Have you got a special occasion coming up? I have. Always. A kid’s birthday, a wedding, Christmas, new baby? This is how to save your budget from failure at these times:
- Buy Ahead: Stock up on cheap (as in well-priced, not poor quality) Birthday cards and generic blank cards. A local charity shop sells lovely cards at 2 for £1.50 so I usually go there. Teenager on the other hand, has so many school friends’ birthdays to deal with she bought a huge box of cards on Amazon. Also, if you have small kiddies who go to a lot of parties, keep a stash of token prezzies handy…. Modelling dough, colours, sticker books, money or jewellery boxes, etc can all be picked up at discount stores.
- Shop the Sales: After Christmas you can always pick up cards, wrap and decorations cheaply. Same goes for the few days after Valentine’s, mother’s day, Easter….you get the idea. Also at set times of the year supermarkets will have baby events or DVD sales, so stock up while it’s cheap! (Unopened stock can also be gifted to people.)
- Reuse stuff: Table decorations and gift bags are the major winners here and, if looked after, can do several turns each. You can also re-purpose stuff, like cutting the picture out of a greetings card to use as a tag. My favourite thing to do is keep baskets, bottles and boxes to make little hampers… if you don’t have any raid the charity shop!
- Plan Ahead: I love where we live, but there aren’t many value clothes shops here. If I’m going to see my in-laws, they live in a big town with a Primark and big enough supermarkets to stock clothes…so if I know I need something, I’ll get it there. Also, planning ahead means you have time to shop around and even buy online. Christmas before last my daughter wanted a specific skateboard, but the shop in town was out of that design, so I got it on Amazon (and it was cheaper) but it only arrived mid December; I was getting a bit nervous!
- Allow for it in Your Budget. Simple as that.
- If Hosting a Party, cheap doesn’t have to look cheap: Buy decor and disposable tableware at pound stores or online and not many people can tell if alcohol is supermarket own-brand, so stock up on cheaper spirits and mixers.
- Keep a Calendar/Diary: Along the planning ahead lines, put all known occasions in at the start of the year and add things as they arise (e.g. kiddo makes a new friend, is invited to birthday, write it down in case they’re still friends next year!)……This way you will see if there are busier months, for example my July isn’t very busy but my August is, so I’ll save some of this month’s money for birthdays back for August. I know that next year I have a wedding to go to (Very exciting) so I’ve looked online at inexpensive dresses and will get the gift in a quieter month so I can spend a bit more than I would on Play-doh.
I think that’s about it, let me know what your hot tips are for not splurging on occasions.
Have a great day,