Throwing a Budget Graduation Bash

A graduation bash can be one of the most fun and joyous get togethers. Like most parties, the cost can potentially run away from you quickly. If you are on a budget, then there are several ways that you could control costs. Here is a look at some of the ways that you can throw a graduation bash on a budget.


Throwing a Graduation Bash on a Budget

  1. Set a budget

    The first step to throwing a graduation bash on a budget is to, well, set a budget. This is the most crucial part of keeping your costs low. Before you spend one penny on the graduation party, try to establish a tight limit on how much you are going to spend.

    Here are some tips on determining how to set the budget for your graduation budget:

    • How much are you comfortable spending?
    • Is the amount going to cause a strain on your finances?
    • Do you have to borrow money to make this graduation bash possible?

    Do not worry too much about certain details of the graduation bash's costs. For instance, if you are comfortable spending $500, you should probably set $500 as the limit. You should be able to figure out how to make the bash work on that budget.

  2. Consider co-hosting your party

    One of the great ways to keep your costs down is to co-host the bash with other soon-to-be graduates. Chances are, the graduate is good friends with others in the same graduation class. Co-hosting the graduation bash with two or three other people could cut down your costs by 50% to 75%.


    When you co-host the party, you may have to work as a team to organize and budget the party. Therefore, try to co-host the party with someone reliable and someone who shares the same ideas for a party as you do.

  3. Pick the right venue or choose your home

    A venue could be the single biggest cost of a party. Therefore, you may want to make sure that you pick the right place. Here are some things to consider when choosing a venue for the party:

    • The number of guests - Make sure the venue is not too big or too small.
    • Parking - Ensure that there is safe and secure parking for your guests.
    • Rules of the venue - Does the venue allow loud music? What hours are available? Make sure you know the rules of the venue before you reserve it.
    • The location - Is the location of the venue convenient for all your guests?

    If possible, can you host the party at your home? You may want to make sure that your home will handle the number of guests invited to the party.

  4. Make it small

    You don't need to have a big party to enjoy a good time. You may feel more comfortable with hosting a party for family and close friends only. Look at your budget and consider how much it will cost for food and drinks for each person. This could help you create a party list that will fit your budget.

  5. Send out digital invitations

    Some party invitations can cost several dollars apiece. Invitations alone could cost several hundred dollars. A great option to cut the cost of invitations to zero is only to send out digital invitations.

    There are several websites that you could use to create your own digital invitations. Sites like Canva allow you to create digital invitations with free clip art and photos, and thousands of designs and backgrounds.

  6. Skip catering

    You do not need to spend hundreds of dollars on catering to feed everyone at your graduation bash. This might be especially true if you are only having a few friends over. You could get away with ordering several pizzas, breadsticks, and a cake. If you are having 20 guests, you should be able to feed them all for about $5 a piece for a total of $100.

  7. Offer a buffet lunch or appetizer

    Another way to keep food costs down is to simply offer a buffet lunch or appetizers. Here are some buffet ideas that you can create:

    • Taco bar - Just add taco shells, meat, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, tomato, and salsa, and you are done.
    • Sandwich buffet - People can create their own sandwiches. All you need is bread, meat, cheese, and vegetables.
    • Chicken wings - You can order chicken wings as appetizers, too.
    • Ice cream parlor - Who doesn’t love ice cream? You can get cones, several ice creams, chocolate, syrup, sprinkles and have guests create their own cones and sundaes.

  8. Skip the open bar

    Alcohol could be a big expense at a party. Be sure to let the invitees know you won’t be offering alcohol at the party and if there’s a desire to drink they will need to bring their own.

  9. Use DIY decorations

    You may not have to spend hundreds of dollars on decorations for the party. You can possibly create some excellent DIY decorations that can create some real charm at the party. Here are some great DIY decoration ideas to get you started:

    • Balloon arch - Connect a dozen or so balloons and create an arch at the party's entrance.
    • Paper Flowers - Create paper flowers that can be hung on walls or placed on the table.
    • DIY photo area - Create a background where people can take Selfies or Instagram photos.
    • Personal photos – Add personal photos at different ages of the graduate and place them around the venue or your home.

  10. Outsource photos and videos

    Why spend hundreds of dollars on a professional photographer or videographer? Today just about everyone's phone has a camera. Ask party goers to share photos with you and you can then create your own album.

Keeping your graduation bash costs at a manageable budget

Yes, it is possible to create a fun and memorable graduation bash for less than you think. Try one or more of the above steps and discover how much you can save. You may be surprised by how much you can save on your next graduation bash.

You Might Also Like


The information provided is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal or financial advice. You should consult with an attorney or other professional to determine what may be best for your individual needs. Big Picture Loans disclaims any and all liability in the event any information, commentary, analysis, opinion, advice and/or recommendation prove to be inaccurate, incomplete, unreliable, or result in any other losses. Your use of the information on the website or materials linked from the Web is at your own risk.

The content at any third party site may be subject to copyright or other intellectual property rights, and may not be redistributed without the permission of the third party site owner. Any reference obtained from this blog to a specific product, process, or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement by Big Picture Loans of the product, process, or service, or its producer or provider.

Consumer Notice: Our loans should be used for short-term financial needs only, not as a long-term financial solution. Individuals with credit difficulties should seek credit counseling. For more information, please see our Financial Wellness Page.