The economy is making it hard for a lot of people right now but that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice style and fun when it comes to giving birthday parties. If you need to create a birthday party for someone you love, these money-saving tips will help you watch your wallet, while still creating an event everyone will remember:

Be Creative with the Birthday Party Theme

Why not try something different, like a theme that can be implemented without breaking the bank for your guests or you? If you're giving a kids party, you can ask all the guests to bring inexpensive presents suitable to give to a regional animal rescue organization or family homeless shelter. If you call the organization in advance, you can compile a list of low-cost items that can be included with the invitations you send to your guests. Instruct them to wrap the items as if they were regular birthday gifts and then the entire party can meet at the organization to deliver them. Doing this would be a meaningful experience for everyone and would also give children first-hand experience with how good it feels to give to others.

For adults, save money by throwing a re-gifting/recycling party. Most people have at least one gift in their closets that they've been given but don't want, so let them wrap them up and give them again! Make sure everyone knows who is on the guest list, though, so people don't re-gift items they received from other party guests! If you're worried about hurt feelings, people can just bring impulse purchases they made but have never used. The items should be limited to a dollar amount that's appropriate for the group, so people at all income levels can participate.

Make Your Own Birthday Party Decorations and Invitations

The Web is chock full of a nice assortment of printable birthday invitations for kids and adults. So why spend money on store-bought invitations when you can print them at home for just the cost of card stock and ink? There are also plenty of birthday clipart images and birthday scrapbook papers on the Web, many of which would make perfect party decorations. If you can find high resolution art, you can make your own banners and signs for the party. If you can't find the right kind of art, you have the option of decorating flower arrangements or plants with clip art cut-outs or making table place cards. If you like vintage, you can print a selection of vintage birthday cards and tie them with fancy ribbons to a string that forms a garland. This is an easy way to get a vintage feel and make the party more festive! To enhance the shabby chic, vintage theme, get intentionally mismatched plates, glasses and silverware at a thrift store to use in place of plastic and paper partyware.

The key to creating a memorable birthday party is to be creative. If you infuse style into your party plans, no one will ever know you didn't spend a lot of money!