Birthday parties are probably the most important times in your child’s year, so it’s time to get planning an awesome bash! The downside of birthday parties is that they can be INCREDIBLY expensive, especially if you like to go all out with the planning.
Instead of overspending this year, why not throw a budget-friendly children’s birthday party? It’s easier than you think!
Step 1: Make a budget — You’ll find this piece of advice in just about every article on All Things Frugal, but the truth is that making a budget is the only way to be sure not to overspend. Sit down and think about the amount of money you can realistically afford for this party, and set it aside so that you can start buying party stuff now.
Step 2: List the items by importance — What does your child want most at his or her party? If they cannot do without a Bouncy House, rent that first and see how much is left for the rest of the party. Always get the important stuff first, and as you check items off the list, you’ll see what else you can fit into the budget.
Step 3: Ask the child – You’d be amazed to find that many children don’t want a huge, expensive party when something simple will do. Instead of renting out the space at Chuck-E-Cheese, your son may want to have a huge water balloon fight in your backyard, or your daughter may want a sleepover with her friends. Talk to your child to see what is their ideal birthday party activity or theme, and you’ll be surprised to find that it’s often cheaper than you’d expect.
Step 4: Cut costs on food — Do you really need to serve an entire meal to all of your guests attending the party? Pizza can be a lot more expensive than you’d think, and a fully loaded BBQ will cost you small fortune if you’re feeding 15 to 30 kids and parents. Instead, think about scheduling the party during the “snack” hours–between 2 and 5–when all you have to do is serve cake, drinks, and some simple snacks.
Step 5: Cook what you can – Do you really need to buy a cake at your grocery store or supermarket? You’ll spend no less than $15 on a tasty cake, and that price can rise as high as $40 to $50 if you want something fancy. Instead, spend a fraction of that on cake mix and all of the things you’ll need to make a delicious cake yourself. Cook any snacks you can, and it will be much easier on your budget.
Step 6: Find a cheap venue — You don’t really need to rent an entire Bounce Castle when your backyard trampoline will do the trick. Take your kids to a local park instead of hosting the party at Chuck-E-Cheese, or look into community centers as an enclosed space for your fiesta. You’ll find that there are many cheap (or free) venues where you can host the party, making it much easier for you to spend more on the other important items without going over budget.
Step 7: Say no to parents – You may have to watch ALL of the screaming, yelling, running children yourself, but having to feed parents can be a costly prospect. If you want to keep the costs of the party low, have the parents drop the kids off at your house and pick them up when the party’s done. More work for you, but less money spent!