"Pay My Rent" Party
Old Fashioned House Party!
An old fad is becoming a new trend in these days of economic hardships. Rent parties, also known as house parties, have deep roots in Harlem, where residents threw parties to raise money for bills and rent. With live music playing, a hat would be passed around to all of the guests for contributions.
These parties are making a comeback, and I think it’s a rocking idea.
Of course, today’s parties, hopefully, don’t have the same challenges as those Harlem parties had. First, we don’t have to worry about Prohibition today. And, the living and working conditions were not great for these pre-Civil Rights partiers. Unfortunately, slums still exist and I’m not naïve enough to think that everything is laddy da fine in this day and age, but things are different.
Unfortunately, people are going through rough financial times. Throwing rent parties provide two different kinds of relief during hard times:
- They raise much needed money.
- They provide an opportunity for fun.
We all know that fun, social environments create great outlets for stress relief!
Tips for Your Rent Party
The most important thing to remember is that you are trying to raise money so you need to keep your expenses low.
Let me give you some quick DON’Ts before I give you the DOs.
DON’T buy invitations – dude, this costs money. Plus, you will have to buy the postage, which is not cheap these days.
DON’T throw a dinner party – food isn’t cheap, so stay away from anything formal or sit down.
DON’T hire live entertainment – you aren’t getting married here, you are trying to raise money.
DON’T buy pricey wine, beer, or liquor – this isn’t some high society cocktail party, it’s a “help me pay by bills so I’m not evicted” party.
DON’T go overboard crazy – seriously, do you want the neighbors to call the police? I didn’t think so.
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Okay, do you get the general idea of what not to do? Now, let’s talk about what you should do to throw a successful rent party.
DO charge a small fee – you can ask everyone to contribute something at the door (just let people know ahead of time that this is a “pay my rent” party). Either let people choose what to contribute, or set the price yourself. $5 or $10 a head isn’t bad, especially if you kept your spending low.
DO go online – Facebook, email, electronic invitations = free, free, free!
DO talk to everyone you know – word of mouth is the best way to advertise your party.
DO buy cheap foods – think pizza and chips. Head out to Costco, or a store like that, and buy some cheap bulk items.
DO invite a friend’s band to play – seriously, a lot of bands just want the opportunity to promote themselves. I totally threw an awesome party where I let a friend of a friend’s band play. They even promoted the party themselves…there’s nothing like being handed a flyer by a stranger promoting a party at your own house…oh yeah.
DO buy cheap drinks – Trader Joe’s has awesome wine prices (Two Buck Chuck), warehouses have good deals on beer, or get a keg of the cheap stuff. If you want to have liquor, do not go high end. Shop for bargains.
DO have fun – the party can be totally fun without it ending in a trashed home or the cops showing up. Remember that you are an adult, and don’t let it get out of control.
DO thank everyone – these people are paying guests, and helping you pay your bills, so be thankful and gracious.