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How to...Stick to Your Budget

How to...Stick to Your Budget
Whenever you start to plan a celebration, one of the first things you are advised to do is set a budget. We all know that setting a budget is one thing – sticking to it is another thing all together! But, you can do it. Here are just a few ways you can make sure you keep control of the pennies, without compromising on quality. 1. Prioritise what you HAVE to have at the party. Write a list of the must haves – this will include: venue, food, drink, invitations and may include entertainment, decor, new clothes. Then write a list of would like to haves, such as a photographer, fireworks etc. Focus on prices for the must-haves. Once you have finalised a price for the necessities, you can see whether you have any money left for the rest. 2. The date – think about when you are going to have the celebration. For an occasion that is not time specific eg wedding or christening, you will get much better value for money in the winter. For a birthday or anniversary, obviously time-specific, some venues may be cheaper if you book midweek or in the afternoon. 3. Venue – village and community halls are very cheap to hire and many venues, such as sports clubs are free if you use their bar. If you want to go to a hotel, have a look at their all inclusive packages. 4. Food – many venues are quite happy for you to self cater for parties. In my own family we do this frequently and we always end up with a complete excess of gorgeous food – everyone likes to show off their speciality dish. You may also have someone who loves icing cakes – perhaps they could do that as a present for the event. 5. Drink – If you are buying a sparkling wine for the event, see if you can buy it on a return basis if you don’t use it all. Make up some cocktails (and mocktails) using soda water as part of the mixture. Guests do not necessarily expect free drink for the whole event, just let them know there will be a cash bar. 6. Other supplies – for other suppliers it really is worth shopping around. Many suppliers will have a tiered price structure, ranging from “bargain” to “premium” service and occasional sales and offers to make your pound go further. Here at The Card Gallery we have a permanent selection of affordable stationery collections plus frequent sales If you have got a budget for a specific service, tell the potential supplier up front. Ask them what they can do for £x amount – being up front with your budget means you are not wasting yours and their time. You can buy some fabulous party clothes on line, but a little tip from a dressmaker friend: buy at least one size too big, because it is always easier (and cheaper) to make the dress smaller than to expand it. When you are organising any celebration, remember that people want to enjoy themselves. Parties are a great way to catch up with family and friends and that is far more important than how much money you spend. You can have as much fun under a gazebo in the park as you can at a 4 star hotel.