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Kids are very special to any parent since they fill their parents’ hearts with so much joy. Each day of their lives is worth celebrating and when they turn a year older, it’s only natural for their parents to want to throw a huge party.
What if you want a simple yet enjoyable birthday party for your kid? Guess what? It’s possible.
You don’t need to have all your child’s friends over or go to Disneyland to mark that special day. So what if your neighbour bought their kid a horse for their birthday? Good for them.
Choose to do things your way. There are many ways you can put a smile on your kid’s face while keeping them busy without stretching your budget.
Think about what they like. You’re most likely to get an idea from there. Then, follow your heart. Many people throw parties they can’t afford and end up paying for it dearly.
You don’t have to be among them. The sooner you get everything together, the easier it will be for you on that big day.
If your kid’s birthday is approaching and you’d like to make it memorable, check out these tips on how to make it special on a budget.
1. Don’t Buy So Many Gifts
If your little child is having a birthday, this can be pretty easy. They don’t get to decide how their party goes.
Most kids have grown up to know that gifts are a must on special days like their birthday. You can imagine the fuss they’ll kick when they don’t get presents on their birthday. Letting your child know that they won’t be getting plenty of gifts is a great idea.
Or, why not make something yourself? Yeah, if you’re artistic with skills, you can make the best out of almost anything. You could draw them a portrait, make them a propeller or knit them a sweater.
What should be of importance is that you all have a good time on the sp day. Teach your child from an early age that gifts shouldn’t matter so much. Come to think of it, that party you’re working so hard to make a success is an awesome gift to them.
You could request the guests to come with gifts as they attend the party by indicating that on the invitation letters. Or, if you prefer doing things faster, include that bit on the e-mail you send their parents.
Buying so many gifts might be a joy to them, but it’s going to take a toll on your finances. Remember, there are other more urgent needs that you need to handle. When you think of it that way, it’s easy to avoid getting caught up in the whole gift-buying tradition.
2. Plan Ahead
Don’t wait until D-day to start putting things together. You could start a week, month, or earlier.
This way, you get to do all that’s required and wait for the big day. There are many perks for planning:
You Get Peace of Mind
Doing things last minute can be quite stressful especially if you had totally forgotten about the party. Getting someone to do the planning for you won’t make things easier.
But when you plan ahead of the big day, you’ll be at peace on the actual day. This is because you know what you should do and when you should do it.
Your Budget Is Secure
Putting everything you need for the party on a list is great. It allows you to know how much you’re going to spend. It might not be 100% accurate, but at least you get to know stuff that will ruin your budget and take them off the list.
You’re Likely to Get Some New Ideas
Your mind is likely to get creative when it has plenty of time. After doing the preparation, an idea might strike you. Adding it into your list might be a worthwhile move.
You Get to Weigh Your Options
There are so many birthday party ideas. It’s easy to go insane as you try settling for one. With early preparation, you’ve got all the time to go through the available options and choose one that works for you.
It Promotes order
Most importantly, early planning is a sure way to have a smooth birthday party. You could go the extra mile and indicate times when activities at the party should begin and end. Though most people consider it a fun spoiler, there’s no harm in giving it a shot if it works for you.
3. Go for an Affordable Location
There’s no better place to hold your kid’s birthday than in your own home. You don’t have to pay a cent for it. Plus, everything you need is readily available to you.
If your home is not so roomy, why not try the backyard? With everything in order, it’s sure to serve as a great substitute. It’s also a great choice since there’s plenty of space for your kid and their guests to run around in. Plus, it’s easy to keep an eye on them there.
Asking a relative or family member if you could use their home is another option. You could offer to clean up their place after the party.
Going to the local park might do, but consider factors such as the weather. Do you have back up in case Mother Nature decides to turn against you?
Do you have all you need to make the day a success? It’s better to go with a reliable plan if your answers to these questions are no.
One of the drawbacks of choosing a public place is you never know when it’s free. What’s more, there are so many unnecessary steps you have to take to ensure that it’s alright for you to use it. It’s impossible to kick everyone else out for you to have the party unless you decide to rent the place in advance.
It all boils down to the number of guests you choose to invite. The fewer the guests, the easier it will be to get a simple yet affordable location.
4. Don’t Invite Too Many Guests
How old is your kid? If they’re two years or less, having friends and family only over isn’t a bad idea. However, if they’re five and above, you have to invite a couple of their friends over. The good thing is, you’ve got a say on the number of kids you’d like to attend the party.
