Reality#1: Nothing makes you day as much as seeing your kid smile.
Reality #2: That twinkle in the eye, the smile, the twitch of acknowledgment on your kid’s face, the gleeful prance after a rush of happiness – these are all things parents secretly ask for, every single day.
Reality#3: Celebrating birthdays means a lot for a kid. It’s their special day, with all the attention pouring in from everywhere.
Reality#4: The reality of rising expenses to do anything like a birthday party is a perennial botheration.
Parents live with these realities. They know that it’s a fine balance between giving all they can to their kids while clutching to the purse and not overdoing the spending part. If your kid’s birthday is coming up, you are probably wondering how you’d could pull it off blowing candles instead of cash balances.
Lavish buffet lunches, indulgent group dinners, parties at resorts, and most other options go out of the window when you are on a budget. Trust us, your kids don’t care about that extravaganza. It’s us adults who are enamored by the act of showing off.
Here are some ways to do it:
Stick to close friends and family
Unlike marriage ceremonies, kids’ birthdays don’t have to be grandiose events. Your kids are far batter when it comes to humility and minimalism. All that your kids want is a cake-happy affair with friends, fun, games, and yummy food thrown in for good measure.
Your child wouldn’t care less if you invited celebrities, the press, and the who’s-who that you might have to pay through your nose for. Call in friends and family. Make sure that your kid gets enough company (we mean other kids and adults are the most boring creatures on earth for kids).
Birthdays are fun for kids but a nightmare for parents. Plus, you’d have your kid’s happiness at stake. The decorations, food preparations, event planning, purchasing material, and many other tasks involved could shame corporate events. So, you’d have to do it all yourself. Either that or you’d have to hire event planners. With friends and family, everyone pitches in and you suddenly have help.
Party decoration material? What?
You can even pull off a full-blown theme party but not spend a penny doing it. Take a leaf out of lessons on crowdsourcing. Think of a theme that your kid will love. Maybe ninjas, transformers, Barbie dolls, or Marvel Comics inspired super-heroes, or whatever. Invite those other kids to come dressed up in accordance with the theme. Announce little treats or awards.
For the material, call in your own friends and family and start creating everything from scratch. You don’t need professional-grade designs and prints for everything, the intention matters. This time, it’s all out there for others to see.
So, everything goes hand-made: table tops, glasses, mugs, plates, and pretty much everything else. You could even custom-design (or even bake) the cake yourself, if you want to (be sure not to take chances with it though. The cake will fit the budget).
Professional __________ are not invited
Say no to professional event planners. As mentioned above, you’d do all of the planning and execution yourself. With help from others, it won’t be as hard as it would be if you went at it alone.
Further, avoid calling in freelance photographers and others who you might think are necessary. It’s likely that you do know how to use your smartphone. Just flip the camera open and take as many shots as you’d like to. Surprisingly enough, smartphone cameras produce reasonably good quality photos. You can even edit photos and add special effects to a few photos for permanent storage.
Moms make great cooks and dads can help (Ok, we don’t want to risk sounding sexist or you can switch roles, if you can). The point is that you don’t “professional” anyone to do anything in a kid’s birthday party. Do yourself a favor; don’t invite any professionals if you are on a budget.
You can thank us later.
Top up on Ideas
First, get a run down on what kind of parties fit the age group your kid belongs to. According to Families Online, one/two year olds don’t even need a party. A family gathering would more than suffice. Three year olds need parties that can keep the fun part up, so include games. It goes up and then it stops at 10+, which is when they need karting, bowling, and other stuff. Ten years of cakes is apparently enough to get kids to think differently.
Read up on other ideas, ask other parents who managed to do it all on a budget. Parents who’ve managed self-planned or budget parties are the best experts for you to talk to.
Try a different party
Do it once, it’s great. Do it every year, it just gets boring. There are only so many cakes, candles, and pointed hats you can see. Guess what? Even kids get weary at one point or the other. Is it just us do we think that almost everyone lets go of the cake-cutting, candle-blowing, “happy birthday to you” fests?
It’s time to go different. Maybe you should consider going for a picnic or some kind of a family outing instead of the regular birthday bashes. Maybe you could bounce a few ideas off your kid and see if something else clicks? How about a trip to a place you have never gone before? What about a trip to an international destination? Maybe visiting an orphanage or a charitable home and spending the day there could introduce the value of human life and appreciation for what your kid’s got?
So, your kid’s birthday party is now looming on the horizon. What are you going to do about it? How are you going to plan it? What tips can you share on celebrating kid’s birthdays on a budget?
Claudia Johnson is a freelance writer for a long time. She likes Funny and unique gifts and in spare time she loves to write about fun gift items for men and women.
Linking to some of these great parties