June has been a busy month for celebrations! First we had the long Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend and then Father’s Day. And, if you have a family member graduating from university this year, then that’s something to celebrate this month too.
But it doesn’t stop there! There always seem to be more birthdays and anniversaries during the summer. Then of course A-level and GCSE results come out in August. And sometimes the sunny weather and light nights just make you want to get together and celebrate regardless. It’s always good to get everyone together, whatever the excuse.
The only problem is that family celebrations can quickly become very expensive. But the most important thing – as we’ve seen so poignantly over the last couple of years – is to spend time together. In that sense it doesn’t really matter what you do together. Money should not be a limiting factor.
So in this article we look at a few ideas as to how you can save money on family celebrations this summer.
One of the most obvious ways to get everyone together is to invite them all round to yours. But you can give this an interesting twist by making it a themed event. For example you could choose a country, sport, TV show, Disney etc.
Making your event themed will give it a focus and share entertainment duties amongst the family. As well as dressing up, you could ask them to bring some kind of activity related to their chosen character.
This means that you can make the food simpler, as this will not be the main purpose of the event. So a simple BBQ or buffet would be enough to keep everyone happy.
If your family are foodies, and like to have a sit down meal, then why not organise a potluck dinner party? You can provide the venue and set the table, but then everyone brings a different course with them. It’s up to you whether you coordinate this in advance, or leave it completely up to the people who are bringing food.
A potluck dinner party is a great way to have a big family meal, and give everyone a fabulous time, but without one person having to foot the bill for everyone else. So it’s another clever way to save money on family celebrations, and enjoy a good variety of food in the process. And even cuts down on the washing up as everyone will take their serving dishes away with them!
If the weather is good, you could organise a family picnic and games day. If anyone has enough outdoor space this could be at a home, but otherwise find a park or other outdoor area to hold it. This is a fun way to get together and celebrate, and you can save money because you only need to budget for your own family. You can bring whatever you want for your own picnic, and other families will do the same.
Depending on numbers, there are also so many outdoor games you can organise. You can either stick with traditional games like football, cricket or rounders, or branch out into school sports day activities such as three-legged races, egg and spoon races, or relays. Also see what other outdoor games people could bring along, for example boules, mini golf or croquet. And a treasure hunt is always a fun option too.
If you want something a little less frenetic, just consider a simple drinks party. Family gatherings don’t always have to be about mountains of food. Drinks and snacks can also work, and people can always order a takeaway if they are hungry.
If you are celebrating someone’s special occasions or achievement, ask everyone to bring old photos and other memorabilia of that person, and you can spend time reminiscing over them.
If there are younger guests to keep entertained, then movies, board games, arts and crafts or old-fashioned party games could keep them occupied while the adults get on with the serious business of celebrating.
Another great idea for a summer celebration is to find a fun local event and go along en masse to support it. So look around for local music festivals, food or drink festivals, country shows and other fun events that you can all go along to. Many events are free, so it’s a good way to enjoy yourselves but save money at the same time.
As well as specific summer events, check out any places of historical interest near you. For example many National Trust and English Heritage sites have free entry to the grounds, which could form a wonderful backdrop for your family celebration.
Whatever you are celebrating this summer, we hope that the above ideas will help you to have a wonderful time but save money in the process.
Enjoy your summer. And remember to check back here soon for more lifestyle and financial tips from Loans 2 Go.