Having a few guests makes it easy to hold the party. You spend less and don’t invest so much on space. Plus, you won’t have to worry too much about cleaning so much after the party. It’s likely that there won’t be such a big mess.
If you’re planning to rent a venue, you can be sure that you won’t pay so much.
If you want to have party packages, how about having only their best friends over? Party packages can cost a fortune if the guests are many.
The best way to go about the whole guest thing is to have your child write down their friends’ names. Then, ask them to decide whom they want over.
Don’t forget to mention that they can’t invite everyone. Not only does this take the burden away from you, but it also lets them be around those they prefer.
When sending invites, be sure to ask the guests to reply as soon as possible. It’s best to do this because some guests might miss a party when you’ve already included them in food and drinks. This is one of the ways through which cash and food go to waste.
Note that you can pass on the guests. Some children love having their loved ones only around them. That should be the highlight of their birthday party.
5. Bake Your Cake
Dropping by your nearest bakery on the eve of your kid’s party is not only fun but is convenient as well. You get the cake done within the shortest time possible and escape the hassle of baking it.
If you’re looking to have a frugal and fantastic party, choose to bake the cake at home. This saves you money and you could get a little creative while at it. There are a couple of reasons why having a home-baked cake is way better.
First, you get to choose the ingredients. Most processed foods are packed with unhealthy ingredients. A cake from the bakery could be high in cholesterol and contain artificial sweeteners.
Second, it’s easier to control the portion you eat with a home-baked cake. Since you’re in charge of measurements, you can bake only what’s enough for that particular day.
The temptation is too strong to resist a cake from the bakery. You may have specified the cake you want but forgot to give details on size.
What if you haven’t got a clue on how to bake a cake? Simple. Check out a tutorial on YouTube. You could start out with cupcakes. They’re faster and easier to make. There are plenty of other sites like kitchen and Skillshare that you could look to for guidance. Make Google your pal.
You could also ask a friend to help you out. Learning how to bake on your own enables you to be independent. Besides, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll get exactly what you want when you place an order at a bakery.
6. The Budget for the Party
The first step to getting things done in terms of finances is budgeting for your money. No matter the amount, having a plan for your cash causes everything to fall into place.
Having a party on a budget doesn’t mean that you’re tight with your green. On the contrary, it shows your good judgment. Life will go on after the birthday party after all.
A budget isn’t like any other list. Drawing it for any expense is crucial. Here are some reasons why a budget is necessary:
It Helps Keep Your Finances in Check
With money in your pocket, it’s easy to get into the impulse-buying mode. You end up buying stuff that you can very well do without and this is where budgeting comes in handy. It helps you get only what you need, therefore protecting your account.
It Helps You Know Where You Should Rectify
You’re most likely to exaggerate items without a budget. For instance, you could buy 200 balloons for a party of five with the intention of spicing things up.
A budget sharpens your reasoning. Reducing on luxury items or leaving them out will provide cash that you can use elsewhere.
It Helps You Focus
Spending money without a budget is without a doubt dangerous. It causes you to focus on the short-term goal- giving your child an extravagant party instead of looking
Having a budget enables you to expand your vision. You can concentrate on achieving your long-term financial goals.
7. Have an In-Between-Meals Birthday Party
Whipping up a meal for a couple of kids can be quite costly and filling your party menu with all types of sugary treats might not be the way to go.
Too much of the sugary treats might ruin their appetite and you wouldn’t want this, would you?
The kids come with the expectation of having fun and getting treated to a hearty meal and snacks. So, if you plan on having a full meal and snack birthday party, be ready to spend a lot.
Unlike other people who decide to hold birthday parties in the morning, you could do things differently.
Here’s how: hold your party between lunch and dinner time. This way, they’ll have something to eat in their homes, making it less likely for you to spend on food for them.
If you really must provide them with something to bite and drink, how’s about some popcorns and juice? They’re easier to prepare and don’t put too much pressure on your budget. For those with a huge appetite, there’s nothing that some cake and ice cream won’t fix.
It’s important to get in touch with the guests’ parents before the big day. Some kids might be allergic to strawberry, and that could be what makes up the icing on your cake.
8. Make the Decorations
A kid’s birthday party without decorations is of course plain. It’s like having an open fire without marshmallows.
