How to budget for any event
Planning an event is great fun for most people. However, creating lasting memories for the attendees can often be a challenge for a person who is on a strict budget. The event that you are planning may require some creativity, but can be more easily accomplished when you take time to do some pre-planning. Although these guidelines apply to most events, it's important to remember that some may not apply to all situations.
For those who would like to prevent overspending, following these simple steps will give you the control that you need to make changes where needed.
- Budget - Set a budget that you can commit to. The budget you set should include all of the costs of the event, plus a percentage for unexpected expenses.
- Organization - You are going to need to notebook or binder that will contain all of the information, receipts, and estimates for your event. Adding zippered plastic pockets to the binder will be a great way to hold onto smaller receipts and notes which may be needed as planning continues.
- Vision - Before you start getting estimates for your event, be sure that you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish and a list of the items that includes photos of what you need to include in your plans. By taking these to vendors they will better understand exactly what you want and will be prepared to deliver the vision.
- Money - Think about opening a separate bank account for your event. You will find that if you have an account that contains the budget you have allocated, it will be much easier to control your funds. Also, you will have an easier time finding copies of checks written, which is the only money used for the event. Tapping into household funds with the thought, "It's only a few dollars." can lead to financial problems it may become difficult to overcome.
- Financial Assistance - It will be easier if you get any money you can from contributors before the event. Putting this money in your special bank account will assure that you know how much money you have to work with.
- Contracts - Be sure to read contracts carefully. Getting estimates from different vendors before you reach the contract stage will be important. However, when you get a contract review it carefully. Most contracts will have fine print that can potentially cause problems for your event especially if changes are desired due to budgetary constraints. Therefore, reading all the fine print will save you time and money.
- Negotiate - Planning your event during an off-season, or at a time when this type of event does not normally occur, will give you great leverage for negotiating a lower price. Most vendors expect some negotiation on their prices, so rather than agreeing to the first price quoted, talk to the vendor about how to lower the price of their services.
- Deposits - When you make a deposit to a vendor, you are legally required to pay the total amount. Be sure that you are certain you want the services of the vendor before you pay a deposit.
- Shop Online - Shopping online is a great way to save time and money. Check out our online store for some amazing discounts.
- Be Creative - Take advantage of the friends and family that want to help you with the event. Be sure that you allow other people to help you be successful. There is a wealth of talent within reach for those who are willing to give up a little control in order to achieve their vision.
- Guest List - In most cases, small, intimate events are much more memorable than large ones. Don't be afraid to cut the guest list to only those who are most relevant to the event.
- Be Budget-Wise - Divide the total cost of your event by the number of people you are inviting and you will have a good idea of how much you can spend on food, favors, etc., for each guest. Check your budget regularly and make adjustments to it as needed.
- Hire A Planner - Many people find that using an experienced party planner or event manager can save a great deal of money for their event. Most planners have a network of vendors that they work with that provide excellent services at the best prices. The planner will take the pressure off you so that you can focus on the upcoming event. If you are going to use a party planner or event manager, it will be important to get a firm quote as well as review their credentials to ensure they are reputable, reliable, and dependable.
When planning the celebration, it is important to remember what your goal is and stay within your budget to reach that goal. Successful events are not determined by the amount of money that is spent in preparation, but rather by the memories that are made by family and friends you are including in the celebration of your milestone.