Budget-friendly Celebration Tips

Budget-friendly Celebration Tips

by: Emily Thomas

When introducing our newest product, the Celebrations Binder, we specifically mentioned that it could save you money. That's music to my ears, and I'm sure to yours, as well! How? A little forethought goes a long way. With time on your side to get creative, use what you have, plan ahead, and strategize smartly, we're confident this product will help you celebrate more AND spend less money while doing it. Here, our team's best tips to make this win-win happen!

Set a budget. The best way to celebrate well on a budget? Start by setting a budget to hold yourself accountable. This holiday season, Jess and her husband set a separate budget for holiday decor. They decided how much money they wanted to spend on Christmas decorations (outside of the live Christmas tree, of course!), and they are using that as a guideline for purchases. Not only does it keep their finances in check, but now they are able to prioritize the things they need (stockings) and pass on the wants (bottlebrush trees in the Dollar Spot at Target). 

Stock up early (especially post-holidays!). You can save a lot of money (not to mention time) by planning ahead on purchases. Advance planning allows you to combine trips to the store (less gas used and fewer opportunities to make impulse purchases once inside!) or save on online purchases by selecting free or less-expensive (often slower) shipping. Of course, buying Halloween decor on November 1st or Christmas decor on December 26th can score you some fabulous deals! Just make sure everything you're buying is something you'll use and love, not just an impulse purchase because it's on sale - it helps to go in with a list!

Decorate thriftily. With time on your side, you can plan ahead and set aside an afternoon for a nature walk, collecting greens, leaves, branches, pinecones, and flowers to prettify your home for every season. For readymade decor, some of our best tips include stocking up on candles and balloons (simple groupings of both make a big impact!), buying secondhand (Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are your friends!), and opting for decor that can be stored and reused year after year instead of items you'll use up in one go. For example, instead of buying a themed birthday banner that gets tossed for every birthday in your house, consider buying a reusable felt banner and pulling it out at each celebration.

Keep a gift closet. With your Celebrations Binder in hand, you'll no longer be missing birthdays, which might mean a few more gifts to send, if you'd like! Always be prepared by snagging books, candles, or other flexible goodies throughout the year when you see them on sale and store them in a designated spot. We're also here to relieve you of any guilt you might feel about regifting if an item isn't the right fit for you but would be loved by someone else, pass it along with joy!

Curate a go-to menu. Instead of reinventing the wheel every time you have people over or want to make a special meal for your own family, stick to a few tried-and-true favorites. Not only will you keep your grocery budget slimmer by avoiding one-off ingredient buys, but you'll feel more confident about what you're serving! Some of the most beloved recipes from our childhoods are not fancy! (I'm looking at you, casseroles!)

Invite others to contribute. If you give people enough notice (planning ahead!), they'll be happy to chip in for a gathering! Potlucks take both stresses and expense off your plate, and people love feeling like they're needed and appreciated. Or, if you have a talented or eager friend or family member, allow them to help you prepare for a bigger event. As many a bride knows, evenings spent stuffing envelopes or building centerpieces with your best friends can lead to amazing memories.

Focus on the memories, not the stuff. This is the essence of the Celebrations Binder, and why we love it so much and have already started using it in our own lives. We created this product to help you mark occasions that matter to you with ease, not to fill your calendar with fluff. We hope you do add a few things to your calendar after using this binder, but we hope that they are things that fill you up, make others feel loved and known, and make your life overall richer and full of peace. By focusing on what truly matters instead of what you feel pressured into or have done out of habit, you'll save money and, more importantly, you'll live better.

We'd love to hear from you! What are your best tips for celebrating well on a budget? Leave a comment below!

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Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas is Cultivate What Matters' Content Strategist and Writer. With over a decade at Cultivate, Emily loves helping women uncover what matters, set good goals, and live them out with joy. Her free time is spent with her high-school-sweetheart husband and three young kiddos.

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