Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Getting Down to the Nitty-Gritty

Yesterday I wrote a little about how to begin a successful budget, but now its time to figure out how much those things on your list are really going to cost. It can be difficult to estimate these cost so the most important thing here is research. For example, you can Google your desired items with the word "wholesale" to begin comparing prices. You also should start getting initial quotes from vendors for their services. Don't forget to ask about things like delivery, set-up fees and tax because those are little things that can really add up!

Remember it is alway better to overestimate than underestimate. There is nothing worse that being at a party with stingy portions of everything. Also keep in mind who will be in attendance; if the party is for the local football team then up the ante for the food.

One other aspect that is often overlooked is tipping. If you have hired anyone to help with your event, be sure to allocate some of your budget toward tipping. Even if it is a friend who offered to help out on average, people really do prefer money. So take the time to write a nice note and slip a check into the envelope to show your gratitude. Some of the people who may be on this list include: waitstaff, bartenders, salesperson for the venue, DJ, photographer, florist, and planners. If your party is taking place at home it is always respectful to let your neighbors know and event drop off a nice note and gift if possible.

Usually the miscellaneous costs are the things that become the biggest challenge. Unexpected issues can arise. Two ways to combat these issues are to have a small amount of the budget set aside for unexpected expenses and to always keep your receipts. Often if you pay with credit cards you will forget about the cost and lose track of what you just swiped away. Create a designated folder or even just a shoebox to throw all of your receipts in and then commit to a routine of checking them against your budget.

Much of creating an event involves compromise. To stay within budget you sometimes will have to bend in some areas to achieve your dream in others. Tomorrow I will have a list of 10 easy ways to "Cheapify Your Party" and help you stretch your budget while keeping everything fabulous!

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