Every holiday season you can expect an uptick in eggnog drunk, gingerbread eaten, and people you welcomed into your home. The festive season inspires many of us to throw open our doors as we invite neighbours, friends, and family to break bread and make merry. For avid hosts, this urge starts as early as Thanksgiving, and it doesn’t stop until the last verse of Old Lang Syne. 

All that entertaining can do a number on your finances, and it’s easy to spend too much as you impress your guests with good food and strong drinks. If you don’t want to ruin your budget by being social this fall, you’re in the right place. These entertaining tips can help you stay on a budget.
Make like a Dane and embrace hygge
Hygge (pronounced hue-guh) is the latest trend to hit the interior designing world. Its Danish origins trace back far longer than it has been a design buzzword. According to legend, it’s built into the very fabric of the Danish way of life, and it informs everything they do with friends and family. 

Hygge is all about curating a warm, comfy, and content atmosphere in your home. Some joke it encompasses everything humans have loved about the winter for centuries. Good food, good company, roaring fires, blankets, and candles just scrape the surface of what hygge means. (Fun fact: Denmark burns more candles than any other nation). It’s an intimacy that prioritizes comfort and comradery. 

By embracing hygge this winter, you can make an effortlessly welcoming space for your guests. While you can easily spend all your excess cash on expensive decorations, you can create hygge on a budget. Switch out fluorescent lights for incandescent or Edison bulbs, add a few candles to your space, and stay warm with blankets. Last but not least, try to limit your reliance on the digital world. While streaming a movie with loved ones can be hygge, a family of four staring at their individual phone screens is not.

Borrow what you can’t buy
If this is yourfirst time hosting Thanksgiving or other big events — or if it’s the first time your guest list exceeds 20 people—you may not have all the supplies you need to be the host with the most. Perhaps your kitchen doesn’t have enough pots and pans for the amount of food you need to cook. Maybe you don’t have enough beds for all the people who are travelling from out of town. 

These are all expensive problems if you choose to solve them by going to the store and buying crockery sets, blow up mattresses, and new bed linens. Even if you buy these items on sale, their combined total can eat into what you can put towards food, gifts, and other holiday essentials.

You can try limiting their financial impact by borrowing these items instead. Log onto Facebook and ask your friends if they have anything to share. You might be overwhelmed by the number of generous people on your feed, but you shouldn’t take it personally if they ignore your post. A lot of people are acting as hosts this fall, and they may need to use these items themselves. 

If you can’t borrow, you don’t necessarily need to pay full price. You can limit what they cost by shopping second-hand. If you use one of these apps, you may even be able to sell these items once you’re done with them.

Save as early as possible
The holidays are all about anticipation — adults waiting for the turkey to be finished, kids waiting for Santa to deliver his presents, and you preparing your budget months in advance. Saving early is the best way to protect your finances from the busy season. The longer you give yourself to prepare, the more cash you’ll have to put towards your holidays. Extra savings is a blessing when you encounter less-than-jolly issues during the season, like your oven breaking before the turkey’s done or your cousin shattering the Pyrex set you borrowed when he’s washing the dishes. 

Admittedly, this is the hardest tip to take on board—especially when you live in a place like Canada. They celebrate Thanksgiving more than a month before Americans in October. That means they have one less month to save — as do any Americans travelling north to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving. When things are moving too fast for Canadians, the easiest payday loan Canada has to offer is a convenient way to bridge the gap between lacklustre savings and essential repairs. The best payday loans Canada has to offer are incredibly fast-acting, too.  The online borrowing experience lets companies like GoDay wire loans to approved candidates in just one hour. Speedy online payday loans match the hustle and bustle of the season, so you won’t have to delay calling the oven repair company.

An unexpected repair is stressful. Not only can it put the kibosh on your hosting dreams, but it can also ruin your finances for the rest of the season. The holidays are a time when you’re expected to spend a lot of money, but you shouldn’t have to go into the red to celebrate them properly. Plan ahead and embrace affordable entertaining tips to help you play host without playing with financial fire.