How to Birthday on a Budget

Summer is just around the corner, and with more daylight comes longer nights. Luckily for you, you’ve avoided the summer moving drama by taking advantage of Bedly’s affordable housing options in some of New York City’s best neighborhoods. You’ve got the perfect roommate agreement, decorate your room to perfection (including all the must have safety features). Whether you’re best friends with your fellow students or reveling in your new work relationships, the time will come to celebrate your friends’ birthdays. And if you’re a newly minted New Yorker, you’ve likely mastered going out on a budget but celebrating birthdays. While you’re definitely raking in some extra cash by avoiding broker fees and having to purchase furniture, odds are you’re still looking to party on a budget. Bedly’s got some great tips on how to get some extra cash in your pocket for nights like these, but birthday celebrations can take the night to a whole different level. But not to worry, we’ve got just the right formula to make sure your birthday celebrations are super affordable and super fun!  

Gather the perfect group–and get real.

Whether it’s the perfect group from your brunching outings or just a group of good friends, everyone will be at different places in their budgets. So it’s always good to make sure you’re planning something tailored for the birthday guest of honor AND that everyone involved will have a good time (and not spend the night panicking about their bank accounts). Come up with a budget that works for everyone (whether it’s $50 for the night or $100–having everyone on the same page will be SUPER helpful).

Locate you party planner.

This doesn’t have to be complicated, but odds are you’ve got a friend or two who are willing, able, and really need to take charge to keep the night afloat. This person will ensure that everyone makes it to each destination. They will make sure no one buys duplicate gifts and keep track of all the bills so that the next morning at brunch no one is feeling short changed. This party planner should also know the guest of honor inside and out–their food preferences, their favorite bars–and their least favorite bars. This can be a group effort of course, but it’s key in making the night a success.

Make a Facebook group for the party.

We know, it’s a little “college” BUT this will help keep everyone updated on the party plans and is a good tool for if people get separated night of. It’s infinitely less annoying than a group text–with the added bonus that people can share photos from the night before with the whole group! Plus, everyone will stay super clear on the addresses/itinerary for the evening–this will save the party planner a LOT of stress.

Coordinate gifts.

Whether it’s buying the guest of honor a round of drinks, paying for their dinner, their cab home, or their late night pizza–make sure everyone in the group is prepared with their preferred gift giving option. This way, you’ll avoid any repeats and the guest of honor will feel very well taken care of all night long.

Pick a reasonable dinner spot.

Most dinner restaurants have amazing happy hours that will let you fold festive drinking in with a filling (delicious) meal. It is imperative that everyone be properly fed–you’re in it for the long haul. Your Bedly neighborhoods will be the perfect spot to start the evening–so make sure to check out the must eats in your area!

Plan an in-apartment gathering

It can save a TON for everyone if the “real” party starts at someone’s apartment. This gives everyone the chance to gift the birthday boy or girl with drinks and snacks and actual quality time. You can gather the group for fun party games and the chance to actually talk to each other–which can be almost impossible to do in any bar in NYC on a Friday or Saturday night. TIp: if you don’t want the party to become a house party make sure to head out on the town by 10:30p/11p or so. (The key to leaving on time, is to tell the group you’re planning to leave 30 minutes earlier than you actually want to–then everyone will be able to wrap and head out right on schedule).

Pick bar #1.

The first bar of the night is key–it should have a good vibe, but also start getting everyone revved up for the night. This is also a good meeting point for anyone who couldn’t make it to the earlier parts of the night. Added bonus if the first bar of the night has a birthday special (many of the bars listed on Bedly’s top date bars in NYC have GREAT birthday celebration options–Oscar Wilde even brings out sparklers!!).

Make sure the world knows you’re celebrating.

We mean it. Tell Everyone. This increases the likelihood inevitably include free drinks, smiles from strangers, people giving you their cabs, or just having a friendly exchange. And even better if the guest of honor is willing to wear a birthday sash (or crown, whatever suits their fancy). One of the great parts of NYC is people love a good birthday–once you make sure the world knows it’ll take the night to a whole new level.

Have a clear itinerary for the rest of the night.

Again, this doesn’t have to be too high maintenance, but have some basic guidelines laid out. Are you going dancing in midtown or hitting karaoke bars in the village? Late night comedy shows or playing tourist in Times Square? Checking out the most instagrammable spots in NYC in the dark? Maybe, the plan is to have no plan–it’s NYC, anything goes!

There you have, some key pointers in having a great night out on a budget!! And if you haven’t already, make sure to check out Bedly’s listings. They will make your housing experience so easy that you won’t have to worry about a thing and can put all your energy into finding the perfect gift for the birthday guest of honor!

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