With the holiday season well upon us, many people are already planning for New Year's parties and celebrations. If you're considering hosting a party yourself, there are a number of budget tips that you can use to keep your party realistic. Though New Year's might be an exciting event in the holiday season, no special event is worth going into debt. Plan your party right and make sure that you're putting your money to the very best use. (For more, check out Host A Holiday Party For Less.)

TUTORIAL: Budgeting Basics

Set Money Aside
Though the holiday season might be the time of year when many people tend to overspend, if you're planning on hosting a New Year's party, you really should budget for this in advance and set the money aside. There are a variety of guides and worksheets available online that can help you to estimate the costs of a party, and to figure out how much you should plan to spend on food and beverages. The further in advance you start planning your party or get-together, the better. Start setting a bit of money aside from each paycheck so that you'll have the cash you need to put together the party of your dreams โ€“ especially if you have a specific theme or style of entertaining in mind.

Be Realistic
It's a lot easier to host a smaller get-together of 10 close friends than it is to host a huge gathering of 100. Keeping costs down relies on having realistic expectations. The more people you invite, the more space you'll need and the more you'll have to spend on food and drinks. If you want to avoid having to rent a hall to accommodate your huge guest list, keep the invites down to the number of people that you can comfortably fit into your home. This will naturally help to keep your other costs down too.

Set Limits and Stick to Them
Creating a solid budget is a big part of establishing your limits when planning a party. Once you know how many people you can realistically invite, create a list of the items you'll need to purchase and itemize each expense. You're likely to have expenses for a variety of different types of items โ€“ from decorations, to food, drinks and perhaps entertainment. Know how much you plan to spend on each type of expense. Don't forget that you may have some unforeseen expenses as well, so you should probably add about 10% to your budget to cover any unforeseen or last-minute expenses. If you notice your spending is getting out of control or that you're not sticking to your budget, it's time to step back and reevaluate. (To further assist your plans, read 8 Tips To Help You Control Holiday Spending.)

Keep the Menu Simple
It costs more to host a classy sit-down meal than it does to put together a cocktail party or a casual get-together. Selecting a simple menu of snacks and appetizers will help to keep your costs down, and making a number of your menu items yourself is less expensive than buying convenience foods or paying a caterer. You can also choose to stock your bar with a simple selection of beverages like wine, beer and non-alcoholic beverages, or perhaps you could offer a couple of feature drinks and allow your guests to bring anything specific that they may like to drink. If you're hosting a casual get-together for your closest friends or family members, you could also opt for a potluck event where everyone brings something to contribute to the menu.

Use What You Have on Hand
You've already got strings of LED lights from Christmas. Why not hang them up around your home rather than shell out the cash for streamers and balloons? You can create a party ambience with many items that you've already got at home. Turn the lights down low, light candles and play some music to set the mood. You don't need to spend a load of cash on decorations to create a party atmosphere โ€“ and it's not very budget savvy to spend your hard-earned money on decorations that you'll only use one night of the year.

Plan in Advance
It's a fact that the further in advance you start planning, the more money you'll be able to set aside and the more prepared you'll be when the big night arrives. If you tend to host a New Year's party every year, you could consider purchasing some clearance decorations after New Year's and store them for next year's party. These decorations tend to be a lot less expensive if you purchase them when they're on sale, and then you can splurge on some of the more elaborate decorations that might otherwise be out of your price range. You can also watch for sales on items you know you'll need throughout the fall season.

The Bottom Line
Throwing a great party shouldn't leave you in debt. And a really memorable party probably has little to do with how much you spent on it. A party is about having your closest friends and family come together to celebrate, not about going broke trying to put together the most elaborate event possible. Though it may be tempting to stray from your budget, keep in mind that you created the budget for a reason. With a little advance planning and sticking to the limits you've set, your party should go off perfectly, and you'll be able to ring in the New Year knowing that you've made a solid financial decision. (To learn more, check out How To Reduce Holiday Debt.)

Related Articles
  1. Stock Analysis

    Home Depot: Can its Shares Continue Climbing?

    Home Depot has outperformed the market by a wide margin in the last 12 months. Is this sustainable?
  2. Savings

    These 10 Habits Will Help You Reach Financial Freedom

    Learn 10 key habits for achieving financial freedom, including smart budgeting, staying abreast of new tax deductions and the importance of proper maintenance.
  3. Budgeting

    How Much Will it Cost to Become President In 2016?

    The 2016 race to the White House will largely be determined by who can spend the most money. Here is a look at how much it will cost to win the presidency.
  4. Budgeting

    Six Most Popular Hobbies You Can Do For Free

    Does your budget not allow you to have expensive hobbies? Here are six great ideas for occupying your free time without spending money.
  5. Home & Auto

    How Property Taxes Are Calculated

    Property taxes are calculated through use of the mill levy and the assessed property values.
  6. Savings

    6 Ways to Save on Holiday Wine and Spirits

    Get started on your planning and spending now, so you are prepared when the holiday trifecta (Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year) hits.
  7. Home & Auto

    This Is How You Could Live in the Philippines on $1,000 a Month

    Consider what your life might be like in the Philippines on a $1,000 budget, and determine whether this Southeast Asian country is for you.
  8. Home & Auto

    This Is How You Could Live in Thailand on $1,000 a Month

    Discover what kind of life you can lead on $1,000 per month in Thailand, one of the top expatriate and tourist destinations in Southeast Asia.
  9. Personal Finance

    5 Reasons Inmates Should Be Taught Financial Literacy

    Learn five reasons why financial literacy is a great way to prevent inmates from relapsing into a life of crime after release from prison.
  10. Home & Auto

    How Much Money Do You Need to Live in Mexico City?

    Learn how much it costs for four types of expatriates to live in Mexico City, including students, job hunters, professionals and retirees.
  1. How does a bank determine what my discretionary income is when making a loan decision?

    Discretionary income is the money left over from your gross income each month after taking out taxes and paying for necessities. ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the range of deductibles offered with various health insurance plans?

    A wide range of possible deductibles are available with health insurance plans, starting as low as a few hundred dollars ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How do I know how much of my income should be discretionary?

    While there is no hard rule for how much of a person's income should be discretionary, Inc. magazine points out that it would ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What proportion of my income should I put into my demand deposit account?

    Generally speaking, aim to keep between two months and six months worth of your fixed expenses in your demand deposit accounts. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do I use the rule of 72 to estimate compounding periods?

    The rule of 72 is best used to estimate compounding periods that are factors of two (2, 4, 12, 200 and so on). This is because ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How much risk is associated with subprime mortgages?

    A large amount of risk is associated with subprime mortgages. Since the mortgages are specifically for people who do not ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center