Toast the graduation in style, without busting your budget


Posted at Mar 15 2015 09:20 AM | Updated as of Mar 15 2015 05:20 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Whether your graduating loved one is a preschooler who is moving up to the “big school,” an adolescent who has gone through 12 years of grade school and high school; or one who has just received his or her degree and preparing for the challenges of the “real world,” this milestone in their lives is always a cause for celebration.

You may, however, want to consider your plans and expenses according to your graduate’s achievement. For instance, a toddlers’ graduation from kindergarten is certainly something to be proud of, but one that does not necessarily require an elaborate celebration. Of course, circumstances vary per family, which could dictate how you should proceed in organizing a graduation party.

As you toast the graduate’s achievements, remember to do so with the thought that you are out to honor him or her for what they have reached. Therefore, the celebration should be something that is memorable to the graduate. Instead of trying to come up with something grand, focus on what really counts for the graduate, which may simply be being with friends and loved ones on this special day.

Here are some ideas on how you can reward the graduate for a job well done without necessarily busting your budget:

Organize a joint celebration with parents of other graduates.

It will be more economical and a lot more fun if you could organize a post-graduation party jointly with the parents of other graduates. This will make it a lot easier for you logistics-wise, since you will be splitting costs and responsibilities with other parents. It will also allow your graduate to share his or her joys with a bigger group beyond your circle.

Keep it intimate.

If large groups are not your graduate’s cup of tea, then have a small gathering instead with only his or her close friends and loved ones in attendance. Ask the graduate for inputs as to who he or she might want to invite to this gathering.

Choose a venue that’s memorable to the graduate.

Instead of booking an expensive restaurant or hotel, opt for a venue that is particularly memorable to the graduate – an ice cream parlor where you’d get him or her a sundae after every quarterly exam, a neighborhood coffee shop where the student spent hours typing a thesis, or the village swimming pool where he or she trained to get into the varsity team. Choose a venue that will remind the graduate just how far they’ve come.

Consider the time of the celebration.

One option to keep costs at a minimum is to have the celebration over merienda instead of dinner or lunch. A party over merienda is just as much fun, allowing the graduates to feast on snack items that they always enjoy. Serve noodles or pasta during the party, as this is always enjoyed and is, at the same time, very filling without being expensive.

Check out graduation promotions offered this season.

Take advantage of promotions from hotels, restaurants, and travel sites. Sometimes, these are outright discounts on the bill and especially priced packages, while others throw in a freebie or two. Also check out the offerings from credit card companies that offer generous discounts with partner merchants.

Go out of town.

Think out of the box. Instead of having a conventional party, organize a trip out of town. This way, your graduate’s celebration doubles as a vacation as well. Instead of spending money on the party, you can get your graduate a ticket to a destination he or she has always wanted to see. No doubt they will surely enjoy this experience plus you widen their perspective of life the way only travel can.

Just veg out.

Who says you have to have a party for your graduate? Some graduates simply want to relax and don’t want to be at the center of all that attention. Just because you don’t throw a party doesn’t mean you are less proud of your graduate’s accomplishments. So just relax about the whole celebration thing, go out to the movies, visit the mall, or just plain veg out at home. You can save up the celebration money for something more practical and useful instead.

Last but not the least attractive option: why not just give the money to your graduate? Of course do so along with a talk on wise money management to ensure that it will be saved, invested or spent wisely.

Grow Your Money is an editorial partnership between and Citi Philippines to promote financial education and provide helpful information to Filipinos on how to better manage their personal finances.

Visit for more information.