Creative Ways to Celebrate Birthdays With No Money

Updated on May 16, 2016

Wait! You Can Still Celebrate

Even when you have no money, you can still celebrate birthdays
Even when you have no money, you can still celebrate birthdays | Source

Birthdays and Money

Sometimes you have to get creative when it comes to celebrating a birthday! That is especially true if you have no money. After all, birthday parties can be expensive occasions. A birthday party can make your wallet feel a whole lot lighter at the end of the day because you need a cake or other delicious celebratory food, there are presents to buy, there may be alcohol to purchase and decorations for the party can be costly.

Now that you are stressed and looking into your wallet for extra bills, take a deep breath and slowly read the next sentence. There are ways to celebrate special occasions without spending money.

Yes, that's right. There are free resources and innovative methods for celebrating birthdays with no money. You can still celebrate the day and have fun too! While it's important to have the parties to celebrate your best friend, brother, daughter and other important person in your life, it doesn't have to break your budget. Here are some useful tips for planning a special celebration even when you don't have the money to spend on a party.

When You Last Planned a Birthday Party...

What was the biggest cost?

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Creative Birthday Present Ideas

Start thinking about what present you will give that special person in your life. Think beyond the material product bound in gift-wrap when you have no money. There are other options.

Have you ever had a great day with a friend just relaxing at the beach or going for a walk? These options do NOT cost any money. The activities are fun because you spend quality time with your friend and enjoy an experience together.

There are no material products necessary. You can apply the same principle when you celebrate birthdays.

Activities Are Great Presents

A walk costs no money and is a great birthday experience.
A walk costs no money and is a great birthday experience. | Source

Presents That Don't Cost Any Money

Here are examples of presents that do not cost money:

  • You surprise the special boy/girl with a scenic drive around the local harbor or another beautiful part of town.
  • You create a movie theatre experience at home. Dim the lights and watch a movie you already own or that you borrow from a friend.
  • You plan a picnic with a big group and ask each person to bring a dish. Your own dish is composed of food items you already have in your kitchen.
  • Tell all of the guests to bring cameras. Take silly pictures of each other during the party; you will be laughing! After the party, download the photos to an electronic scrapbook program and mail them to everyone at the party.

Remember that after a birthday party people often remember the experience more than a physical present. Quality time spent together really does mean more than a material item.

Party Decorations: Free Versions are Online

Perhaps the birthday gal likes party d├ęcor or you want to spoil the special guy with a festive party. You need decorations to celebrate the occasion. Again, you worry, as you have no money. Create your own decorations to avoid financial costs.

Free ways to decorate for the party include:

  • Print out free online templates for napkin rings, gift cards, and party favor bags. These items are available in different patterns on a several websites.

Print out a birthday banner, customized for the gal or guy, to display at the party. Check out for some great banners to use.

Fun Birthday Party Banners

Print birthday banners for free from websites.
Print birthday banners for free from websites. | Source

More Ideas for Children's Parties

For children's parties, go to More Coloring Pages and print out coloring pages to keep the kids active. Download the sheets free. There are several fun patterns to choose from, including:

  • Cartoons Coloring Pages
  • Nature Coloring Pages
  • Animals Coloring Pages
  • Music Coloring Pages
  • Sports Coloring Pages

Pick the pages associated to the party theme and have fun! Coloring is an activity that many children enjoy... and it's free!

The Party is on!

Dancing creates a fun party. No money is spent!
Dancing creates a fun party. No money is spent! | Source

Other Free Ways to Celebrate Birthdays

Other activities for birthday parties that cost no money include:

  • Play music and dance as a group, whether indoors or outside on the lawn.
  • Have a throwback party for adults that involve games you played as kids. Games include wheelbarrow races, cartwheel contests, and three-legged races. Not familiar with these games? Google them online and start to practice for the party! There are reasons they are classic.
  • Ask a crafty friend who is coming to the party to bring supplies and conduct a mini-class for the guests. Your friend will be pleased you ask for help and will want to show off his or her expertise!

Spending Money - Nope!

There are several fun ways to celebrate birthdays, even when you have no money. You need to use a little creativity and planning, as well as enlisting help of guests. The birthday gal or guy will appreciate the time you took in planning the party and have fun too! Money does not have to be an obstacle to having a great day.


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    • profile image


      3 days ago

      dd Your Comment...

    • profile image


      5 weeks ago

      Today is my birthday and, as usual, no party but I always do whatever comes to my mind so, I guess today I will be biking around with headset as loud as can be and sing along as loud as I can (I am in Finland so, this will be crazy enough to take me to jail for disturbing the peace) hahahaha

    • profile image

      queenie morgane 

      5 weeks ago

      well my birthday is this friday! and seriouslyyy im broke azzzzzzzz

    • profile image


      2 months ago

      i hate this its my birthday and its raining i have nothing to do and these hacks were no help all my plans were ruined i worst birthday ever

    • profile image


      2 months ago

      ChrisW is a loser?

