Plan Your Summer Block Party Without Going Over Budget

Organize a block party with our free downloadable budget planner!

The sun is shining and the weather’s warm… it’s time to get the party started!

Can you afford a clown to make balloon animals for the kids? Or is a no-frills barbecue more your speed? When planning any big event such as a block party or family reunion, your budget can quickly disappear before you know it if you’re not prepared. Start by estimating all your costs starting with the most important things, like food or sun shelter.

Go in with a clear plan and stick to your budget, and you’ll be sure to throw a street party that everybody will rave about without going over budget!

Plan Within Your Budget Before You Buy

On a piece of paper, go through how you imagine the day going. From loud speakers to paper plates, write down all the items you’ll need throughout the day, both big and small. It’s easier to write ‘$0.00’ next to an item you ultimately didn’t need than to try to make room in the budget at the last minute!

Decide what’s on the BYO List:

  • Tables and Chairs: avoid a rental cost by asking guests to bring their own chairs. Ask around with your guests if anyone has a picnic table or folding table they could lend for the night.
  • Food: Depending on the size of your party, a potluck could save money and headaches. If you know your neighbours, you may consider asking each family to chip in $10 toward the food for the day to curb the cost, or let guests know you’re charging a per-person fee to cover the cost of the main course and purchase grill meat.
  • Music: Do you need speakers for your street party? A DJ? Is someone in the neighbourhood a DJ? Request a few songs from every attendee and put together a playlist and set it to auto-shuffle. Some areas have a noise curfew, so make sure you turn it down by curfew, or take out a permit if you can.
  • Bathrooms: If your venue is your street, then each party member can use their own washrooms at home. If your venue isn’t close to the attendees’ homes, think about whether you might need to rent a porta-potty.
  • Shade: Some hardware stores rent tents. You could avoid the rental cost if someone can lend their tent for the party – or, maybe they’re not necessary!
  • Signage for before and during the party: If you’re closing your street for the party, you’ll need both, a permit from the city, and signage for drivers. Determine the cost of both.

Estimate the Cost of Each Expense:

  • Pad Your Budget: Just like a personal budget, it’s best to plan ahead in case an unexpected expense comes up. Try setting aside 15% of your budget for emergency, miscellaneous, or last-minute expenses.
  • Use your rainy day fund for emergencies only: You may be tempted to use your safety net to add something extra to your party. However, dipping into your backup funds may put you in a bind if something unexpected happens.
  • Permits: Many municipalities require a permit for block parties, so check with the city beforehand.
  • Account for fees: Factor in the taxes, or delivery fees on top of the cost of the item when you estimate the price of the things you need.
  • Estimated vs. Actual Costs: Stay on budget by recording estimates, and the true cost of your items. Ask your vendors for a quote in writing, and if they offer add-ons, question the additional cost.
  • Cancellation fees: hopefully you’ll have perfect weather and full attendance at your block party, but if you do need to cancel, will there be any cancellation fees from your vendors?
  • Don’t be modest: Underpricing something may look better will bind you to a budget that’s unrealistic once it’s time to start booking and buying your necessities.

With a little bit of planning and staying true to your budget, you’ll be able to relax, have a ton of fun, and let your block party be the highlight of your summer staycation!

Download our FREE Budget Planner to help you get started with your party planning!

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