The pressure to throw a birthday party each year gets even greater as the boys get older. Depending on the theme and the number of friends they’d like to invite, the cost of a party can easily skyrocket. Fortunately, with a little creativity and planning it is possible to throw a great party without spending big bucks. Here are my tips for involving your child in the planning process and cutting costs without sacrificing fun.
Set a budget
This is a great opportunity to help teach your kids about budgeting and making choices. If your kiddo is old enough, give them a budget to work with and help them make decisions around their own birthday party. Would they rather have a sleepover for 10 of their friends with a pizza party and movie night or a day at LEGOLAND with just one of their friends?
Choose a free or affordable location
If you are able to host a party at your own home, you can potentially save the majority of your budget for party supplies. If you don’t have a big enough house or backyard, you may still be able to make use of a family member’s home. Consider local parks as well, which are generally free or have a low-cost reservation fee.
Use digital invitations
Instead of printing or buying paper invites, send digital invitations such as Evites. Sending digital invites to parents also gets rid of the potential for hurt feelings when paper invitations get handed out at school.
If you really want a paper invitation, forget store-bought invites and get creative. DIY construction paper invitations based on your child’s interests are always welcome. Pinterest has plenty of printable invitations and other ideas for DIY options.
Make things yourself
Even if you don’t consider yourself crafty, you can save serious money by making party favors, cupcakes and decorations on your own. Again, Pinterest is an excellent place to look for birthday ideas. Some pins come from the stores selling them, but many can be duplicated easily at home.
Don’t compete with other parents
There will always be someone who can afford to throw their kids more expensive parties, but that doesn’t mean their parties will necessarily be better. The best parties are the ones where the kids just have fun. Fortunately, just being able to play with friends is often as much fun as any organized activity.
With two kiddo’s birthdays coming up the first week of January, this is top of mind for me. Pete is just turning two, so we will have a party at home with Pinterest being my friend. Jack will be six this year - man it goes fast! We have researched a few places and have landed on a “soccer” themed party. We’ll take Jack and a few friends to an indoor field where they can play a version of soccer and then eat some cake. We involved Jack in the decision-making process, and he is super excited!
Kat's Money Corner is posted on KansasCity.com every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, click http://twitter.com/savinmavens or visit http://communityamerica.com.