There’s no better time than summer to get together with friends and family. This season presents plenty of opportunities for entertaining, whether you’re hosting a Labor Day picnic or having a lazy barbecue.
Unfortunately, entertaining can be expensive, and you don’t want to bust your budget — especially if you have people over on a regular basis.
The good news is there are inexpensive ways to have fun. We checked in with some experts to get the tips you need to throw a summer bash on a budget.
1. Pick a free or cheap venue
During the warm summer months, you can throw events without spending a fortune to rent a location. In fact, there’s no reason to spend much or even any money on a place to party.
“Pick a free venue,” recommended Jill Caponera, a consumer savings expert with Promocodes.com. “Host your gathering at your local park, public lakes, or beaches for a virtually free backdrop that boasts natural beauty and room to spread out. Bring a few blankets, a cooler for homemade food and drinks, a portable speaker, and you’re all set.”
You can even entertain in your own backyard. If you don’t have a ton of outdoor furniture, plastic chairs you can stack in the garage are affordable and can be used again and again. Check Craigslist, local thrift stores, and consignment shops to find inexpensive outdoor furnishings, or keep things simple and lay out blankets so guests can eat picnic-style.
2. Get creative with games and activities
When you throw a party in the summer, you want to keep guests entertained. That also can be done on a tight budget.
In fact, you can provide virtually free entertainment by hosting an outdoor movie night. “DIY your own movie theater with a white sheet and projector,” Caponera suggested. “Just like that, your backyard transforms into the ultimate movie night with friends.”
Caponera offered other ideas for free or low-cost summer fun, such as arranging a relay race or beer olympics. “Create a Facebook invite to collect your RSVPs, add a few sports-themed decorations from your local dollar store, set up a speaker for fun party music, and let the games begin!” she said.
To set up a beanbag toss, tape dollar-store pool noodles into circles or purchase inexpensive plastic buckets. You also could host a water bucket relay race, a discus throw using a frisbee, or a water balloon or egg toss. For beer olympics, revisit your college days by setting up a beer pong court using a long table, Solo Cups, and a pingpong ball.
If your guests are athletic, you can organize a sporting match. “Host a simple soccer game in the backyard,” suggested Emily McCrary-Ruiz-Esparza, a brand editor at House Method, a website dedicated to making your home more beautiful and inspirational. “Tell everyone to bring their own beverages; all you have to provide are coolers with ice to keep them cold. Lay out a few blankets or set up chairs in the shade for those who would prefer to spectate.”
3. Offer affordable, tasty treats
Providing a big spread for your guests is one way entertaining can become expensive. But you can serve a great meal without paying top dollar for steaks to throw on the grill.
Caponera suggested a taco bar as one affordable solution for summer entertaining. “A quick stop at Costco or Sam’s Club for taco meat, shells, and a few toppings is all you need to host the ultimate Taco Tuesday or weekend fiesta!” she said.
She also suggested inviting friends over for a potluck organized around a theme, such as a summer tapas party or a clambake. That gives your guests a chance to get creative and ensures there are lots of delicious delights for everyone — without you having to spend a fortune at the grocery store.
Stocking up on hot dogs and hamburgers by buying in bulk during big sales and freezing them also will ensure you’re well-equipped for an affordable get-together.
Throwing a party doesn’t have to be expensive
Throwing a party doesn’t have to be expensive. Stick to your budget by serving fun, low-cost food and getting creative when it comes to your activities. You and your friends can enjoy lots of memorable events without jeopardizing your financial goals.
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1 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.50% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.49% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.27% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 17, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/17/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
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3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.48% effective April 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.49% – 7.27%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.49% – 6.65%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.49% – 7.41%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.49% – 7.11%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.98% – 9.72%6||Undergrad & Graduate|