It’s important to give family celebrations the fanfare they are due, but sometimes celebrating all the important milestones can come at a staggering cost. From birthdays to holidays, promotions to weddings, there are many reasons to celebrate with your loved ones throughout the year. Make sure your celebrations don’t break the bank but still inspire all the loving and fun feelings they should with these budgeting tips.
It All Starts with the Budget
If you have no money set aside for a celebration, you’ll have no money to spend on said occasion. It really is as simple as that, but I know it’s definitely easier said than done. Look ahead on your calendar, noting every birthday or yearly occasion you know that you will be celebrating. Then, decide on a budget for each. Foresight will allow you to look for necessary items in the meantime, saving you money as you get closer. Use a budgeting app like Mint to make it easier to see your finances and determine how much you can funnel into various celebrations.
One of the easiest ways to save yourself money (and stress!) is to plan for your celebration as early as possible. The longer you wait, the higher prices will go. This is true of all types of expenses. Whether it’s chair and table rentals or venue spaces, the sooner you can get something planned and in the books, the less you’ll pay overall.
Focus on the Meaning
If the celebration is a holiday, focus on the meaning behind it instead of the gifts expected. When it comes to holidays, speak to your little ones about the origins of it and the gratitude they should feel for being able to celebrate with their family. Focusing on the sentimental aspects of any holiday is sure to instill a better sense of gratitude and avoid too much focus on presents.
The smallest of gestures can hold the most meaning. Just because you’re celebrating on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t treat your family. If your spouse is having a birthday, send an inexpensive bouquet of birthday flowers as a sweet surprise or show up at their office with their favorite meal. Make a custom photo album. The old adage is true: it really is the thought that counts. The sweetest of sentiments can be expressed without costing you anything at all. Slip little notes into the lunch pail of your little one with kind notes that they’ll treasure, or do your spouse’s chores for the week to let them take a load off. Small gestures like this are often the most remembered, and cherished far beyond the time a material item would be.
Dollar Store Decorations
Outfitting your home is as easy as a trip to your local dollar store. You wouldn’t believe the gems you can find at discount stores, and for anything like birthday balloons, confetti, streamers, or anything of the sort, you won’t spend over a buck. This is one of the most underutilized budget party tactics, and you can make your home or chosen venue look the part without spending a fortune on expensive decorations you’ll only use once.
You don’t need to throw away hundreds of dollars on a meal that will only last an hour or so. Keep it simple with your food—while still ensuring it’s delicious. Not every occasion calls for lobster and truffles; if your husband’s favorite meal is macaroni and cheese, stick to that. If money is really tight, the age old trick is to make the affair in question a potluck. With everyone contributing, you’ll have a feast fit for royalty without spending a royal fortune. This is always a good route for any extended family celebration, because large numbers mean a variety of foods to try and a lot of money to be saved.
It’s important to celebrate the special occasions that come up throughout the years, as these are often the memories we and our children will hold most dear for the future. If financial hardships have been cutting into your ability to properly celebrate, utilize these budget-friendly tips to make sure you can give each and every birthday, anniversary, and holiday the attention it deserves.