Investing is all about knowing where to put your hard earned money so it can work hard for you and not the other way around. Regardless of what medium you choose or what investments you have lined up, it’s still a considerable amount of work and you need to take a break from it all once in a while or you’ll get burned out.
Take your mind off the numbers by inviting your close friends over for a dinner party! It doesn’t have to be fancy and you don’t need to spend a fortune. Don’t worry, you won’t suffer from a budget hangover the next day if you follow these five thrifty tips.
- Dinnerware: Use your own
A dinner party with paper plates and plastic cups is just, well pretty meh. Plus, you’ll be helping the environment and won’t be throwing money away when you forego buying paper plates and set the table using what you currently have. If you don’t have enough plates and utensils that match, no problem! There’s a certain charm to mismatching dinnerware and odd-ball decor. If you need inspiration, you can get a lot of ideas on sites like Pinterest. More points if you have colorful plates and glasses. You always have the option to borrow from family.
- Decor: DIY
Do-it-yourself decorations are way better than what you can buy because it speaks volumes about you and your desire to host a dinner party. DIY table runners, placemats, candle holders, beverage coolers, outdoor lighting (if dining outside) and an assortment of projects that are easy to do can set the tone for the whole evening. If you’re throwing a party to celebrate a milestone in your life or career, you can either print out cards with a message about it or you can order some imprinted balloons online. You can make your own balloons, but you’d have to worry about sourcing helium and having something readable printed on it, so might as well buy it ready made.
- Food: Pizza or Potluck
Do you or any of your friends love to cook? Add more flavor to the party by having your friends bring their favorite dish. You can also ask them to bring appetizers or dessert while you take care of the main course. Not everyone can cook though, so you shouldn’t make it mandatory. One of the easiest meals to serve is homemade pizza. The crust is easy to make and you can add just about any toppings. Pasta is also another easy meal to prepare. Don’t forget to serve some protein and greens for a balanced dinner.
- Drinks: Mix it up
For drinks, you can serve either beer or wine. You can buy cases of beer or wine for cheap at wholesale stores like Costco’s. If you or your guests are non beer drinkers, you can stick to buying one kind of hard liquor that you can make a lot of drinks with, such as rum or vodka. For more variety, you can make it a BYOB (bring your own booze) party and ask your friends to bring their favorite drinks.
- Guests: Make it small
Be honest with yourself when it comes to your guest list. Choose the guests that you really want to spend some time with and the ones you have a connection with. Keeping your dinner party small and intimate will help keep your party budget costs down. The golden number would be up to you, but a good rule to follow is to invite as many people over that can only fit your dinner table. So, if you have an eight seater, that’s the number you should aim for, including you of course. You don’t want to be standing around while your friends are eating at your table, would you?
Your friends won’t really mind if your budget is $20 or $200 as long as they have a blast spending the evening with you. No one will remember what linen you used for the table or if all your silverware matched. What really matters is the company and conversation a small gathering gives you and the satisfaction of knowing that everyone, including you, had a blast.