Planning and celebrating a child’s birthday should be a joyful experience, but when the date is looming and we are low on cash, it can quickly become stressful.
We want our child to have a wonderful time, and certainly not to feel any different from their friends who seem to be having parties every other weekend.
You might be tempted to splash out using a credit card, but it is certainly not worth getting yourself into debt, as there are plenty of ways to keep costs down. Here are some ideas and tips on how to plan a children’s birthday party when you are working with a strict budget.
The earlier you can start planning, the better it will be for your wallet. This way, you can look out for cheap deals on decorations, toys for goodie bags, and treats and avoid the need to make last-minute purchases.
You will also have plenty of time to make handmade decorations and invitations and to work out a budget you can comfortably afford. If one of the other children in your child’s class is celebrating a birthday around the same time, you may be able to join forces with their parent and share the costs of a joint party.
While it may not be the most exciting or convenient choice, the cheapest venue for your child’s party is your home. If their birthday is during the summer, you may be able to host it in your garden to give the kids more space and reduce the clean-up afterward. Alternatively, you could host it in a public park with picnic bags for the kids. If you are planning a winter party, you may be able to hire a local community hall, but you will need to book this well in advance.
While your child may ask you to invite all their classmates, neighborhood friends, and family, this will add to your costs significantly. Instead, ask your child to choose his or her best friends and celebrate with family in a more informal way; for example, invite them over for coffee and cake on another day. You can make your own invitations either by hand or on a computer, but sending emails, texts, or social media messages is even cheaper.
Food and drink
If the party is over and done with in the morning or happens after lunch, you will not need to provide much in the way of food. In fact, even lunchtime parties will usually end up with a lot of wasted food as the kids are too excited to eat. A few simple snacks should be enough with some birthday cake.
On the topic of cake, try making your own birthday cake to cut down on costs. If you are planning a birthday party which will include a main meal, pizza is usually a low-cost option and popular with most children. You can save a lot of money (and hassle) by ordering pizza with Pizza Hut coupons.
Resist the temptation to go over the top when it comes to decorations, as the kids will be so excited that they probably won’t notice most of them. Balloons and some simple bunting in your child’s chosen colors should be more than enough, although if you are feeling creative and have the time you could try making your own decorations.
Hiring a magician, actor, or entertainer can be expensive, and in most cases, is not always needed for the children to enjoy themselves. Keep the party short (about two hours is usually enough) and organize some classic party games to play and arts and crafts to complete. Click here for some inexpensive party game ideas.