SUMMER ENTERTAINING ON A BUDGET
It’s summer time!!! It’s a season that we look forward to entertaining and throwing backyard barbecues. It’s also a season of graduations and summer holidays. The Fourth of July will be here in just a couple weeks. So, how do you throw a grand affair on a tight budget?
WHAT INFLUENCES US?
The images that we see in the media, especially television and social media, make us think that we can’t entertain if we don’t have a lot of money to spend. Inviting people to your home can be intimidating. Therefore, it is important to keep your financial goals in mind when planning to host a party or event. Otherwise, there may be a tendency to overspend. Family and friends are important and ultimately they will not remember the china pattern, but they will remember how they felt while they were in your home. Creating an atmosphere of comfort and celebration does not have to break the bank.
Here are 9 tips to help you entertain on a budget this summer.
- SET A BUDGET
Set your spending budget early in the planning process. Calculate your budget and then write a comprehensive shopping list. Spend only the amount that you planned on. Don’t give yourself any wiggle room. Commit to the process of entertaining and sticking to a pre-planned budget.
- POTLUCK IT
Most times when you invite people to your home for dinner, they ask you if you need them to bring something. Oblige them the opportunity to show their thanks for the invite. Ask your guests to bring a dish, drink or dessert to pass. It cuts down your costs and is a great way to engage in conversation.
- STOCK UP EARLY
Plan ahead of time and stock up on the things you need throughout the year. Non-perishable items can be stored and perishable items can be frozen. It may take some extra time and planning, but it will be worth it in the end.
- MAKE ICE AHEAD OF TIME
Sometimes it’s the small last minutes things that break our budget. Freeze up ice and bag it so there are no last minute runs to the convenience store. Making a trip to the gas station or convenience store will most likely cost you three times what you will pay at a chain store like Kroger, Meijer or Wal-Mart.
- USE A PREDETERMINED AMOUNT OF CASH TO SHOP
Use a set amount of cash to shop instead of taking a credit or debit card. Don’t go over your budget. It may be tempting to overspend once you get inside the stores, so take only the amount of cash you budgeted for.
- USE WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE IN THE REFRIGERATOR
Check out your fridge and cupboards for what you have on hand. Especially if this party is a spur of the moment gesture, try to use what you already have. Check your fridge and see what you have, then find recipes and dishes that apply to what is there on hand.
- PLAN THE MENU AROUND WHAT IS ON SALE
Not everyone is into couponing, but just a quick look into grocery sales ads for the week can save you a stack of cash. Try planning your menu centered around what’s on sale. Although you may not clip coupons on a regular basis, it may be a good idea to search for coupons that will help you save some money for your event.
- USE FOOD AND CANDLES AS DECOR
Instead of buying fresh flowers or other expensive centerpieces, why not use something practical. Try using colorful fruits and vegetables as centerpieces and décor. Also, inexpensive candles can do the trick as well. Do some online searching to help with sparking creative ideas that will assist you in setting the tone of your party. If you see something you like, get creative and imitate the look using supplies that cost less or nothing.
- STAY FOCUSED
Stay focused on the real goal of your event. We always want things to be very nice when we entertain in our home whether it is a children’s birthday party, baby shower, an elegant dinner party or a Fourth of July barbecue. But, it is important to remember that once that event is over life still goes on. You don’t want to sabotage your financial goals or break your bank account because of one event that you have control over.
MAINTAIN YOUR CONTROL
We have to remember that we have control over how much we spend. There seems to be so much pressure in our society to “keep up” with what everyone else is doing. It is important to keep in mind that everyone’s experience and resources are different. What works for one person may not work for all. How much money you spend is not a reflection of who you are! People will ultimately remember the event and your intention.
At Timothy Roberts & Associates LLC, we want to see you reach your full financial potential! We really do appreciate you and we are here for you! It is our hope at Timothy Roberts & Associates LLC that you have found this information helpful as you plan your summer events. Share the blog with your family and friends. Check out our website often at www.timothyrobertsllc.com. Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn and as always stay tuned for next week’s blog post. Until then remember…
Your Interest is our Only Interest!