Budgeting Your Backyard Event or Celebration

Have you ever wanted to entertain friends in your backyard but your wallet was not on the same page as you? This can get frustrating, especially if you are a person that loves hosting. Backyard events and celebrations are fun and a great way to bring people together. If you want to host one, you can do it on a budget and manage to entertain your close circle at the same time. Take a look at these budgeting tips for your backyard event.


Get All the Basics for a Backyard Celebration


If you are planning an outdoor event, buy the main items that can be used for all kinds of gatherings. For instance, a drink dispenser can be used to serve iced tea, lemonade, or infused water, and it is way cheaper than giving out cans or bottles. It is also more affordable to get all your event items from one place. For instance, if you will need a rental tent for the event, then it makes sense to also rent linens, chairs, and tables from the same company. You are more likely to get all these items at a discount than if you work with separate companies.


Do Some DIY


While you may want to hire someone to help with the decor and arrangements, you will save money in that department by DIYing. Roll craft paper along the length of your tables. It is cheap and has this rustic-chic appeal that will make the space more inviting. You can even go a step further and paint the guests’ initials instead of using place cards. Do not worry too much about perfection. The goal is for it to look handmade. You can also spread wrapping paper on the table so that it acts like a runner. That pop of pattern will make your arrangement look interesting.


Keep the Decor Simple


There is no point in going overboard with the decor, especially when trying to budget for all the items. As such, try to keep it simple and attractive. Start with flowers. Flowers will transform a space significantly, and everyone loves them. In fact, 99% of people admit that anyone who gives out flowers is thoughtful. That is because they encourage intimate connections and make people happy. Plus, they are affordable. You can also add some balloons and candles, especially if the party goes late. Simple decor can still make a statement and make your place attractive.


Keep the Guest List Short


While it may be tempting to go overboard with the invites, try and keep the guest list simple. This will save you a lot of money on food and drinks. Who are the closest people in your circle? Those are the people you should be inviting. Instead of trying to invite the whole neighborhood for a cookout, maybe try an intimate gathering such as a movie night or book club. If you want to have more people, then make it a potluck party where others can contribute as well. With everyone bringing in their food, you will not have to worry about feeding everyone.


Add Some Accessories to Make the Party More Intimate


Bright and colorful accessories add a celebratory mood to a party. Invest in colorful throw pillows, string outdoor lights, flameless candles, and assorted lanterns. You can also get some boho blankets and toss them over your chairs. These items will add some warmth to the party. For evening parties, a firepit is a must. Not only does it add warmth to a party, but it can be a centerpiece, bringing people together. You will need seasoned firewood as it has a 20% moisture content. This type of wood produces adequate light and gives less soot when burning. You and your guests can hang out around the fire and make smores as you enjoy conversations.


Planning for a backyard celebration on a budget does not have to be complicated. You can still hack it and end up with a fun and memorable event. Set a budget and be creative, and you will realize it is not as difficult.

How to Find a Quality Landscaper That Won’t Break the Bank

A landscaping professional assists you in achieving the desired outcomes within budget and on time. A reputable landscaping company employs experienced and skilled staff to manage projects that maintain your yard in proper conditions. Below is a list of ways to find a reliable landscaper who does not break your bank account.

Decide on What You Want

Ensure your thoughts are in order before gathering information from prospective landscape designers. Have a clear idea of what you plan to use your garden for, and collect books, magazines, and neighborhood photos to show your landscape professional the features, style, and feel you are going for. Consider sketching a design expressing what you want your garden space to look like. Finding a landscaping contractor who works within the budget will be easier if you have a clear idea of what you want. You may briefly describe and compare different landscaping contractors’ proposed solutions.

Ensure the Landscapers Are Insured

It would be best if you verified the landscaper is insured before you get into services and prices. Check their insurance policies and request their certificate of insurance. Each landscaping professional must have the required general liability coverage to minimize the possibility of homeowners getting hit with unexpected bills. Working with an insured landscaper ensures that you get legitimate services as the landscaping professional is more likely to assume any responsibility for property damage. It is, therefore, in your best interest to secure the services of an insured professional.

Services Offered

Some landscaping companies provide a comprehensive list of services, while others only offer their services in specific areas. Decide on what you want first, whether you want a professional to install and design a landscape for you or if you are only interested in routine maintenance services. Hire a landscaping company offering the services you require to minimize the number of contractors handling your landscaping project to save money and time in the long run. You could consider working with a green landscaping company to manage all the landscaping by using a soaker hose less than 100 feet in length. Request to know the services a landscaping company offers before deciding to ensure you get what you are looking for.


The location of a landscaping company is essential as you need to communicate easily with landscaping professionals to ensure the task is done promptly. Choosing a landscaping company near you ensures the professionals deliver in due time and respond promptly on the job without excuses and delays. If anything goes wrong, you can quickly contact them to fix the issue as soon as possible. Hiring a landscaping company from a different location adds money and time, so you are advised to hire a local landscaping company offering services within your area.

Research Landscape Contractors

Once you establish the kind of services you require, you may embark on researching contractors. Reports from World Stream indicate that at least 63% of businesses raised their digital marketing budgets in 2021. You can start by assessing online reviews from a reputable source. A reputable landscaping contractor must have the expertise to handle landscape projects and a list of satisfied clients. Ensure the landscaping contractor is licensed and has current insurance coverage. You may also get referrals from family members or friends, as most landscape contractors are local. Personal referrals are essential as you get firsthand information from individuals who have previously worked with a prospective landscape professional. You can also get leads from local online community boards.

