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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Birthdays on a Budget!

My son will be turning 5 next year and he wants to have a little birthday celebration; a party with his friends at school and neighborhood. It makes me feel nervous and worries for the outcome and most of all the costs of having it. I searched the internet and founf these tips and I will definitely keep them in mind when it comes to budget. Now I know that my son can have party and have fun without going over limit. Here they are:
Make sure you have a budget and do your best to stick to it. It's much easier not to over spend if you keep track of what you're spending.

Explore your options. It's fun and exciting to go to an indoor play and party specialty places. But they can be very expensive. I know some people are willing to pay extra so they don't have anything to worry about. Unfortunately, I don't have that luxury! Look around and be creative. If you can't have the party at your own home, try local parks and playgrounds or your local community center. Or, instead of paying for the full party, pay for a small group of friends to go to a play place, then back to your house to finish up the party with cake and ice cream. Or consider off-peak times. Some play places offer considerable discounts for weekday parties.

Keep it simple! There is no need to spend money for the kids to be entertained. Print up some coloring pages, throw down blocks, Lego's, cars, doll's or whatever your child likes to play with. I had our box of Legos and some puzzles and the kids had a great time. Throw kids together with some toys and they will entertain themselves!

Don't feel the need to feed the kids a meal. Or, if you want to, pick something quick and easy. Our local pizza place has $5 cheese or pepperoni pizza's available all the time. It was quick and easy and the kids loved it. If you don't want the added expense, then have the party between meal times and just have a few snack-type treats.

Make the cake yourself. If you're keeping it simple and small, making a cake is a breeze. Not only do you keep the cost down, you also cut down on left overs! And to decorate it? Look at your child's favorite toys, clean them up and use them on the cake -- Pokemon figures, Thomas trains, Polly Pockets, Dinosaurs... whatever you have, use it.

Finally, use your resources and use what you already have. Can't bake? Perhaps you have a friend that can. Ask her and this can be the birthday present. Do you know people that own any businesses that may give you discounts on party supplies or bounce houses for your yard? I looked at what I had on hand when it came to the goody bags (which are optional). I had been given lots of Kung Fu Panda activity CD's and had lots of left over Halloween candy. With a little planning and creativity, it is possible to throw a fun, exciting party for your kids for under $100. The final cost for our birthday party was $75, and $25 of that was the clubhouse rental. All together there were 20 people -- 12 kids and 8 adults. Every one had a great time and no one missed any bouncy castles or people dressed up as a big mouse.
It's not about being "cheap" or "thrifty" -- it's about being "resourceful" with your budget and making the dollars stretch!


devianty said... good info

Cecile said...

thanks :-)

thanks for stopping by also!

how are you?