40th Birthday Party Ideas On A Budget

Turning 40 is a time to celebrate all that you’ve accomplished in life so far, live your best life, and look forward to all the adventures still ahead of you. And one of the best ways to celebrate a milestone birthday is to throw an amazing, unforgettable fiesta! If money is tight, don’t worry, there are plenty of 40th birthday party ideas on a budget you can use to throw a fabulous bash without spending a fortune!

40th birthday party ideas on a budget

Let’s get into these awesome ideas for a 40th birthday!

1. Picnic in your backyard

What’s one of the simplest 40th birthday ideas on a budget? Host a picnic in your backyard! You can keep costs down by providing simple food and drinks and asking guests to bring their own chairs or blankets.

And don’t forget the games! A few classic picnic games like frisbee or tag will keep you and the kids entertained.

If you’re looking for 40th birthday party ideas on a budget that don’t cost the earth, this one is a no-brainer.

2. Barbecue party to grill your favorite foods

Everyone loves food on the grill! Burgers, hot dogs, steak tips… you name it. Throwing a barbecue party is a great birthday party idea since it’s relatively easy to organize, and everyone is sure to have a good time.

All you need is some food, drinks, and 40th birthday decorations, and you’re ready to go! Plus, you can save money by making it a frugal meals potluck and asking your guests to bring some food, snacks, or dessert.

3. Movie night

If you’re thinking, “I need money desperately,” but still want to treat your guest to a personalized 40th birthday party, you can host a movie night at home and watch some of your guests’ favorite classic films.

Top Gun? Back to the Future? Dirty Dancing? You betcha!

All you need is a projector and some movie snacks! It is definitely one of the most awesome ideas for 40th birthday celebrations if you prefer more intimate and chill parties.

4. Gaming or board game night with friends and family

Monopoly, Scrabble, Settlers of Catan, Uno… the list goes on! Gather up all your gaming supplies and have a good time trying out game night ideas with the closest people in your life. These 40th birthday party ideas on a budget are easy to arrange.

If you’re looking to spice things up, make it a drinking game and take a drink every time somebody loses in cards.

5. Sip and paint night

A sip and paint night is a unique and fun birthday idea that you should definitely consider. You can invite all your friends over, have them bring their favorite bottle of wine or two with them, then give everyone a canvas and let the painting commence!

Sip and paint is not only an excellent idea for what to do for 40th birthday celebrations for yourself, but it’s also a great way for everyone at the party to have fun, too.

6. Karaoke your heart out

Hosting a karaoke night is one of the most fun 40th birthday ideas on a budget and is the perfect way to celebrate! You can invite all of your friends and family to join in on the fun. Karaoke is a great way to get everyone up and singing, and it’s sure to be a night you’ll never forget.

Put together a list of 40 of your fave karaoke songs for your 40th so you’ll love the playlist for the whole evening. Whether you love pop, rock, or alternative music, this will be a real blast.

7. Bowling night

When you’re looking for an affordable birthday party idea, consider bowling. It’s inexpensive but also a great way to get people involved in conversation while they wait their turn at the lane.

Plus, there are plenty of places that offer both discounts and group packages, which can make your life easier if you’re on a budget.

8. Escape room exploration

If you want an unforgettable experience, consider exploring an escape room. These interactive puzzles provide a unique challenge that is perfect for groups of friends or family.

You and your guests will have a blast working together to solve the clues and escape before time runs out!

9. Amusement park trip

For many people, turning 40 is a time to reflect on the past and plan for the future. It can also be a time for celebration, and what could be more fun than spending a day at an amusement park with friends and family?

Whether you’re young at heart or just young enough to enjoy the rides, an amusement park is one of the most thrilling 40th birthday ideas on a budget. Be sure to use sites such as CityPass to save on tickets!

10. Adventure day

Still looking for 40th birthday party ideas on a budget? One of our favorites is to go on an adventure day!

Visit a new city, go camping, or explore a new area of town with your family and friends! What’s better than taking off into the great unknown?

Whether you’re driving to another town or exploring a local park, the exploration of an unknown place is always exciting. Be sure to take lots of photos to reminisce on the beautiful memories for years to come. You can find all kinds of fun things to do for free in a new town by checking online!

11. Masquerade ball

Nothing says celebration like a good old-fashioned masquerade ball. Put on your best mask and enjoy a night of intrigue and mystery. You can decorate with gold balloons, candles, and table centerpieces for a festive flair.

Moreover, there are so many budget-friendly possibilities for costumes. You can go as anything from royalty to a Venetian gondolier. I’m sure your guests would have tons of fun!