Check for an Online Presence

Most reputable landscaping companies tend to have an online presence. Search for those companies with a Google listing, Facebook page, and information from another website. The type and amount of reviews will allow you to establish the experience and quality of work the company offers. A company with good reviews indicates experienced professionals with the required expertise to enhance quality work. If you come across a company with bad reviews, you should consider contacting the owner to establish how they are working to improve their business. On the other hand, a company with no reviews indicates a newer company, and you must find other means, including referrals, to establish if the company is a good fit for you. You must be cautious as most websites tend to communicate fraudulent representation to consumers, which is regarded as an internet crime.

Consider the landscaping company’s track record and testimonials from clients before hiring them. The above-listed elements act as a baseline to assist you in choosing a reliable landscaping contractor to handle your project within the budget.

Can You Put a Price on Kindness?

Can You Put a Price on Kindness?

Growing up, my mom always emphasized the importance of kindness. Her actions in her daily life set an example by showing us how we should treat everyone. She would go out of her way to help strangers, learn the names of service staff, and show gratitude for every effort. She went even further to include those in the lowest positions.

As someone who worked on cleaning crews and support staff, she wanted to show respect and appreciation for their work. Having worked in some of these jobs myself, I can tell you how rare it is that people take the time to recognize you as a human being. And, I would usually return the sentiments by providing better service. Sometimes, this also turned into financial rewards for customers. But, can you put a price on kindness?

The Perks of Being Polite

Although I have had many different jobs over the years, several of them revolved around the customer service industry. If you have ever worked the phones or in a service position, then you probably have your own stories that illustrate the best and worst that humanity has to offer.

Better Customer Service

From my own experiences, I can attest to the difference in my attitude towards customers who treated me with kindness. While I always strived to maintain professionalism, I put extra effort into helping those who treated me well. People who showed me an extra ounce of kindness received more personalized service than those who demanded things. I was much more prone to waive fees, offer upgrades, throw in freebies, and go the extra mile for customers who were patient and polite.

Discounts and Freebies

Since I have often been on the receiving end of it, I try to practice the golden rule with anyone helping me. This generally makes for more pleasant interactions. However, my patience and flexibility have sometimes included financial benefits as well. Not making a fuss has gotten me extra appetizers, free drinks from the bar, and discounts on our checks from grateful servers. Although I don’t expect these things, I tend to get these more often than my friends who don’t engage with service staff.


In the past, I have also received complimentary upgrades by working with employees to find fast solutions. Although this is more common in hotels, there have been other instances when I have gotten free upgrades.

Our last family vacation proved yet again that it pays to be polite. We decided to rent a car for the week. However, we noticed a mistake the morning we were supposed to pick it up. Normally we would roll with the bunches. However, this error would have left us waiting for an additional 3 hours with kids and bags in tow.

Rather than storming the rental counter, we simply showed up at our scheduled time and calmly explained our situation. The employee helping us apologized profusely for the inconvenience. And then, he offered us a free upgrade to a better vehicle. Not only did we not have to pay for the upgrade to a bigger vehicle, but he also gave us a more fuel-efficient model which saved us even more money on our trip.

Organizations That Put a Price on Kindness

While you shouldn’t expect these types of financial rewards for being nice, there are certain instances in which you can put a price on kindness. For example, the IRS offers tax breaks to those who make charitable donations. There is some paperwork and itemization involved when you file. But if you make frequent donations or monetary contributions to qualifying charities, it could save you a ton on your next tax return.

Some businesses are also offering rewards to their polite patrons. One of the most notable instances that I have seen recently is within restaurants. Several local businesses now advertise discounts to families with well-behaved children. While it is still not a common occurrence, it tells customers how much they value kindness and people who treat their staff with added consideration.

And of course, you can’t forget the incentives that many restaurants and retailers offer when you leave them a review. While they don’t necessarily require a nice review, leaving a comment for other potential customers brings in business. In return, many businesses offer discounts on future purchases, bonuses with their next order, or free entry into promotional contests. So if you are especially satisfied with the quality of your products or the service, leaving a positive review could earn you big savings.

It Never Hurts to Be Kind

The bottom line is that we should treat others as we would hope to be treated if the situation was reversed. And, it literally costs you nothing to treat others with kindness. It requires minimal effort on your part but could have lasting impacts.

Even when you are dealing with difficult situations, there is no reason to take your frustrations out on those who are trying to help you. Chances are that they are already doing everything within their power to resolve the issue. Treating others poorly won’t fix your problems. However, it could make them even worse.

You have to remember that these aren’t automated systems you’re dealing with; they’re real people. Treating them with respect may earn you an ally. Although I can’t speak for others, I was more willing to help those who showed me kindness. I would also find ways to save them money when they treated me like a friend rather than “the help.”

While there are no guarantees that it will reap financial benefits, I think you can put a price on kindness. Even if it doesn’t bring monetary savings, it could change someone’s day for the better. Feeling that you aren’t invisible and that your work matters is important. For some, making someone feel valued is the greatest reward of all.

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