Budgeting for a Family Reunion

Posted by Sheena Allen in FamilyJuly 26, 2021(Last Updated February 23, 2022)3 min read
Key Takeaways
  • There are four factors to consider to ensure you and all your loved ones have a cost-friendly family reunion.
Are you ready to make some real money moves?

Family reunions are a time for families to come together, have fun, discuss old memories while making new ones, and typically share a meal to celebrate each other’s company. A family reunion usually involves many people, so a common misconception is that a lot of money needs to be spent to ensure everyone will have a good time. Fortunately, family reunions don’t have to be expensive when properly planned. 

If you are planning a family reunion, here are four factors to consider to ensure you and all your loved ones have a great, yet inexpensive, family reunion.


Location is one of the most critical aspects when planning any event. If the location is inconvenient for some family members, it could result in them having to spend more money, whether for gas or flight tickets. Therefore, everyone must have adequate time to plan and save money for their travel expenses.

To ensure that the cost of attending this event is as inexpensive as possible for all parties involved, consider the following: 

   1. A mutual location where everyone is at an equal distance.

   2. A destination family reunion, but give family members time to save money. (Depending on their financial situation, it takes the average person up to one year to save money for a destination vacation.)

   3. Use the large home of a family member that can accommodate everyone or rent an Airbnb home. This will allow everyone to split the lodging cost and cut down on eating out and traveling. 

Length of Time

Another critical element to consider is how long the family reunion will last. Is the event going to be an annual one-day event? Will it be for three days, one week, or longer? If the event is a one-day event, it may be more cost-effective to commute to the reunion. However, if the event is to occur for more than one day, it is vital to arrange lodging accommodations. Lodging accommodations could be staying at a relative’s house if they are willing to host. If not, staying at a local hotel or Airbnb will suffice. 

In addition, the length of time is a significant factor to consider because family members who have jobs may not be able to make money while away, especially if they are out of vacation days. In that case, the shorter the reunion, the lower the expenses for everyone involved. 

It is important to find a balance to make sure the length of time is ideal for everyone. 

Recommended Read: Here are a few ways that you can lower your expenses when planning a vacation. 


Expenses can quickly pile up when it comes to food. After all, food is the main expense of large gatherings.

Due to the high cost, here are a few options to consider when planning your family reunion and accounting for food: 

   1. Potluck. If everyone lives close to one another, one person can bring an entree or side dish to compliment the food at the potluck. To ensure everyone isn’t bringing the same dish, you can make an excel spreadsheet of who is bringing what to organize the meals.

   2. Cater the food. If everyone contributes to catering the food, then it can drastically reduce the food expense. Restaurants close to the desired delivery location may charge a small fee for delivery and set up, or a family member could go to the restaurant to pick up the food to save money on a delivery fee.

   3. Restaurant. Depending on the restaurant, going out to eat may be a better fit for everyone’s budget, especially since you don’t have to worry about cleaning up after eating.

Track Expenses / Select a Treasurer

There are many parts to consider when planning a family reunion. To ensure everyone is on top of their financial contributions is to designate a treasurer who is organized and has great money management skills. By designating a treasurer, everyone can send their financial contribution to one person who will keep track of how much was paid and toward what expense. In addition, the treasurer can create an easily accessible excel spreadsheet to make sure everyone can track what they have paid for towards the reunion.

Do you have any other tips or hacks for a cost-friendly family reunion? Let us know in the comments below.

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