    • profile image


      3 months ago

      Amber's a looooser!!

    • profile image


      17 months ago

      These suck I hate it I just moved away from everyone my birthday always sucks and I have 5 slipped disc in my back so dancing and hiking are out and I have no friends and no money.

      These are only good if you have friends what if you dont.

    • profile image

      kim zaremba 

      19 months ago

      balloons are only $.99 for 20...blow 10 up and rub on hair and stick to wall. other ten are for balloon games...such as water balloon toss in summer or squish the balloon in winter or monkey in the middle

    • Jordan West profile image


      4 years ago from Denver, CO

      Good article. It'll be useful with my birthday just around the corner!

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I appreciate the support for such an important topic. There really is so much more to the world than money! Thanks for such quality comments here.

    • Paradise7 profile image


      4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Good ideas, I must say. What works for me at a party is music and dancing, and you're so right--I cherish that time more than any gift.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Very timely Christy. Money is at a premium but birthdays are a time to celebrate. Don't forget there are free concerts or free museums too.

      If you do have that party you can always add "BYO..." bring your own, whatever. We've planned a surprise party for my husband's 70th and the invitations read "no presents please, this is a celebration of life".

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • FullOfLoveSites profile image


      4 years ago from United States

      I love your ideas... Even people who are not that creative are really encouraged to chip in their ideas when it comes to mounting a birthday party (for a friend, for instance). It's more fun that way. Thanks

    • topratedgift profile image

      Kate Jacobs 

      5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia, USA

      Nice! I really like this hub. Great ideas for those who have no money.

    • SidKemp profile image

      Sid Kemp 

      5 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

      Thanks for these great ideas. We get really creative when we think of how to do things totally for free. I do enjoy walks and drives. Dancing was in the back of my mind - and now it's in the front.

      With sites like Google free music and Netflix watch instantly, much more music and many more movies can be free than ever before.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Yes, if we are inventive we can find ways to save costs!

    • KenWu profile image


      5 years ago from Malaysia

      This will come handy in this economy slowdown. There's always free or almost free thing out there if we dare to look for it.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Yes, that is exactly my point here. Thank-you!

    • profile image

      Jeremy Rawlings 

      5 years ago

      I liked the photo of the couple in the fields. Looks like it's in 3D. It goes to show not everything needs to be solved with money.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      allelsematters, I hope you are able to put together a little celebration. Enjoy the outdoors or ask a friend to help contribute toward the cake. Cakes are fun when made as a group!

    • allelsematters profile image

      Lady Jen Palven 

      5 years ago from Philippines

      Great Hub!My birthday is next month and my mom said that no party since we have to save money for a very important reason but can't help it my friends are so excited when it comes to birthdays and my problem is i don't have baking tools so that i will be the one to bake my own cake plus our place is not that big for birthday parties.And i really want to have a party to enjoy and loosen up a bit.. sigh

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Awesome, sounds like a fun time at the park! Glad you enjoyed the read and thanks for connecting.

    • iguidenetwork profile image


      6 years ago from Austin, TX

      I like your ideas. :)

      Just going to a park and, if there's a free live gig going, or a free fireworks show, then it's going to be a superb birthday, as long as you're with your loved ones. Thanks for sharing. :)

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      MagicFive, so true. Sometimes the best ideas are ones that have no financial costs. Liking your positive attitude!

    • MAGICFIVE profile image


      6 years ago from New York

      These are all great, creative ideas! Sometimes when you're short on money, you need to rely on your creativity....the funny thing is, often this produces the most memorable results!

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks julierit. I needed to cut back financially and am glad you can also benefit from the tips!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      this' great! i couldn't have guessed better, considering the economic situation of my country.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Nyamache, that sounds fun! In this uncertain economy, dancing would be a great way to lift spirits!

    • Nyamache profile image

      Joshua Nyamache 

      6 years ago from Kenya

      Thanks for sharing this useful hub. I remember how I celebrated my birthday during the days I was in college without spending money. All I did was invite my friends we danced all night to our favorite music.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @vespawoolf, Yes! I believe experiences trump material gifts. Glad you agree!

    • vespawoolf profile image


      6 years ago from Peru, South America

      These are great ideas! Most important are the memories created and the time and attention given to your friend. Voted up!

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Nora411, now that it is nice outside you we have more options for outdoor festivities! Glad the hub helped you with the party planning!

    • Nora411 profile image


      6 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Great tips! I think I can even use some this for an anniversary coming up since were a little tight on cash.... beach day! Haha thanks for the ideas :) voting up and sharing!

