Ready to party?

With the holidays fast approaching, your inbox and mailbox may be stuffed with invitations to holiday parties. You may be torn; right now, before all the festive chaos is really unleashed they sound like fun (and you don’t want to miss out on fun). But the reality of your calendar says that these parties can drain on two of your most valuable resources, right when they are pretty tapped to begin with: time and money.

Here are some tips to help keep your mind, your calendar and your wallet intact over the coming season- party-style.

Set your party budget

Setting this budget item applies both to your money and to your time. Decide ahead of time how many parties you’ll attend and how you’ll space them out.

It’s ok to say no too. Develop your “regret” response beforehand, so that you can decline elegantly-without making the host feel awkward. Win-win!

The outfit

This is one of those truly sneaky expenses. You’ve budgeted for gifts and décor, but this one may have fallen through the cracks. Here’s a budget-saving thought: wear something you already own! Go cruising through your closet and see what you’ve got.

If you’ve got a fancy dress you wore a couple of years ago, you can get away with again now (no one will remember).  Can you dress up a less formal outfit with a jacket, scarf or blingy accessories?

If you do need to get something new, think versatile (there is a reason that the little black dress is so versatile). Alternatively, buy a new sparkly top and match it with black pants or skirt (which chances are, you already have).

The hostess gift

You know you can’t show up at the party empty-handed, but your wallet is looking pretty empty. What to do? This is yet another one of those circumstances where planning ahead is in your favour. Do a whack of Christmas baking and buy some pretty plates; it’s easy to whip up a gift on the go.

P.S. This is a situation where regifting is totally ok!