We’d all love to be able to throw an extravagant birthday party for our children, but with bills to pay and everyday life getting in the way, it’s not easy. Luckily, kids—especially young ones—are easy to please. Even on a budget your child will be a happy camper.
Set a budget Determine what you can afford and don’t go over this number. If possible, start saving a few months in advance. Just stick to it.
What’s important? Talk to your child and find out exactly what it is they want, and then have them rank their desires from first to last.
Set realistic expectations Explain to them that they may not get everything they want on their list, but that no matter what you will make it a fun and special day for them.
Look for deals Use coupons and look for deals whenever possible. Ditch expensive party stores in favour of your local dollar store. A paper plate is a paper plate, and you may as well not spend unnecessary money on items that will be thrown away.
Gently used If your child wants an electronic item as a gift, consider buying used on Craigslist or Ebay. As long as the product is in good working condition, it’s a great way to save money.
DIY Search Pinterest for do-it-yourself birthday decorations, cakes and party favours. If you can make something yourself, it’s almost always going to be less expensive than buying it. If you’re not the super-creative type, consider enlisting the help of family and friends.
Go generic There’s no need to buy brand name items. Kids don’t recognize brand names over generic ones anyway.
Have a BBQ Hosting the birthday party at your house or a park will almost always be cheaper than hosting it at a theme park or children’s play centre.
Strategize timing If the party’s at 2pm no one expects lunch or dinner, making it easier on your wallet.
Go electronic Regular invitations cost $30 on average, plus stamps. Email invitations are free and efficient; allowing you to receive RSVPs much faster.
In the end, there won’t be a correlation between what you spend and how much fun your child will have.
About the Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer in Glendale, AZ. She covers topics on jogging strollers, personal finances, travel and nutrition.