How to be on budget this holiday season!

Entertain on a budget:

1.According to the National Retail Federation, each year about 40 percent of shoppers begin their holiday shopping before Halloween.

2. Designate one spot for all of your holiday shopping receipts. This will help you track your spending to stay on budget.

3. If you’re entertaining, provide the drinks and some main-course dishes, but keep costs down by asking guests to fill in the rest of the menu with their seasonal specialty. Just be sure to cover the basics.

4. Holiday music is a wonderfully easy and inexpensive way to get into the spirit of the season. Download some new tunes for an updated playlist that’ll be perfect for everything including decorating, cleaning, wrapping gifts, baking, cooking and any holiday party you’re hosting. It’s a small cost that’ll go a long way! 

5. The holidays are a great time to freshen up your house and complete some of those to-do items. Look closely at the condition of your wall treatments; do they need a fresh coat of paint or an updated pattern? It’s also a great time to clean the carpets so book early for special promotions and to get the dates you want.

6. Consider hiring a cleaning service before hosting a party or overnight guests. Look for mailer coupons or online deals to compare service costs.

7. Save money by purchasing multiple sets of white dishes and simple but elegant glassware you can use party after party, year after year. 

8. Take stock of your holiday entertaining needs — decorations, serving pieces, linens, bar-ware, bake-ware, etc. — right after all the fun of putting up the tree, decorating the house or very early in the party-planning phase.

9. Try this foolproof decorating trick : Gather natural items like evergreen boughs, decorative grasses or interesting long twigs from around your yard and place them in a vase. It saves you money to splurge on beautiful flowers to fill out the arrangement, or to stretch your holiday budget for other holiday decorations.

10. Take the pressure off mixing all the drinks and hire a bartender for a holiday party. 

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