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How to Avoid Spending Too Much On A Kid’s Birthday

In the crazy, materialistic world we live in, it’s easy to feel pressured to throw the party of the year for your children’s birthday.

It seems like every year as the big day approaches people start asking, “so what are you doing for Little Man’s birthday?”

The question itself is innocent enough, but yet it always feels loaded to me. It’s as if people are really asking whether or not this year’s celebration will top last years.

Is it just me? Why do we feel the pressure to “go big, or go home” on kid’s birthdays? The majority of their parties will be gone from their memory by the time they go off to college anyway.

With these questions in my mind, and my son’s birthday having just happened, I started working on this post.

How to Avoid Spending Too Much On A Kid’s Birthday

  1. Set a Budget – Hands down, setting a budget AND sticking to it is the best way to avoid spending too much. I can’t give you a specific number because that depends on every person’s specific budget, but what I can tell you is that the number you pick should be for everything from food and decorations to venue and presents. That number could be as low as FREE, or as much as $5,000 – it depends on your family – but regardless of the amount you have to stick to it.
  2. Create a Shopping List – Now that you’ve set a budget, you’re ready to plan everything you want. You can only go as far down your list as money will allow, so once the list is created try to prioritize and consider what cost saving options you have for the different products you desire. Here’s a few ideas to get you started:
    • Venue
    • Presents
    • Balloons
    • Ice Cream
    • Cake
    • Candles
    • Silverware
    • Plates
    • Napkins
    • Cups
    • Drinks
    • Snacks
    • Goody Bags
    • Pinata
    • Table Covering
  3. Host the Party for FREE – A large expense of many children’s birthday parties is the venue. Instead host the party at your home or a local park to save hundreds of dollars.
  4. Skip the Goody Bags – Whose birthday is it anyway? As far as I’m concerned, kids need to learn they aren’t entitled to plastic crap & candy just because they went somewhere cool. And honestly, it’s almost always useless clutter that gets thrown away anyway.
  5. Don’t Provide a Meal – Cake and ice cream are fairly normal, but you by no means are required to feed people unless you want to. Plan your party between lunch and dinner to avoid issue.
What are your favorite cost saving tricks for celebrating your kid’s birthdays? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!


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