Whether it’s a Halloween soiree, a Thanksgiving Day dinner, or a massive New Year’s Eve party, the end of the year is a popular time for people to get together and celebrate. As fun as a full social calendar can be, all your entertaining plans for the season can put pressure on your budget. It’s all too easy to let get carried away when you’re making merry.
Before you know it, you’ll arrive in 2019 sporting a host headache, and you won’t be able to blame it on the eggnog. No, the cause of your holiday hangover is your expensive duties as host on top of leaving all the best gifts under the tree for your kids. If you expect to escape the most wonderful time of the year with your finances intact, consider these hosting tips to stay on a budget.
Buy in bulk
It doesn’t matter if your calendar is full of smaller parties or you’re expecting all your extended family for Christmas dinner. Whatever you’re planning, you’re going to need enough supplies for your long guest list. In some cases, buying in bulk will help you stock up without breaking the bank.
You can find party necessities like utensils, paper plates, and even extra furniture if you need it at a store like Costco. However, you should keep an eye on its price-per-unit to make sure you’re actually getting a deal on these bulk products. Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy snacks and other items from your average grocery store. If you aren’t sure how to tell the difference, this bulk-buying guide can help you spot a deal.
Starting to stockpile cash months before you plan to open your home to the people you love is a tried-and-true way to stay on budget. The earlier you start, the easier it is to juggle this extra saving on top of your usual expenses. For example, when you have time to collect cash, you might be able to save what you need by eliminating your daily takeout coffee before work or your family’s Friday night takeout.
Of course, when you’re running a busy household, it can be a challenge to keep an eye on the calendar. The holidays arrive quickly, and they might catch you unawares. You may have to dip into your emergency fund to cover these costs. Since this emergency fund is there to cover emergencies, this is exactly what it’s there for.
However, it can be a gamble. The winter may be an expensive time of year as you face winterization maintenance and repairs, on top of the usual gift giving. Rely too much on this dedicated savings account to help with hosting, and you’ll be unprepared should a wintertime household repair come your way.
When an unexpected repair or bill arrives — and your savings are depleted— a busy host like you can use installment loans to fill the gaps in their budgets all year round. But during the winter, you need a special kind of loan that works under the holiday time-crunch. When you need fast access to cash in an emergency, installment loans direct lenders can help you faster than traditional banks.
While the average retail bank follows lengthy approval processes, installment loans direct lenders work quickly to expedite your request. If you’re curious how these cash loans simplify the borrowing experience. In some cases, their online platform operates 24/7, meaning companies like MoneyKey (a direct lender in many of the states they operate in) can send you cash in as little as one business day.
Plan bring-your-own gatherings
The type of event you plan has a huge impact on your budget. While you may want to host elaborate catered meals with all the finest food and beverages money can buy, it’s not always in the cards. If you have the spirit of a gracious host but not the bankroll to back it up, you don’t have to cancel your event. Embracing a bring-your-own policy is a great way to have people over without spending too much money.
Potlucks are a tradition of the harvest time and the winter that follows, so you shouldn’t find it too hard to convince your friends and family to bring their favorite potluck dish. You will, however, have to keep a close eye on the meals people plan to bring to make sure there aren’t seven green bean casseroles at dinner.
The holidays can be expensive, especially when you’re set to host family and friends all season long, but they don’t have to break your budget. As long as you remember to shop well, save early, and have a plan B, you can welcome everyone into your home without worrying about your finances.