Is your family expecting you to host a holiday party this year?


I feel your pain.

Hosting holiday gatherings is an expensive undertaking.

Especially if you’re having people over from out of town who plan to spend a few nights with you. So, here’s 5 tips to keep you from going completely broke when you play Martha Stewart to your out of town guests.

Organize a Room Block

Suggesting hotel reservations for your guests is a great way to ease your financial burden. Not every guest will jump at the idea to pay for a hotel room, but if it won’t cost them an arm and a leg they may reconsider.

Reach out to local hotels, motels, or bed & breakfasts in your area and ask for a special group rate. Often you can secure group discounted rates when you book multiple rooms. Sell your family members on the privacy, space, and amenities the hotel may have to offer – and decrease the amount of money you have to spend on hosting them.

Plan All Other Meals

Let’s face it, holiday party meals aren’t the only meals you have to consider when hosting family that come to stay for a while.

Plan ahead so you don’t get stuck financing impromptu meals for your guests before the holiday dinner.

Like a group meal out on your dime. Don’t you hate that?

Instead set up a meal plan. Maybe the first night that guests arrive you order pizza and the next morning you make pancakes. Both cheap meals that are easy to put together.

Thankfully after the holiday feast you can serve leftovers for the bunch.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Dish)

Before adulthood I never really understood how expensive holiday events are for the hosts. All I cared about was getting to one of the turkey wings before the other guests. Yet the wide range of food, drinks, and alcohol served at a holiday party is enough to make any hosting family burst their monthly budget.

So, ask guests to bring their own dish or cocktail to spread out the cost of the event. It will take some of the money and preparation stress away from you.

Plan Entertainment

There’s something about being around family that makes me spend more. I always tend to go shopping when family comes to visit.

Can you relate?

Don’t fall into the trap of heading off to the store and spending money when company comes over for lack of anything else to do. Make a budget for your excess spending during the holiday and stick to it.

Plan affordable activities for the family like renting a movie from Redbox, baking, playing cards or board games.

Know When to Say No

It’s normal to want to impress others when they come to visit. You want to have the best decorations, food, and drink.

Don’t overextend yourself.

If you can’t afford the wine your great Aunt Sally likes, it’s okay to say no. If you feel a little nervous at the checkout line before making a large purchase of holiday decorations and ornaments, it’s okay to put it back.

Your friends and family will appreciate your willingness to host no matter how big or small your party is. So have fun, spend wisely, and say no if it’s going to hurt you financially.


Do you have any other tips for saving when hosting a holiday gathering? Share below!

Taylor Gordon

Taylor Gordon

Taylor Gordon is a money blogger and hustle coach. Her passion is helping budding creatives and freelancers earn their first dollar outside of the rat race.