As expensive as it can be to travel, the cost of hosting a holiday get together tends to be the most expensive role, especially if you will have company staying at your home for a few nights. While it is great to get caught up in the holiday spirit, you need to stay in control of your spending too. Here are a few things you can do to help keep the costs down as you let friends and family into your home for the holidays.
– Get everyone on the same page. It is great to spontaneously go out and have a great night on the town when most of your loved ones are around, but that night out can quickly get expensive. If it is likely that people will want to go out, work to figure out what people want to do so you don’t end up doing something too expensive. It will also keep impromptu excursions to a minimum. Are their free or low cost events nearby, like a parade or a great park where you can just walk the dogs or just sit and watch the water?
– Plan ahead for the meals you will eat at home, and have enough snacks on hand to keep people from wanting to go out to eat. Make sure you have more food than you think you will need so that everyone can get their fill. Cook as much of the food as possible from scratch. It is much cheaper than pre-packaged food. Think of the wonderful smells and time together preparing the meal that will add to the holiday cheer.
– Verify the head count a couple of days before the event. You don’t want anyone bringing a surprise guest with them, so if you can get people to commit to a number, that will help you plan the shopping list and other expenses associated with hosting for the holidays.
– Have fun activities on hand at home. Whether you like board games, cards, or a round of charades, there are so many activities that you can do in the comfort of home without spending any extra money. You can make some really great memories because your guests will be more open in the privacy of a home than out in public.
One of the most important things to do is ask for help when you know you will need it. This could be asking people to bring food or an activity. Just because you are hosting does not mean you should be doing all of the work. You can even get a cleanup crew scheduled with your closest friends, as well as volunteering family to help out.
As always, be sure to keep up with your expenses over the holidays by entering them in PIMYU because you won’t remember all of them two or three weeks later when all of the guests are gone. Plus, by keeping up with the expenses on PIMYU you’ll know how you are managing your money and if you need to cut back or if you can afford an outing with everyone.