Financial distress results from various negative influences, each capable of wreaking havoc on your personal finances. While some causes may be beyond your control, other damaging financial outcomes can be avoided by altering your cash handling habits. Reining-in unsustainable spending, for instance, may be all that’s needed to set your finances straight and clean up credit scores.
When budgets do suffer, entertainment and leisure spending can often be isolated as part of the problem – including costs taken-on by hosts and hostesses. The business entertainment expenses can only be written off to save immediately when there is a profit on the business. If you are committed to your financial security, entertaining within your means is a vital piece of the puzzle.
Control the Cost of Good Times
With balance and discipline on your side, your financial health reinforces your access to credit and other benefits reserved for those with good references. Succumb to unmanageable spending, on the other hand, and your credit options may be limited to alternative loans reserved for credit-challenged applicants. For the best results finding financial equilibrium, manage discretionary spending with resolve, including money spent on entertaining.
Menu Choices Make a Difference
Entertaining at home adds a personal, intimate aspect to gatherings with friends and family. The bottom-line is typically less than the cost of going out too, but unfortunately falls entirely upon the host. If you are sponsoring a meal for business, but resources are limited, an economical menu can help you pull-off a grand affair, without pinching your pocketbook.
As you plot your course as a host or hostess, check your ambition throughout the process. Are you biting-off more than you can chew, in order to impress your guests? Do you gravitate toward the most costly luxury ingredients? Can you have the same gastronomic impact, without breaking your food budget? Answers to these and other cost-conscious questions can help you find affordability and debt management, without sacrificing your signature style. Consider these money-saving measures:
- Cheese – A staple appetizer, the cost of cheese falls across a wide price range. Aged, exotic cheese is often the most expensive, albeit exceptionally tasty. To stretch your budget, avoid expensive aged options, and look for local and/or fresh alternatives.
- Protein – In addition to choosing affordable cuts, controlling serving size can help manage meat costs, reflecting portion recommendations from the dietary health community. Pound for pound, beef is the most expensive option, particularly steaks and lean cuts. For substantial savings, turn to pork prepared in a similar fashion, playing the same culinary notes for a fraction of the cost.
- Dessert – For convenience, there is a tendency to buy pre-made desserts for dinner gatherings. Skip the fanfare for savings, instead serving simple sorbet or premium ice cream.
Beverage Spending Quickly Gets Out of Hand
With so many adult beverage options available, it is impossible to please every taste. Rather than spending your whole party budget on drinks, pare down offerings to a few signature selections. This can also be outlined in a corporate travel policy. If wine is your preference, buy a case (party-size appropriate) to receive the best available price. Or concoct a “house” cocktail to compliment your menu. Even an old-fashioned spiked punch makes a unique impression, without breaking the bank. And if you are hosting a familiar crowd, there is nothing wrong with encouraging guests to bring their own preferred beverages.
Sharing the Cost Makes for Affordable Entertaining
There is more than one way to share the cost of entertaining. For example, if you are hosting a large gathering calling for food, enlisting the help of guests eases party costs. Of course it isn’t always appropriate to ask for help, but certain functions are perfect for a potluck approach. For the best results, coordinate dishes so everything is covered, assigning particular guests to provide food in each dining category (starters, main dishes, desserts, etc.).
Business Entertainment Expenses
If you own a business, keeping business entertainment expenses down is certainly going to help the overall financial health of your business capital. However, it is important remember that you can write off business entertainment expenses at year end. If you are wondering whether or not you can deduct certain entertainment expenses for your business, there is an easy way to figure it out. If you can prove that your entertainment expenses are directly related to business purposes, you can deduct them. However, you can only write off 50% off business-related meal and entertainment expenses as deductions. Keep this in mind to improve your business financial health and personal financial health all at the same time.
Whether you are hosting business clients or simply staging good times for family and friends, your approach to entertaining has an impact on its cost, and if you know the cost of debt, you know you want to stay within your budget. Food and beverage choices, for instance, quickly drain party resources, so choosing frugal foods and limiting your bar selection are both good ways to cut costs. And when the occasion calls for a more casual approach, have guests share the cost, by chipping-in with beverages and food to pass.
Image from https://www.thebalance.com/deducting-business-meals-and-entertainment-expenses-398956