How to Throw a Housewarming Party on a Budget

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What better way to unwind after all the stress of moving and settling into a new house than to have a housewarming party? It doesn’t matter if it’s going to be a large shindig or small party, a fancy dinner or a casual barbecue. Whatever the plan, a housewarming party is a fantastic way to show off your new home.

After the cost of moving, you might not want to spend too much on your party. The good news is you can have a housewarming party on a budget. There are no rules or guidelines as to what a housewarming should look like, so work with your space, time, and budget — just ensure you and your guests have fun. Use the tips below as a guide for throwing a housewarming party in your new home without putting a dent in your pocket.

Make a Budget

The first thing to do is to figure out how much you want to spend. You do not have to go overboard financially to throw a great party; work with whatever amount you have available.

Set a Reasonable Date

Choose a date and time that’s comfortable for you — financially and mentally. After the stress of moving and settling in, give yourself enough time to recover before hosting friends and family.

Cap Your Guest List

When there is a budget constraint, limit the number of guests you invite. Restricting guests to your closest friends, your immediate family, and your new neighbors will help you keep costs down especially when it comes to providing food and beverages for a crowd.

Utilize Free Invitations

There are multiple free invite options available for you to use, but a simple Facebook or WhatsApp message will do. Request RSVPs from your guest so you can prepare for the number of people attending.

Skip the Decorations

The purpose of your housewarming party is to show off your new home. You do not necessarily have to use other forms of decorations. If you intend to decorate anyway, buy decorations that serve you after the housewarming such as a string of festive fairy lights or tiki lamps for your patio.

Throwing a housewarming party on a budget means inviting people over to your place to have fun with what you have available. Ensure you have fun while at it. Your agent is an excellent resource for local specialty shops to find unique party décor or local foods to try.

The Best Budgeting Apps for Tracking Your Spending

The App Store is saturated with tools for helping you keep track of your budget, spending, income, credit score, and more. However, each app is different, offering varying levels of user-friendliness, security, and helpful features. We’ve built a list of the most useful apps for keeping track of your finances–from budgeting and paying bills, to learning about investing and credit, these apps have you covered.

Mint

Mint is the juggernaut of budgeting apps. You can securely sync all of your bank accounts, loan accounts (credit card, student loans, etc.) and even income accounts like PayPal. Once you’ve logged in, Mint does most of the work for you. In fact, just yesterday I got a notification from Mint that I was charged extra for my gym membership.

In the app or from the website you can design your own personalized budget that includes things like food, shopping, groceries, gas, etc. When you make a purchase with one of your linked cards, Mint automatically sorts the purchase into the correct category.

Aside from budgets, Mint also helps you set up a timeline for paying your debts. It shows you how long it will take at your current monthly payment amount and tells you how much you would save in interest by paying it off faster.

PocketGuard

PocketGuard is like a sleek, minimal version of Mint. However, its main strength, as the name suggests, is security. It boasts several barriers to identity theft and complicated and technical security measures that we won’t get into here (we’re talking 128-BIT SSL encryption).

PocketGuard is also simpler than Mint, both in terms of content and display. Plus, you won’t see as many advertisements for credit cards that Mint so slyly sneaks into just about every screen you view.

Home Budget with Sync

The name’s a little awkward, we know. But they added that “with Sync” in there for a reason. Home Budget’s most redeeming feature is that it allows you to sync up with other budgets in your household (your spouse, roommate, etc.). This makes it much easier for couples who are splitting bills to keep track of their expenses and savings.

One piece of advice is to choose what you share wisely. Not everyone wants to share all of their personal finance information with others.

You Need a Budget

You Need a budget, or as its many happy customers call it, YNAB, is a whole lot more than just a way to keep track of your money. It boasts several learning resources that empowers you with financial knowledge. Where other apps just let you plug in numbers, YNAB teaches you what all of those numbers mean and helps you make more informed decisions with your money.

YNAB is created with the intention of reducing your financial stress. It has simple videos, instructables, and more to help you learn the ins and outs of budgeting. Then it helps you build your own budget and stick to it with many of the same features as Mint or PocketGuard.

Personal Capital

If you’re ready for the big leagues of finance and want to start investing and tracking your assets, Personal Capital will help you get there. This app is designed for managing and analyzing assets.

The app’s main features are broken into categories: cashflow, retirement, investing, and net worth. The outstanding feature here is investing. It simplifies investing, checks up on your investments, and gives you useful tips that will help you get your toes wet in the investment world.

Tips to Consider Before You Buy a Home

Owning your own house or apartment is a gratifying experience, as you not only have a place you can call home, but you also have the freedom to live the way you choose once you enter your domain. However, to find a home that can truly make you happy, there are a few points that you should consider beforehand. The first point to think about is the neighborhood (where your home will be located). This is important, because you need to feel that the area you are living in will be safe from crime, and that it will also be easy to commute to work on a daily basis. In the end, you do not want to spend too much time traveling in the evenings or in the mornings, as this can only make life more difficult.

The next point to think about is how much space you want, as well as how many responsibilities you are willing to put up with. In other words, you could either choose to find a home that has a huge garden and a swimming pool, which is perfect if you enjoy gardening and going out for a swim, or, you could decide to do away with these extra bells and whistles if you hate gardening and do not want to spend time cleaning the pool. In other words, you want a home that you can truly feel comfortable living in, as this in turn will ensure that you can keep your life as stress free as possible.

Price is always important, and you want to make sure you look for a home that you can afford. There are a lot of other expenses you have to think about, cable TV, insurance, taxes, telephone, heat, electric, maintenance etc. So make sure you factor all of these into your monthly budget. You do not want to be house poor and buying a home that you may fall in love with can in the end be very stressful if you are struggling to pay for it every month. Look for a home at a good value and that may need some cosmetic fix ups and grow into the home with home improvements down the road. This will bring value to your home and in turn be a good invest when you go to sell the home.

Making Your House a Home

Buying a house can be one of the most exciting moments of anyone’s life. You have just moved in and now you have a whole new set of tasks. Making your house a home can be a huge job. Here are some tips on how to get your house feeling like a home in no time without breaking the bank.

Space out your purchases

Many first-time home buyers are coming into home-ownership without all the things they need to fill their new home. Many new homeowners feel the pressure to buy everything at once. It is important to focus on the most necessary items first.

Space out your home furnishing purchases and focus on the most necessary pieces first, such as a bed, living room sofa and dining room table.

Windows can also present a problem for new homeowners. Don’t feel pressured to choose window treatments for every window all at once. Make a priority list starting with the areas where privacy is a must and go from there.

You will also need to prioritize appliances. You may want to rush out and buy that huge flat screen TV but consider what other appliances need to take priority, such as a refrigerator, stove, or washer/dryer.

New Responsibilities

A new home comes with new responsibilities. This may be the first time you have to take care of a yard. Don’t go crazy, invest in a few key garden tools, such as hedge trimmers, a sprinkler, and a lawn mower. No need to invest big money in expensive landscaping services at first. Just focus on keeping your yard uncluttered and neat.

Another new responsibility is home maintenance. There is no landlord to call when an issue arises. You will want to make sure you are equipped to handle minor issues on your own. Many home improvement stores have tool sets you can purchase, but make sure it includes a hammer, screw drivers, pliers, wrenches, a tape measure and a staple gun.