How I Host a Holiday Party Without Going Broke

Holiday parties can be both festive and frugal.

A lot of times, we commit to something months in advance and then when it comes time to do it, we almost wish we hadn’t. This often happens with holiday parties. It sounds good in October when things are light and you are excited about the upcoming festivities, but as more and more piles on your plate, it seems daunting as party time gets closer.

I absolutely love hosting holiday parties but am not a fan of going broke to do it. Over the years, I’ve learned how to enjoy the holiday season without tapping out financially. If you love the holidays like I do and want to have an economical gathering, here are a few things I do each year that you can try, too.

Read More: 40 Ways to Save Money Over the Holidays

I Get Started Early

I try to plan holiday parties months in advance. By planning, I’m able to shop for the things I need a little at a time versus all at once. I learned the hard way that waiting until the last minute is no fun, adding stress to my mind and my wallet.

I Plan My Spending

I make a list of everything I’ll need, from groceries to decorations and any small gifts I’d like to share. I include how much I want to spend in each category. Once I reach that limit, I’m done.

More on Figuring Out Your Spending: 30 Sneaky Expenses You Forgot About This Holiday Season

I Make It a Potluck

I don’t try to pretend to be superwoman by cooking all the food. I ask everyone to bring a dish. Now, if you are picky, you can assign dishes to certain people and let others bring drinks or paper goods. This way, you’re not paying for everything yourself, which helps during the holiday season when you still have gifts to buy for family and friends as well.

Related: How I Host an Amazing Potluck for Under $100

I Do Discount Decorating

I love using thrift stores for décor. Garage sales and estate sales are great resources as well. I have found some great steals on barely used wreaths, lights and centerpieces. If you have time, it’s also cheaper to make simple decorations as well.

Can I tell you another secret? My family and I share decorations. Depending on who’s hosting what, the “family decoration tote” full of goodies makes its rounds.

I Keep It Simple

It’s easy to get caught up in wanting to throw a beautiful holiday bash, but before you know it, you’ve blown your budget. Remember that it’s really all about spending quality time and being fully present with those who mean the most to you. They won’t care about the perfect place setting or expensive centerpieces, so keep it simple and focus on what’s important.

I Skip the Gift Exchange

If you are like me, you also may have several groups of family and friends. I do gifts with immediate family only. When hosting a holiday gathering of friends, we skip the gift exchange. We just want to catch up on life happenings, enjoy some good food and a lot of laughs. No gifts needed for that.

What about you? How do you host your holiday parties while keeping your budget intact? If you haven’t already, try one of the tips above to have a cost-effective, fun holiday party.

Read More: How to Make Money While Shopping for the Holidays

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