Planning a 21st birthday on a tight budget


The coming of age is a transitory period from childhood to adulthood. Between 16 and 21, this age bracket is the time when a child becomes an adult, as determined by religious customs, social norms, or legal laws. By these standards, children become of age and are now allowed to get a license to drive, become eligible to get married without their parents’ consent and acquire the right to vote.

This MANAGING YOUR MONEY series is sponsored by Western UnionThis is also the time when they become independent and settle to live outside their parents’ house and secure a job or a loan to finish university studies. To signify this milestone, it has become a tradition to hold a party or mark the 21st with a celebration one cannot forget.

Transition to adulthood

Back in the days when knights are a significant figure in a kingdom, boys as young as seven years old go through lessons in which he is prepared to become one. When he reaches the age of 14, he becomes a squire and an assistant to a knight; by 21, gets knighted and becomes a full-fledged knight.

Celebrating the coming of age may also be attributed to the practice back in the Elizabethan times during which a man is consented to marry at the age of 21 when a boy is no longer regarded as a kid, but a man.

Whatever the case may be, the importance of the 21st birthday cannot be emphasised further than how it is celebrated if you are in Australia or in closely-knit cultures.

Not too expensive ideas for the 21st birthday

Since reaching 21 years old signifies a milestone of transition to adulthood and independence, we want to celebrate it, but not to a point that we go broke in a day of partying. After all, since these new adults are moving out of the secured caring of parents (including financial support from them), holding a party to celebrate this meaningful event should be affordable to the one who’s going to foot the bill.

Holding your 21st birthday party with friends at the beach is a good way to enjoy your special day without breaking the bank.
Holding your 21st birthday party with friends at the beach is a good way to enjoy your special day without breaking the bank.

The following are some good ideas to take into consideration when preparing for a 21st birthday on a tight budget:

  • House Party

Instead of having to celebrate the occasion in a rented space or location with catering services, why not just hold the event at your house where invited guests can celebrate the occasion with food and drinks prepared at home, even do things for fun for the said event. In fact, you can even ask some of these guests to bring a plate to the party which they could share with everyone else. In short, go potluck.

  • Movie Marathon

This may be less grand than the prior option advised, but this is certainly an event that may appeal to some, especially for a group of movie lovers. As a host to this kind of event, all you will need is a right set of entertainment tools such as a widescreen TV, a media player, and your choice of movies as well as snacks.

Just like in a house party, you can ask your guests to bring food and drinks to share with everyone else, even some movies to watch. You can even hold a trivia contest where you can give out some of your stuff as prizes.

  • Outdoor Barbecue21st birthday BBQ 1874107

We all love having a barbecue at the backyard from time-to-time and it has been a favourite past time among families who would like to unwind after several days of hard work in a week. But even a celebration such as a birthday can be done just the same if that means going through it without spending much.

With the right people in the event, even a simple celebration can get lively. To add entertainment, engage the partygoers to karaoke singing or other games such as poker, charades, or Pictionary.

  • Celebrate and reach out

Want to make your 21st meaningful and significant? Why not celebrate in an orphanage or in a facility for aged people? You can ask your friends to donate supplies for your chosen charity, as well as help in preparing a meal good for all the invited guests.

You have not only made your 21st memorable for yourself, but also relevant to those whom you will help. The bonus is, you hardly spend a cent and you have made the day special for everyone.

Another idea is to do a little fundraising for a certain charity. You can write family and friends to donate a small amount until you reach a target amount, say $210 or $2100, the figure being commemorative of the 21st birthday.

Instead of the celebrant receiving gifts, be the one to give and reach out to those in need. While there is no actual party, the significant milestone is celebrated just the same.

  • Share the cost

One of the best ways by which the 21st birthday celebrant enjoys the occasion with friends is by going to a nice club or restaurant. However, instead of your guests bringing in gifts, ask them to just pay for their own entry to the club. You share the costs but together enjoy the celebration of your coming of age. Other ways to celebrate your 21st birthday by sharing the cost includes going on a river cruise and party bus hire.

21st Birthday 1920x1080

Coming of age is recognition of one’s new status as an adult. When one reaches 21, the person is expected to behave tactfully and responsibly. The significance of this one day is not measured by the grandiosity of the celebration, but the metamorphosis happening within a person, that of leaving the naiveté of childhood and embracing the maturity of adulthood.

The 21st birthday celebration is but one day, but the transition to adulthood is ongoing and for the long haul. It is wise to consider remembering the day without having to spend a fortune. A true adult thinks long term and his/her perspective, more future-oriented. He/she knows that 21 is just a number.

Have you tried any of the above money-making tips? Do you have some ideas of your own that you can share to our readers? Share your own experience by leaving a comment below.

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