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @dwachira, I'm pleased I could help! Hope the birthday is lots of fun.

    • dwachira profile image

      [ Danson Wachira ] 

      6 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Hi ChristyWrites, my Son's birthday is due in two weeks and this is what i just needed, great tips, Voted up and shared.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Thelma, I am glad you find the hub useful. Saving money and focusing on fun times together is most important :) I appreciate the comment.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      6 years ago from Germany

      These are great tips on celebrating birthdays without spending money. I could use these tips in August as I have a lot of relatives who will be celebrating their natal days. Thanks for sharing.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Mekenzie, that gingerbread contest sounds like so much fun! I appreciate that you understand the message of the hub is not about money but instead about spending time with people we really care about on our birthdays. Thank-you for the vote and great comment!

    • Mekenzie profile image

      Susan Ream 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      Christy, What a great hub. In these days many are struggling to make ends meet. Celebrations need to be about being together and cherishing the moments! We, as a family, were forced into a 'no presents' Christmas a few years back because of loss of job etc. My children rose to the occasion saying Christmas is not about presents anyway. All of the grandkids were super and never asked once about presents.

      We had a gingerbread house making contest, between each family, and the grandkids each chose a stuffed animal that had belonged to their parent or aunt/uncle. It was probably the best celebration we ever had.

      Loved your ideas and thank you for the websites. Voted Up and Awesome!


    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Jamie, thanks! You really got to the heart of my hub. Experiences are so much more meaningful than material goods. I'm so glad you connected with the hub. I appreciate the vote too.

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 

      6 years ago from Texas

      Christy, I really love this..and what a concept- focusing more on the day, having fun and making memories rather than worrying about purchasing gifts. I truly appreciate hubs like this. It is a great reminder that not everything has to be about money. Thank you for sharing this. Voting up and awesome :)

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Jane, LOL you fun girl you! I hope you have a great birthday no matter what you do.

      @KDuBarry, I agree. Debt is happening to too many people. Thanks for stopping by to read!

    • profile image

      Jane Carroll 

      6 years ago

      Great birthday is next week...hope my family doesn't read this...LOL!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very useful; especially in this economy. What's the point of spending about $800 for birthdays if there's no money? Great and very informative.


    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Vinaya, I did not know there were that many for you. There are indeed alternatives to gifts that are lots of fun!

      @Marc, I do not like how commercial birthdays have become. Some families limit gifts to price limits as ways to prevent the over-spending. Trying to buy affection is really a sad thing isn't it.

      @Teaches, yes money is short for so many people these days. I am trying to come up with some economical ideas in many areas of my life. It was nice to share to some of my ideas and have them well-received! Thank-you for your great comment.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      6 years ago from Nepal

      You should have published this hub in April. I celebrated three birthdays, including mine, and I ran out of money.

      But anyway, your ideas are very interesting.

    • Marc Babineau profile image

      Marc Babineau 

      6 years ago from Cornwall, Ontario, The Seaway City

      One problem with being a part of a large family is having to buy so many birthday presents during the year, and then the year-end extravaganza of Christmas present buying. Many people have to buy multiple presents each month, and some don't know when to say when, spending above their means trying to buy other's love/

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      With the economy affecting many families, this is a great way to still celebrate in style. I think all of them are wonderful, but being a movie buff, I would really enjoy the movie theme. Thanks for sharing and helping others to know it is still possible to have a great time.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @lovedoctor, yes it really can be fun to just hang out with friends and family! Those are many of my happiest memories. Thanks for adding about the picnic basket, great idea!

      @Sunshine, Thank-you. I like that you make your birthday a 3-day event! I think some people are too focused on the material gifts rather than the activities and it is nice we think alike.

      @Jackie, Thanks for your great compliments! How nice. I do try hard to produce quality work and it is nice to be noticed by you. I really appreciate your kind words.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      These are fantastic ideas without having to spend a fortune! A picnic at the park or beach is a great way to have fun. There are cute picnic baskets you can buy that already come with color assorted plates, cups and utensils. Just pack some sandwiches and cold drinks and you're pretty much set. The movie theater experience sounds awesome! Just gather your closest friend and everyone can pitch in for pizza, soda and beer. Great hub!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Excellent ideas Christy! I'm a huge fan of birthday's and my birthday is actually my favorite holiday and I celebrate the day before, day of and day after. There are countless ways to celebrate without spending a fortune. As long as you are spending the time with people you love, dancing in your living room or taking a long walk are ways to celebrate. Your ideas are superb!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      6 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Voted up and across. You put so much work into your hubs and they are all great. Sharing this one too. I love it. We should always try to get around spending money and put our love in our gifts. You tell it well!


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