Throwing great birthday parties is an absolute must when you’ve got a kid. In their younger years, every birthday is special to them and everybody wants to be a part of their big day. But if an installment loan is all that’s keeping your paydays connected lately, it’s critical to tread lightly when it comes to birthday spending. After all, even something as happy and fun as a kid’s can become a stressful mess behind the scenes when overspending puts your finances into jeopardy. Don’t feel pressured to throw an extravagant party - just follow these simple rules to give your child a birthday party they’ll love at a price you can afford.
If you choose to host the party away from your home, there are plenty of options available. Your local zoo, bowling alley or even a park would make for a perfect birthday party spot. Many of these options cost little to no money, while others offer the convenience of all-inclusive packages that provide invitations, entertainment, activities, food and party favors. Depending on where you decide to host your party and how many people you’re inviting, the party packages can get a little expensive, so shop it around and limit your invites to keep your costs down.
Again, if you want to keep costs down, the easiest way to do that is to keep your number of guests down to a bare minimum. Fewer people means less spending on food, beverages and favors. An easy rule of thumb is to limit your guest list to immediate family and a few of your child’s closest friends. There is no reason to feel obligated to invite their entire class.
As far as food goes, keep it simple. Pretzels and fruit are perfect kids snacks. Try to avoid ordering pizza or catering for the main course. While they’re an easy way to feed the party, they’re also really pricey. Why not try making a yummy casserole instead? Casseroles are cheap, delicious and there’s always plenty to go around. But if you don’t feel like firing up the oven, you could also stick to cold cuts and sandwich fixings. There’s nothing wrong with making ham and cheese sandwiches - they’re cheap, easy to put together and kids enjoy them as much as adults.
Decorations are fun and bring a festive feel to any party, but at the end of the day it all just ends up in the trash. You’re literally throwing your money away. That’s not to say you shouldn’t decorate for your child’s big day of course. Just try to keep it simple. A few colorful balloons and some streamers should do the trick.
Lastly, don’t sweat the small stuff. By small stuff, we mean those small party favors you give out at the end of the party. Goodie bags are fun and all, but it’s really not necessary. Spending the extra cash on tiny toys and candies isn’t worth it if you’re on a budget. Save your money. The kids will have fun all the same.