October begins tomorrow. Enter fall. Enter the beginning of the holiday season. And enter the many family gatherings and holiday parties. Hosting a party or event is a fun part of the fall and winter season. Planning a party can be expensive and hard work, especially if you don’t have the funds to hire an event planner. Budgeting for an event is an important part of the entire process, especially amid the holidays when you are spending more than usual.
If you get overwhelmed with the thought of budgeting for a party, this blog post is for you!
Below are 3 party budgeting tips to keep in mind when planning your upcoming shindig:
- Start with the end date and work backwards – Whenever you need to plan an event, I recommend starting with the end date and setting goals and deadlines leading up to that date. The date of the event is not going to change so all activities leading up to that date need to coordinate together.
- Use a spreadsheet – This may seem obvious, but believe me, most people have a slight aversion to spreadsheets! Spreadsheets are great for organizing your to-dos, major expenses, and listing out actual budgetary expenses to ensure you’re not going over budget. Whether you have Microsoft Excel, Apple’s version of Numbers, or even Google’s version of Sheets, use one of these tools to start getting organized. I love that there are separate tabs within the one spreadsheet so you can custom tailor to suit your needs.
- Allocate for miscellaneous expenses – Party planning involves many moving pieces – catering, decor, invitations and more! But there are also minor expenses – that you likely haven’t anticipated – that can add up. Examples include stamps for invitations, party favors or tips for vendors. Set aside a small amount of money for these items to ensure you have a slight cushion in your budget.
There are many free budgeting tools you can use to help you along your way. In doing a quick Google search, I found 7 Simple and Free Budgeting Tools. A few of these are really more geared towards general budgeting, but you can take and leave the features that will help you budget for your event.
The important part of any planning process is to stick to your end goal and budget, and keep referring back to your spreadsheet to ensure you’re on track.
And remember, this should be fun! It is a party, after all.
What is your favorite event budgeting tool? I’d love to see your tips below!
Photo: ASHLEY SCHWEITZER, minimography.com