It's the holiday season and the holidays call for presents, family dinners, and parties, of course.  Parties can be a bit expensive, so you should save where you can and use every trick in the book to make your holiday party fun, festive, and fabulous while still staying on budget.

Have a Fun, Festive, and Frugal Holiday PartyIf you and your friends decide to throw a festive holiday party this season, then you should consider splitting the costs.  Putting one person in charge of a party causes a lot of unnecessary stress and a lot of cash. 

When everyone pitches in for food, drinks, cocktails, decorations, etc., then you'll know that everything you need will be at the party and you'll have a good idea about who will be attending. 

When everyone donates their time and money, everything seems to go a little smoother.  Just make sure that everyone agrees on the menu, decorations, and guest list. My friends and I do this every year and it works out great.

This season, if you're in charge of throwing your family's annual holiday party - don't fret.  This year, change things up and have a potluck.  Potluck dinners make throwing a party so much easier.  Many people think that because you're the host, that means you have to cook.  I disagree!  When you're the host, you offer your home as a reception area, so don't be afraid to ask for some help. 

Another good tip is to keep your party casual.  You don't need the party to be a black tie affair with champagne.  Purchase some inexpensive, but good wine, have finger foods instead of a sit-down dinner, and decorate accordingly without going overboard.  If it's Halloween, bring out some pumpkins, Halloween candy, and paper bats.  If it's Christmas, use your Christmas tree as the decoration along with candlelight to give your party that classic yuletide ambiance. 

You don't have to splurge on decorations to make your party look and feel fabulous.  I always use e-vites instead of mailing invitations - you can consider this approach, as well. 

Another thing I do is plan in advance for my party.  Try to start planning a month or more in advance.  This way you'll have plenty of time to save, plan, and get everyone involved.  Believe me, the more time you have, the less stressed you'll feel. 

What are some ways you save on party planning?  Please, share with us all of your festive holiday party saving tips!

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Mary Stolarik

Mary is a contributing writer for the Just Graduated & Starting Out blog. She is a recent college graduate, with an English Writing degree from the University of Pittsburgh - Greensburg, and she's in debt. Mary shares her experiences with job searching, managing her finances on a part-time job, and ways to save money along the way. Compensated CareOne Blogger.

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