Anytime a holiday rolls around, hosts everywhere begin to stress out about details, from decorations and seating charts to creating the perfect ambiance. It can be tempting to blow your budget in order to wow your coworkers, family or friends.
However, you don’t need to break the bank in order to impress your guests and create lasting memories. Here are some tips for hosting a holiday party on a budget:
Tip 1: Create a Budget and Stick to It
Sit down and consider all of the costs for your party, such as food, beverages, place settings, cutlery, decor. While many of these will fluctuate in terms of the number of RSVPs, you want to consider how much fits within your budget and tailor your guest list to match. Depending on the size of your home, you may need to purchase, rent or borrow extra tables and chairs.
Pick a few priorities. This gives you a road map of where you can go the DIY route if necessary. For example, if your budget is tight, you might opt for decorations you have on hand instead of buying new items to save some money. Consider which foods are must-haves versus nice-to-haves. French macarons are nice, but chocolate chip cookies almost always do the trick.
You also may want to build a cushion into your budget for unexpected expenses, such as those last-minute grocery or liquor store runs, and for peace of mind.
Tip 2: Consider Something Other Than a Big Sit Down Meal
If creating the perfect tablescape with a huge spread is causing Friendsgiving nightmares, you might consider hosting a different kind of party, like a cocktail or potluck party.
You don’t need to be a hero and do it all yourself! Asking your guests to bring their own dishes can help you save money. You may even find a new favorite menu item. The important thing is to communicate early and clearly with your guests about what kind of party you’re hosting and if you need help from them.
Tip 3: Set Aside Money Over Time to Help Alleviate Costs
Saving over the weeks, months or even year ahead can help you ensure you have the cash to cover the costs of hosting family or friends. Set up a separate checking or savings account with your bank. This lets you set aside money separate from accounts used for everyday expenses so you aren’t tempted to spend it on other things. You can ask your human resources representative about automatically redirecting portions of your paycheck into these accounts.
Tip 4: Manage Your Expectations and Plan Accordingly
You can quickly get in over your head if you’re prone to going down the Pinterest rabbit holes, or sweating over every minute detail in your planning process.
Instead, make sure you’re setting realistic expectations for yourself and what you can accomplish. If you know that you’ll be busy with holiday shopping, it may be best to opt for simpler decorations and less ornate dishes. Sometimes smaller, intimate gatherings are more fun than large soirees. As trite as it sounds, these types of events are about making cherished memories, not spending your last cent.
Holidays are a time to celebrate with loved ones. Careful planning and budgeting will help you enjoy your party without adding to your stress levels. Take our quiz to find out which type of savings account is best to help you save for hosting the next holiday!
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