As a kid, having a fun birthday party is quite possibly one of the best things ever! However, as an adult who is in charge of planning that birthday party, it can be a bit stressful, especially if money is tight or you want to stick to a small budget. If you have a birthday party coming up, you may be worried about how you are going to pull it off without putting some serious strain on your wallet.
Do not fret – it is completely possible to throw a super festive and fun birthday party on a budget as long as you follow these tips:
1. Set Your Budget
The first thing that you need to do before you head out a book that clown or rent a snow cone machine is to set a specific budget. Write down exactly what you want your overall budget to be and begin making a rough estimate of what you expect to pay for food, decorations and more. If you start out with a budget, you are much more likely to spend less money since you have expectations already set ahead of time.
2. Minimize the Guest List
The total expenses incurred for the party will likely vary depending on whom you are planning to invite. A party for a handful of children will generally be much cheaper than a party where a large group of both kids and adults are present. The more people you have, the more space you need and the more food and drinks you will need as well. Consider those so that you can plan accordingly.
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3. Text or Social Media Invites
Although paper invitations that you purchase and send to guests can be fun, it is just another cost that you will have to include in your budget. Instead of sending paper invites, keep it simple and send an electronic invitation either through text message or a social media platform. There are lots of fun invitation templates that you can find online that are completely free!
4. Avoid Meal Times
The timing of the party is another important factor that can greatly impact the amount of money you will need to spend. Hosting a party during standard meal times may lead guests to believe that a meal will be served. If you are hoping to cut down on costs, it is best to avoid those meal times so that you can simply provide light refreshments and possibly a cake. It is suggested that you plan your party sometime between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. so that guests do not arrive at the party hungry.
5. Potluck if Possible
As mentioned above, steering clear of meal times can help you to save money by not needing to provide a full meal for your guests. Instead, you can have simple snacks and/or desserts and call it a day. However, if you do want to have a meal at the birthday party, consider doing a potluck of sorts. This means that you ask guests to provide a dish of their choice to share with everyone (if they are willing). Even just having a few food or drink items brought by guests can greatly reduce how much money you will need to spend.
In addition, if you use paper cups for the drinks, provide guests with a marker so that they can write their name on the cups. This can greatly reduce the amount of cups used because everyone will be able to keep track of their own, and abandoned cups do not need to be tossed out. That way, you can store any unused extras and use them at your next get-together!
6. Choose Location Wisely
Instead of paying to rent out a venue such as a roller-skating rink or party room to host the party, stick with venues that are completely free. If the weather is nice, head to a park or host the party in your backyard. Otherwise, invite guests over to your home. This can easily save you a large sum of money.
7. Keep Décor Simple
The easiest way to have a party look festive and fun without needing to spend much money is by purchasing balloons. Whether they are filled with helium or not, balloons are generally inexpensive and can really help improve the look of the party. Also, using streamers and confetti can really add to the festive nature of the party as well, while not costing you much money.
Another tip for party décor is to make sure that you reuse any decorations that you may have purchased for other holidays or parties or ask to borrow decorations from a family member or friend. You do not need to head to the party store and spend hundreds of dollars on décor in order to have a fun celebration. For the most part, the kids will be too busy having fun to pay attention to the decorations.
Also, make sure that if you do head to the store to purchase party decorations, you shop smart. You may want to steer clear of party stores entirely since they usually have steep markup pricing on items that you can purchase at a grocery store for a fraction of that price.
It is also a smart idea to pay attention to sales and search for any coupons that may apply towards items you need. If you start shopping early enough in advance, you may be able to find some great deals and take advantage of them before the party arrives.
8. Plan Low-Cost Activities
Instead of hiring that clown or renting the snow cone machine, opt for low-cost or free entertainment instead. Luckily, kids are usually easy to entertain, so you may only need to initiate a few games of freeze tag or provide paper and crayons to color with and the kids will be happy for hours.
9. Bake Your Own Cake
Bakeries often charge an arm and a leg for a custom cake, so instead of shelling out a small fortune on a fancy cake that will just be eaten within minutes anyways, try making your own! You may already have the ingredients on-hand, or you can head to the store for a cheap box of cake mix instead. Regardless of your recipe, a homemade cake is still going to taste amazing and it can also help you to save a lot of money as well. Top the cake with a few decorative candles, and you are all set!
Those are just a handful of tips that can be helpful when planning a kids’ birthday party on a budget. Altogether, it is important to keep in mind that insignificant things like the type of decorations you use and the venue you choose are not what is most important. In the end, all that matters is that the birthday boy or girl feels special, and you celebrate in the company of people who are important to him or her.
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