Decorations bring warmth and color to the celebration. Plus, if chosen appropriately, decorations can add beauty to the venue.
You don’t need special skills to come up with some beautiful decorations. Most of them are quite simple to make and don’t need plenty of effort from you.
All you need is creativity, lots of colors and you’re good to go. Here are some simple DIY decoration ideas:
- If you’ve got white balloons, why not add some brightness and contrast with some colored confetti? Fill the balloons with confetti and hang them in areas where most people are likely to be.
- Are there some bottles that you’re not using? That’s a decoration right there. Just color them with different colors if they’re colorless then use them as centerpieces on tables. For extra appeal, put some flowers of different colors in them.
- Want to add a unique touch to your cake? How about placing it on a cake stand? Making a cake stand isn’t difficult. You can skip the work and get one for a couple of dollars.
- Still on balloons, instead of following the plain routine of tying them with an ordinary string, why not get creative? You can use colorful ribbons instead.
- Break the monotony of having candles or the birthday kid’s age as a cake topper. Try putting some photos of them on sticks and place them on the cake. For a complete and cute look, make some party hats for the photos.
9. Make the Food and Snacks
If you’ve opted to cook for the guests, there are some great pocket-friendly meals that you can prepare. You can make these meals within the shortest time possible.
Before deciding on what to make, consider the age group of the guests. If they’re older kids, they’ll need a wider variety. Younger kids, on the other hand, don’t need so much.
The best part about cooking for kids is you don’t have to be fancy. Everyday foods like sandwiches and breadsticks will do just fine. It’s the presentation that matters after all.
As for snacks, there are so many to choose from. Strive to keep junk snacks off your menu and offer healthy yet delicious snacks to your young guests. Here are some examples of healthy snacks:
Cheese. Not just cheese, but cheese that you cut into attractive shapes. Use them to make kabobs with fruits of your choice.
Second, oatmeal cookies. They are not only healthy, but they’re delicious too. You can serve them with milk or on their own.
Either way, they still have that great delicious taste. The best part about them is you aren’t limited to what to put in them. Whether cranberries or nuts, feel free to get creative.
Third, try some almonds. They’re high in nutrients such as riboflavin and protein. Plus, they’re easy to prepare and are quite filling. A handful is enough for the guests.
If it’s hot on the day of the party, popsicles are a super, refreshing snack. Go the healthy way by making them out of fresh fruit juice. You could also put in whole fruits like grapes or strawberry in each juice before it freezes.
10. Include Some Birthday Party Games
Instead of paying for clowns and other forms of entertainment, opt to be simple. Try having your birthday party games.
When it comes to games, all age barriers go down, and kids and adults alike have a blast. If that’s the kind of birthday party you’d like your kid to have, here are some fun games that your guests are sure to enjoy.
Though it’s a kid’s game, picture watching adults topple over as they try to reach the finish line. It is a priceless form of entertainment.
This is the perfect game to shape kids’ minds and skills. You can choose to make it interesting by choosing words that are rarely acted out but are easy to guess.
You’ll need a pool or other water body to play this game, but it’s possible to play it on open ground as well. Blindfold the ‘Marco’ and have the ‘Polo’s respond in funny distinct voices.
Tug of War
No list is complete without this classic game. All you need is a rope and friends, and you’re good to go. You could add some excitement to the game by awarding prizes to the winning side.
If your guests are younger children, let them use a tennis ball or other light ball as the potato. Older kids can play with a real potato if they choose to. When the game is over, you can revive the game by letting the winner be the caller.
Let Your Child Enjoy Their Birthday Party the Frugal Way
Birthday parties don’t have to be about throwing money around. Sure, every parent would like their children to have the best, but you don’t have to splurge cash while at it.
Having a frugal birthday party for them is an excellent way of encouraging responsibility. It’s also a nice way of teaching them to develop their skills.
Tips such as DIY decoration and food making could help in bringing out some hidden talents they may have.
While you want to make everything fun, it’s important to remember why you’re celebrating. You’re marking the day your little one was born. Watching them grow and marking each one of their birthdays is reason enough to celebrate, but be mindful of how you spend.
Applying the tips discussed in this blog post will go a long way in ensuring that your child has fun on his/her big day while helping you cut down on expenses.
Focus more on spending time with them and letting them enjoy their party and that will be a memorable occasion for them.