12. Hollywood glamour Party

Think glamour, glitz, and old-school Hollywood. Get inspired by classic movies like “Casablanca” and “The Great Gatsby.” You can have everyone come dressed in vintage outfits from their favorite Hollywood costume or an outfit from any era.y

If you want to go all out, you can even rent some props and set the scene like a movie studio backlot. When it comes to 40th birthday party ideas on a budget, this has to be one of the most stylish. Go on — add a little pizazz. 

13. Throwback 90s hip hop party

Anyone celebrating their 40th birthday will remember the classic 90s hip-hop tunes we grew up listening to. So why not host a throwback 90s party for your birthday? It’s a great way to celebrate in style.

You can have all of your guests over and listen to music from the 90s, dance the night away, and enjoy snacks and drinks. And don’t forget to wear your best baggy jeans or tracksuit to show off how you can be fashionable on a budget.

14. The 70s disco fever

It’s time to get your groove on! A 70s disco dress-up theme party is the perfect way to celebrate everything that is funky, cool, and groovy about this decade.

From dancing in the streets to bell bottoms, polyester suits, and afros, there are so many options for this theme. You can go all out with a full costume or just rock some of your favorite ’70s attire.

Perhaps you could start upcycling fashion to make a sweet ’70s outfit. This party will be one for the books!

15. Carnival party

If you’re looking for a unique way to celebrate your birthday, why not throw a carnival-themed dress-up party?

Make it even more fun by decorating your home with circus-themed 40th birthday party decorations and serving classic carnival food like hot dogs and popcorn. You can also have fun games and activities for your guests to enjoy, such as ring toss or balloon popping.

16. Year of birth retro party

Celebrate 40 years of being alive by reminiscing about the year you were born. Granted, you won’t actually remember it! But it’s a fun theme to play around with.

Have your party guests dress in costumes from that year, get your party playlist on, and maybe even play around with a nostalgic menu. Vol au Vents and Chicken Française, anyone?

17. Concert viewing party

Do you love live music? Taking all of your friends to a concert may be out of reach.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have the same experience at home. Invite your besties over to enjoy a special screening of your favorite artist for your 40th birthday. 

Not sure where to start? You can purchase Beyonce’s World Tour on Amazon.

Simply search for the concert you have in mind, rent it, and host a night to remember. 

18. Create your own photo booth

When you’re coming up with new ideas for 40th birthday celebrations, don’t miss this one. You want to ensure you have loads of snaps of the big event. Why not create your own photo booth from scratch?

The good news is that you don’t need a ton of money to get this right.

Start out by getting some props online — you can buy a range of photo prop packs on Amazon. Next, get a Polaroid camera and some film.

If that is too expensive, take the pictures on your phone!

19. DIY casino night

Is luck on your side? If you can’t quite afford to take a trip to Vegas for your birthday, a better way is to bring the casinos to you instead. 

You can buy roulette games online for less than you might expect. Invite your friends around for a casino-themed party, and don’t forget your costumes.

20. Cocktail-making at home

If you’re a fan of fancy cocktails, here’s one of the best 40th birthday party ideas on a budget. Why not host a cocktail-making session at home? 

There are two main choices here… You can make one cocktail or ask your friends and family to bring their own recipes and ingredients. 

If you throw a themed party, you might even want to have themed cocktails. It’s a fun activity that your party guests will enjoy. 

Tip: Make some mocktails for anyone who is pregnant or doesn’t drink! You need to cater to everyone’s needs. 

21. 40th birthday dinner party on a budget

There’s no shame in getting to 40 and preferring more of a traditional meal than a buffet. A small dinner party is a great chance to get together with your nearest and dearest to enjoy sumptuous food and fabulous company.

It still doesn’t need to be expensive, even if it does look fancy pants! You could have each dinner party guest bring a different course or perhaps invite them all to bring a bottle while you handle the food. If you love a bit of fizz, then Prosecco is a brilliant alternative to champagne.

Expert tip: When in doubt make a list of themes and activities

With a bit of creativity, throwing a birthday party without spending a ton of cash is easy! Simply think about what type of event you want and your interests, and then get creative with the planning to save money.

One of the best ideas for 40th birthday celebrations is to make a list if you don’t know where to start. Write down themes and activities you like, and see if something stands out. Then start planning your party from there.

Ideas to make a 40th birthday more affordable

When it comes to throwing a 40th birthday party on a budget, creativity is key. We promise you’ll have a fantastic time even if you only have a few dollars to spend. Here are a few tips for how to save money fast while still having an amazing birthday experience on your big day:

Have your 40th birthday party at your home instead of renting a space

One easy way to save money is to hold your 40th birthday party at your home instead of renting a venue. That way, you can control the food and drinks that are served, and you won’t have to pay for a location.

You can also decorate your home to match the theme of your party, which can add to the festive atmosphere.

