The Economista: Birthday Banter

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Welcome to The Economista! Brought to you by your first-year blogger/money-savvy best friend Karine Liu, The Economista is a blog for the budget-conscious Brunonian! Check back here each week for the tips and tricks that’ll have you rolling in your own sea of green out on the Main Green in no time!

The mid-semester grind has inevitably gotten to all of us: between midterms, papers, and presentations, by now everyone has had their fair share of late nights at the Rock/SciLi/covert study spot (I’m looking at you, RISD Library). And it’s while your mind is preoccupied with exactly HOW many resonance structures C3H8O has or what exactly IS the philosophy of happiness, that it hits you:

It’s your friend’s birthday tomorrow.

But before you freak the freak out, just remember that all the ingredients for the PERFECT birthday bonanza are well within your reach and your wallet’s capacity. Just sit back and listen to your good ole birthday party planning pro Karine, who’ll get your party hoppin’.

  1. Don’t go at it alone. Throwing back to the flawless Boys Like Girls/Taylor Swift anthem Two is Better Than One, recruit your friends to plan an awesome shindig for your besty. They’ll know what you don’t, remember what you’ll forget, and most importantly, will go outside to get supplies when you’re much too bundled up in bed. More than anything, they’ll make the party-organizing a lot less stressful, which is always a plus around this time o’ year (see above).
  2. Target/CVS is the bomb for decorating. Party decorations are seriously what turn a dorm room into a party room. I recently took a trip to Target for decorations that totaled a whopping 8 dollars for: a glittery happy birthday sign, pink streamers, and two bedazzled tiaras. But if Target is too far for your winter snow boots to trek, CVS is comparable in prices and likely has birthday shenanigans for the taking!
  3. RISD 2nd Life has the decorations/gifts to impress the Queen B. If your luck seemingly runs out with both those locales, RISD 2nd Life (did a post on it here) has REALLY got you covered. From secondhand decorations to the materials to DIY it, the store will ensure that your party will be tastefully decorated. A stop there can also get you the gift of your friend’s dreams: I picked up a FischerPrice Med kit bag for my pre-med friend for a dollar. I’m sure it’ll be useful throughout the rest of her career.
  4. Food is always a good idea. Do. Not. Skimp. On. Food. Getting a delivery of wings or even an apple dipping bar (with apples, peanut butter, and raisins “borrowed” from the Ratty) makes everyone there happy. Which ties into how…
  5. Music gets you in the mood. It goes without saying that the music sets the tone of the room: is it a rager or a soireé? A mid-week break or a Saturday night extravaganza? I’d recommend getting together and making the best Spotify playlist of your lucky birthday person’s favorite tunes. Pro tip: When in doubt, Queen B is a good choice.
  6. Finally: invite everyone. Facebook events are the best way to get the word out about your party – or not. Events by invitation only are very much a thing; putting updates on FB just gets everyone into the loop. So whether you need people to bring plates and forks or simply themselves, using FB is the definitely necessary for birthday party success.

And that’s all! Seriously, dollars aside, deciding to celebrate your friend’s birthday is already 90% of the job done. The rest is just the icing atop the cake (perhaps literally)! Remember to kick back, relax, and have fun…before you go back and hole up studying.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for any topics you’d like to see covered by The Economista, email me at karine_liu@brown.edu! See you next week!

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