Personal Finance

Hosting a Super Bowl party? Here's how to rein in costs

Key Points
  • Americans are expected to spend a total of $14.8 billion on Super Bowl parties, an average cost of $81 per person, according to the National Retail Federation. 
  • People aged 35 to 44 are willing to spend the most on a party: $123.26.
Todd Gurley #30 of the Los Angeles Rams is tackled during the game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
Adam Glanzman | Getty Images

Hosting a Super Bowl party this weekend? You can still do that without throwing financial responsibility to the wind.

This year, Americans are set to spend the second-highest amount of money ever on their Super Bowl parties, according to a National Retail Federation (NRF) survey, which surveyed more than 7,000 adults from Jan. 2 to Jan. 9, before it was known which teams would play. Of those Americans planning to watch, 60.9 million plan on attending a party, 44 million people plan to host a party, and 13 million people will be watching at a bar, the NRF found.

People watching the big game will shell out an average of $81 a person, totaling in $14.8 billion, the NRF said. Football fans spent the most money during Super Bowl L back in 2016, when the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers. That year, the average was $82.19 per person, the retail association said.

Nearly 3 out of 4 of the respondents in the federation's poll said they plan to watch the game this year. Yet the survey found that among the 35 to 44 age cohort, those game watchers were willing to spend the most on a Super Bowl fete--an average of $123.26.

Source: NRF's 2019 Annual Super Bowl Spending Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics

But why has the amount of money people are willing to spend periodically risen?

"The amount has changed because more and more people are having bigger parties," said Kemberley Washington, CPA and member of the American Institute of CPAs' national CPA financial literacy commission. "Costs have continued to rise because of inflation."

Being a host on the cheap

Sean Locke | E+ | Getty Images

If you're one of the people hosting a watch party, there are strategies to keep costs under control.

Not only should you have a spending limit for the overall party, but you should also earmark your budget for specific party supplies and food.

"Having an amount in mind can help you decide what you should or, better yet, should not purchase," Washington said.

Once you figure out what you still need to buy, reach out to friends and family to chip in on the other items, she said.

If you have a killer deviled egg recipe, now is the time to show it off — and invite your attendees to bring munchies and drinks for a potluck.

Legendary Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank on Super Bowl LIII
Legendary Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank on Super Bowl LIII

Another idea could be co-hosting with someone on your guest list so you can share the cost, or just splitting the expense with a group of friends. Mobile payment apps, including PayPal, Venmo and Zelle, can help you reimburse whoever made the shopping trip, Washington said.

Finally, take a look at what supplies you already have around the house that you can re-purpose for the big game.

"Whether its paper products, snacks, serving bowls or other items, get an idea of items that you can use before heading out to the store," said Washington.

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