Ask guests to bring food or drink to your 40th birthday party

When you’re wondering what to do for 40th birthday celebrations, hosting a party can be expensive, but there are ways of cutting the budget. One way is to ask guests to bring food or drink to the party. It saves you from buying everything yourself and can help keep costs down.

There are many different types of food and drinks that guests can bring, so everyone is sure to find something they like. Plus, it’s a great way for guests to get together and socialize.

Serve simple snacks and drinks rather than a full meal

Instead of serving full meals that take quite a bit of time and budget to make, you can instead set up a buffet table where your guests can help themselves to simple snacks.

It will help you to save money on food costs and make it easier for your guests to find something they like to eat.

Use decorations you already have around the house

One of the other creative ways to save money for your party is by using decorations you already have around the house.

For example, you can use tablecloths and tableware, ribbons, streamers, balloons, and posters to create a festive atmosphere. And don’t forget the confetti!

You can also make your own party decorations by using materials like cardboard, construction paper, and paint.

Provide your own 40th birthday party entertainment on a budget

Another fun way to save money on your birthday bash is by providing your own entertainment rather than paying for a band or other professional service. You could get a Bluetooth speaker and create your own music playlist for the party. You can also decide what games will be played, if any.

That way, you can have more control over the type of music or games that are played and who is involved. Plus, it’s a fun way to get everyone in on the celebration!

What items are needed for your 40th birthday party ideas on a budget?

The items needed for your party could differ depending on what type of party you’re hosting.

However, to ensure that your party goes smoothly, here are the most essential items and factors to consider during your party planning process.

A venue

Almost every party needs a venue. The perfect place to celebrate this momentous milestone is somewhere with plenty of space for guests to spread out and have fun.

It should also be private enough so that the guest of honor can enjoy their special day without interruption.

However, you can keep it budget-friendly by having your party at your home, a friend’s house, or a park if possible.


A big part of planning what to do for 40th birthday celebrations is the food. For food, it’s customary to serve a mix of savory and sweet dishes. Finger foods are perfect for parties, as they can be eaten without utensils and don’t take up too much time or space on the table.

Last but not least, don’t forget your 40th birthday cake! Whether it’s shaped like the number 40, has 40 candles on top, or you serve 40 individual cupcakes instead of a multi-tiered centerpiece, it’s your call!


Guests will also need drinks, so make sure there’s a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic options available. Also, don’t forget to prepare plenty of cups and wine glasses so you won’t have to worry about buying them last minute.


Music is also important for a birthday party, as it sets the mood and helps guests get into the celebratory spirit.

The best way to make sure that you’re prepared is to make a Spotify playlist beforehand and also take into consideration the music taste of your guests or the theme of your party.


Last but not least, decorations. To keep things cohesive, make sure that your party decor matches the theme of your party and makes the guests feel welcome and excited for a whole day of fun!

You can even search for decor inspirations on Pinterest to help you create amazing decoration ideas for your birthday. Remember to check places like the Dollar Store or Goodwill to save cash on decor!

How to save up money for a 40th birthday?

If you want to have a fun 40th birthday party but need to save up money, there are lots of ways to prepare, like a spending freeze. You can also try out a savings club or find other ways to save money on a tight budget. Even a side hustle or a couple of extra hours a week at work can help you throw the birthday party of your dreams!

What is a good menu for a 40th birthday party? 

A good menu for your 40th birthday party depends on your taste and the type of event you’re hosting.

For example, if you are going for a formal dinner, you might want to choose a classic, such as French or Italian food. Should you host a larger event, you may want to go for sharing dishes, such as charcuterie boards. 

Alternatively, you could make your event a potluck and have your friends and family each come with a special meal!

How do you throw a big birthday party on a small budget? 

To throw a big birthday party on a small budget, consider what you spend on. A large guest list can still be inexpensive when you’re mindful of the venue and food, which are two big costs.

Pick a free or inexpensive (but large) venue like a park or community center. Then, save by planning an inexpensive meal or asking guests to bring sides and desserts.

What makes a good 40th birthday party?

So long as you’re celebrating with the people who matter to you, you should have an amazing birthday bash. Remember, this is your event, so you make the rules.

You don’t have to go overboard if your budget is slim. There are plenty of ways to have fun, relax, and share in this milestone with your loved ones.

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Try these 40th birthday party ideas on a budget and have a blast!

Hopefully, these 40th birthday party ideas on a budget have provided you with some inspiration for your upcoming birthday bash! Your birthday is a time to celebrate all that you have accomplished in life so far.

It’s also a time for looking ahead to the future, finding out how to plan for the year, and setting new yearly goals to have. And, of course, it’s a time for having fun with friends and family.

So make sure to have fun and enjoy this special day while also avoiding money leaks and overspending!

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