day. Yep, the wedding. Listen, people on average in America today are spending $35,000 according to Some of you are probably like, "What?" Others of you are like, "That's it?" But, yes, that's it, that's the average. So when you're looking at your budget when it comes to your wedding, because you need a budget, here are just some really high level recommended percentages. Again, recommended percentages. You can change these. Just recommended when it comes to this whole industry. Your reception you're probably gonna spend around 55% of your budget. Yep, the dancing, the bands, the DJ, the food, the venue, all of it, expensive, more than half your budget. The ceremony around 12%. Photography, 10%. A wedding planner, 10%. Now the wedding planner is one if you're on a super tight budget you can cut, but it's amazing to have one because you don't have to be the bad guy on your wedding day; some other lady is telling every Uncle Henry to get in line and it's not you doing it. So it's great to have if you can. Your dress and tux will be about 8%. Have a miscellaneous category because you never know what's gonna come up, and make that about 5%. So, again, high level look at your budget. But those of you on a super tight budget, here are some great ways to save money when you're planning for your wedding. Number one, limit your guest list, and this is a hard one. I remember even with our wedding we were like, yes, let's invite all these people, it's so fun. Then you start looking at the money and you're like, oh, every person is so expensive. It got so bad, you guys, to the point that when people declined to come to our wedding we were like, yes, oh thank God! I mean like it's kinda bad, but, listen, limit all the stress and just limit the guest list. Number two, host the ceremony or reception at home or outside. This makes the venues really inexpensive. Unless you're going to some really fancy vintage barn now like everyone's doing a lot of weddings outside, those venues can get really expensive. So when I mean outside I mean like a free field or someone's backyard. Some of our best friends got married in her backyard, and it was so great. They like strung lights up, and it was perfect. It was so good, and you don't have to pay for a venue. Number three, ask friends and family to exchange skills for presents. Now this is a great one if you have really creative friends because I understand that it can get uncomfortable to like ask people to do it, so if you're uncomfortable with that, don't, but you'll find that a lot of your friends and family if they're good at something, they're gonna offer and be like, hey, I would love to help you with this. Maybe they won't do it completely for free, but you can for sure get a deep discount. Number four, do-it-yourself whenever possible. Don't go over the top 'cause you actually can spend a lot of money doing DIY projects. So be wise with it and look and see, okay, what are small things I can do on my own inexpensively? Number five, this is one of my favorites, use a dummy wedding cake. Okay, I didn't know about this when I got married, and I wish I had. But so many weddings we're going to now it's like a beautiful cake, and the top part where the bride and groom cut or in the middle is real, but that's it. Then they have sheet cake in the back, they go and serve people. I's so inexpensive, so you're not spending a ton on wedding cake. Number six, time your wedding wisely. If it's over a large meal like over dinner you're gonna be spending more on food, so think about what time your wedding is gonna be. Number seven, scout out vendors. So go get prices from like two or three different people. If you have photographers say, okay, I'm gonna price out three different photographers and the packages they have. Or I'm gonna look at two or three wedding venues and look at the prices. So scout around and look. Hey, it's never a bad idea to ask for a deal. You can negotiate sometimes, so ask for that deal and make sure you scout out those vendors. For all you newlyweds out there, or even if you're not a newlywed, maybe you've been married for 30 years, one of the best pieces of advice I can give you when it comes to your marriage Is to take Financial Peace University. This is the best course because what you're gonna do is you're gonna learn everything about money. We talk about budgeting, getting out of debt, getting on the same page with your money. We're talking about real estate and even things like insurance; you learn it all. But insurance is a really specific one that's really important, because having term life insurance is something that you can't afford not to have. Winston and I, we personally trust Zander Insurance. They're great because they shop around. They'll get you the best rates possible, and they're not expensive. So, for example, the average 30-year-old male pays around $24 a month for $500,000 in coverage. And you ladies, it's even cheaper for you. So for more information about Financial Peace University or Zander, make sure to click the link below. All right you guys, it's the part of the show where we get to celebrate you all. Seriously my favorite part, I love this. You guys, comment on Instagram and Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #sheworkshardsavingmoney, and we get to celebrate what you're saving up for or what you have saved up for; I love it. So perky mama Kate said, "A day of errands and at the park doesn't mean eating out. "A little preparation saves a lot. "Bonus that it's a healthy lunch." Christina said, "Second vacation in cash in the books. "See, you can travel debt free and without a credit card. "Even rented a car." That's right, you can rent a car without a credit card. Love it, Christina. DebtFreeGranny said, "Our net worth increased "since paying off our mortgage last August! "The Dave Ramsey plan works! "God is great!" That's so fun. Amy said, "Last August we backpacked Europe: "Paris, Eastern Germany, Venice and Florence. "All paid in cash. "Couldn't have done it without your dad's principles "and your encouragement to live within, below, our means "and love our own lives and not keep up with the Joneses." I love it you guys, so again make sure to post on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #sheworkshardsavingmoney because we want to celebrate what you're saving up for, what you have saved up for, or even the work that you're doing. Or if you want help, if you're trying to get out of debt or get on a budget and you want to be on the show, make sure to email us below because we'd love to have you on. So when it comes to throwing a party, remember that you make sure you have the money to do it and your motivations are pure because you will actually be able to enjoy that party so much more, so good luck to all you party people out there. Thanks to Courtney from Pizzazzerie for coming on, and thanks you guys for watching, and remember to take control of your money and create a life you love.