It seems like kids parties get more extravagant each year. Party venues offer any number of entertainment options with different levels of packages that can easily drain the budget. Even a home party can get out of hand with expensive in-home entertainers, favors and food. Reel yourself in before you finalize the plans so you don’t blow the budget.
Set the Budget
Before you can avoid going over budget, you have to figure out what it is. Start by deciding how much you want to spend on the total party. Now break down all of the expenses you’ll have for the party. Common expenses are food, venue rental, entertainment and favors. Allocate a certain amount of the budget to each of those areas. You might need to change those amounts as you start planning, but having a general idea helps you with the planning.
Pick and Choose
You don’t have to choose the top of the line for everything at the party. Choosing a few premium options mixed in with lower budget options helps balance the budget. For example, you might buy themed decorations but choose plain paper plates from the dollar store. A few key items that are customized or more expensive can make the overall party seem more extravagant.
Time It Right
The timing of the party can be a major determining factor in the cost. If you’re reserving a venue, such as a kids’ play place or bounce center, high-demand times are often more expensive. As a general rule, weekend parties are more expensive. You might get a discounted rate if you have the party on a weekday evening.
You can also save on the food budget by scheduling the party mid-morning or mid-afternoon. You don’t have to serve a whole meal, so you don’t have to buy nearly as much food. A few snacks or even just a cake will do the trick.
Favors are a big deal at birthday parties. If you can convince your child to skip them completely, you’ll save a ton of money on the party. If you do choose to give out favors, limit what you offer. Buying several little trinkets seems cost-effective, but when you buy lots of little things that cost adds up quickly. Instead, choose one substantial gift that doesn’t cost a lot, such as a coloring book and small box or crayons.
Make It Yourself
If you have the time and energy, make some of the party items yourself. You can usually save money over letting a professional do the work. For example, decorating your own birthday cake is much cheaper than ordering one from a bakery. Take into consideration the cost of materials and how long it will take to make the items before committing to doing the work yourself.
Focus on the Purpose
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of planning. You want your child to have a memorable birthday, so it’s natural to go overboard. Remind yourself that the party is all about celebrating your child’s birth. He will likely have just as much fun with a simple party as he would an extravagant affair.