The holidays can be very draining on your monthly spending plan. It is also a time for you to enjoy being with your friends and family. That frequently means either going to parties or having parties at your home or restaurants.
It is important that you can have fun during this time of the year, however you should not overspend. Having a holiday budget that includes both gift giving and holiday parties is the best way to avoid holiday overspending.
Here’s how to do it
- Choose a fun but simple theme. This may sound a bit odd, but it can spur conversation. Themes can be as uncomplicated as a contest for best ugly sweater, strangest hat, or the most unusual scarf. It can even be a food theme. The best chili doesn’t have to be only for a summer party.
- If you do have a contest, you may want to give out small prizes for the winner. Have your guests do the voting or assign a few judges, if it is a large party.
- Accept all help that is offered. Think about it, whenever you are invited to family or a friends’ home, you bring a gift. Take your guest up on the offer. If they don’t offer, then suggest something by saying, “I know that you would like to bring something to the party. I really could use xyz. Is that OK with you?”
- Keep track of all the assignments by writing them down or keeping track electronically. You may want to remind your guests before the party, so they don’t forget. You can even have a guest bring plates, napkins, cups, and plasticware ahead of time. Whatever you do, make assignments according to your guests’ abilities. For example, don’t ask a friend who usually bails at the last minute to prepare a main dish.
- Keep alcohol to a minimum. Alcohol can be a large expense. Offer two choices – a special party drink such as warm spiked punch (use a crock pot to keep it warm) and inexpensive wine or beer.
- Limit the food choices as well. The more choices, the more complicated it is to serve, and tempting for your guests to try everything. Less choices and likely you can buy in bulk at least some of the ingredients. If you have guests that are great cooks that are bringing their specialties, then you don’t need to limit the options. Only fill in for what may be missing.
- Have a fun activity planned, just in case things get a little dull. This largely depends your guests, their ages, and willingness to play a game. Smaller gatherings are best suited for a game.
- Finally, don’t forget to have play music. It can be holiday themed or not, it’s up to you.
Will everyone know it’s a budget party?
No, they won’t unless you tell them. You may think that your friends will notice you are being less extravagant than prior years. If everyone has a good time and enjoys themselves, then there no reason to believe they are judging you about how much you spend. If they are judging you, are they really your friends?
Enjoy your guests and have fun at your party. Keep it simple and let your guests help out with the party. Stay within the spirit of the season. Remember It’s more about enjoying each other’s company.
What have you done to make your party special without overspending? Have you tried themed parties before and have they been successful?