Author and businessman Dave Ramsey (www.daveramsey.com), gives us his top tips for hosting a budget-friendly Christmas party.
THE BASICS Decide on a budget
Think through how much money you’ll need to throw a Christmas party. If you need a little extra cash, temporarily cut out other things, like going out to restaurants. Set money aside and mark it as ‘Christmas party’, so you know exactly how much you can spend.
Set your priorities
Before you start spending, make a list of everything you want to buy. Start with the most important things – main dishes, drinks, decorations. That way, if your money runs out, you can cut out things that don’t matter as much.
Keep it manageable
You don’t have to throw an over-the-top party for 100 people. Instead, invite just a few friends and family over for a more casual (and more affordable) dinner.
THE DÉCOR Accent key places
Don’t worry about decking out the whole house – rather focus on high-traffic areas like the table, mantel and front door.
Get out the candles
If you crank up the fireplace and get some candles burning, you’ll get away with hardly decorating at all. Pick up some simple glass jar candles and wrap ribbon around them to give them some festive flair.
Beg and borrow
All those cake stands and punch bowls can add up fast if you buy them new. Instead, ask your friends what they can lend you. You’ll be surprised at how much money you can save.
THE FOOD Look for simple standouts
People love dips, fondues and anything covered in cheese. Keep it easy with crowd-pleasing recipes that don’t take a lot of time or money. Make sure the recipes you choose are easy to make ahead of time so you can store them in the fridge.
Shop generic and discount
Crisps are crisps and chocolate is chocolate. Save your money for higher-quality cheese or a nicer cut of meat and spend less on things that are just meant for snacking.
Sharing is caring
Most people have a signature dish or family pudding tradition they’re proud of. Cut down on your stress and your budget by asking your guests to bring their best dish to share.