Hitting up the club was great when you were a newly minted 21-year-old, flush with student loan cash and more than happy to pay both a cover charge and for overpriced cocktails. houseparty

However, times have changed, and so have you. Now you have a hard time paying something just to walk through a door, and since when does a martini cost $15?

Reality has set in, and you’re watching your cash flow, but that doesn’t mean the party has to stop.

Trying to perfect the art of the house party has probably been a goal since alcohol was discovered. You might be a little gun-shy after those legendary college parties of yore, but an adult party doesn’t have to wind up with overnight guests crashed on the floor and red paper cups littering the yard.

With the right elements, such as a portable bar or a DJ on call, you can bring all the trappings of a great club right into your living room.

The elements of a great house party

It all starts with the guest list. Don’t assume that all your circles will mesh. In 2014, everyone is more frugal minded and leaning more toward quality than quantity.

Plus, if social media platforms (or those Match.com commercials) are to be believed, people are more interested in putting the social back into reality … but only if it’s worth it. Invite the right mix of guests, give them a week’s notice, and plan your party around them.

The elements of a great party also include entertainment, whether it’s a DJ or custom playlist, activities, and food. In some instances, you can probably gather the right group and not have to arrange board games or ice breakers to get the party rolling.

At other times, busting out a few drinking games may be necessary. Cater your food to the guests’ preferences, whether it’s a pizza from a favorite local diner or handmade apps to show off your Paleo baking skills.

We’re all in this together

If you’re short on funds, and many of us are, there’s always the potluck approach. Whether you ask guests to bring a bottle, a dish, or both, it’s a reasonable way to get everyone involved.

People are more prone to show up in a timely manner if they’re in charge of the dessert. Who needs bottle service at an overpriced lounge when you can DIY at home for a fraction of the price?

Enjoy a more intimate party, save cash, and get the best perks because you’re the host: leftovers and no need for a cab ride home!


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