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Today, I have a guest post about birthday parties. I was shocked this past year at how much money it cost to put into my son’s birthday party, but here are some good tips on how to budget and save money when you plan your child’s next birthday party!
If you await the coming of your child’s next birthday with a feeling of dread and wary looks at your online bank account, fear not. Children’s birthday parties do not have to be budget busters. Although the temptation to compete with over-the-top parties thrown by classmates or friends may be fierce, using your creativity will result in a fun party that is also easy on your pocketbook.
Birthday on a Budget Tips:
Create a Budget Well in Advance
A week before your child’s birthday party is not the time to start planning a budget-friendly bash. If you are concerned about keeping costs in check, create a budget several weeks or months in advance. Estimate the cost of decorations, cake, party favors and games. Use a website such as Birthdayexpress.com to get an idea of how much things cost. After creating a budget, stick to it no matter what. If your child has unreasonable expectations, simply explain that his or her ideas are not in the budget, which can serve as a good age-appropriate teaching moment about managing finances.
Limit the Invite List
One of the easiest ways to cut back on your budget is to limit the number of invitees. Ask your child to choose five or six people he or she most wants to invite. Not only does this reduce the cost of the birthday party, but also makes for less work.
Choose Budget-Friendly Party Favors
Limit the cost of party-favor bags to $5 or less. Alternatively, make a party activity into the birthday favor. A cupcake-decorating station or a homemade-bracelet station gives each child something to take home; if they make their favor, they are more likely to keep it, instead of throwing it away as soon as they get home.
Plan Some Inexpensive Kid-Friendly Games
There is no need to hire an expensive magician to entertain. Provide enjoyable games to keep the kids entertained. Set up a game of “Twister,” have a water-balloon toss or create a lawn-bowling game with plastic water bottles full of colored water. Be creative and think about the types of activities your child enjoys and execute it.
Enlist Your Child’s Support in Creating Decorations
Party decorations don’t have to be expensive or fancy. Plus, creating his or her own decorations will keep your kid excited about the upcoming party. Paper chains, construction-paper cutouts, paper lanterns and plenty of balloons will make the party area look festive without breaking the bank. If you aren’t the crafty type, go to discount stores or stock up on party supplies at end-of-season sales throughout the year.
Make a Homemade Cake and Skip the Full Meal
Hosting a birthday party doesn’t mean you need to feed a house full of ravenous kids. Think about the timing of the party. If it occurs at noon or lasts into the early evening, it may require a more substantial meal. But if you have a party in the mid-afternoon, you won’t need to serve a full meal. Simply serve homemade birthday cake, juice and a healthy snack to keep the kids fueled.
Article by: Susan Ward
Susan has been writing about arts and entertainment for more than two decades. She loves to write about life’s experiences and making people laugh.