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5 Ways to Plan a Kid’s Birthday Party on a Budget

Posted by MoneyKey on September 6, 2019
kids birthday party on a budget

When you want to make your kid’s birthday party as special as possible, it’s easy to get carried away with everything that goes along with planning a party. And when other parents start to throw overt-the-top birthday parties for their kids, you might feel even more pressure to keep up. This could be even tougher if you’re living on a tight budget and don’t have the money to throw extravagant birthday parties. But does your five-year-old really need a bouncy castle, magician, and a clown at their party? The truth is, even if money is a little tight, you still may be able to find ways to plan special birthday party on a budget for your kid.

To do it, you’ll want to start looking at the main areas of a birthday party that you spend money on and find some ways to cut back in each area. With some cheap birthday party ideas up your sleeve, you might be able to throw your kid a party they’ll love without breaking the bank.

To give you some ideas, here are five tips to help you plan a kid’s birthday party on a budget.

1. Save on location

While you might see some parents rent out party spaces for their kid’s birthday party, if you’re able to host it at your own home, you might be able to save a considerable chunk of change. Renting a space may save you the hassle of setting and cleaning up, but if you’re trying to keep costs down, it might not be worth it.  

throw your party at home for your kids party on a budget

If you don’t love the idea of having to pick up after a group of rowdy kids once the party is over, you could always look for an inexpensive maid service to do the cleanup for you. Keep your eyes peeled for new customer specials at maid services, and even you do pay someone to do the cleanup, you’ll still likely be spending less than if you were to rent out a space for the party.  

2. Save on kids birthday party entertainment

When you want to hire a clown, a magician, or any other sort of kids birthday party entertainment, things can start to get pricey. Sure, maybe your kid loves the most recent Disney movie, but having someone walk around dressed as the main character likely won’t be cheap.

One way to save on your birthday party on a budget is to provide the entertainment yourself. If the party you’re throwing is in the summer, spring, or fall, take advantage of the nice weather by organizing some fun outdoor activities. You can have them play a game of tug-of-war, organize a relay race, or put together plenty of other fun outdoor activities. If it’s hot out, you can even have people bring their swimsuits and have a water balloon fight! With the proper supervision of course.

If the weather isn’t great and you’re having an indoor kids party, don’t panic. There are still plenty of great activities you can organize to keep everyone having fun:

  • Arts and crafts. Take a look on Pinterest or do a search online for arts and crafts projects for kids. There are plenty of ideas out there that could keep a group of kids having fun for a couple of hours.
  • Put on a movie. This might not be the most creative idea, but if you have a big-enough TV and are forced inside by the weather, put all the kids in front of the TV and throw up a recent kid-friendly release.
  • Treasure hunts. If you feel comfortable letting a group of children rummage through certain areas of your house, scavenger hunts are a fun and interactive idea for a birthday party on a budget.
  • Talent show. Have you ever thought of letting the kids take the reigns on this one? Pick a couple of parents to be judges, grab a few inexpensive prizes for the participants, and let the kids show off their talents for their friends.

While you might need to buy some cheap birthday supplies for a few of these games, organizing some fun outdoor games for your guests to play may cost you a lot less than hiring someone to take care of the entertainment for you.

3. Save on food

only serve snacks and cake for your kids birthday party on a budget

The cost of food can really throw a wrench in your plans to have a birthday party on a budget, particularly when you have to feed fifteen or more kids plus the parents that are attending. But if you don’t want to break the bank on a meal for everyone, don’t serve one. When you’re trying to accommodate for everyone’s allergies, food preferences, and the general pickiness of kids, you might have a hard time figuring out what to serve anyways. So instead, throw your party from 2:00 to 4:00 so people won’t be expecting a meal for lunch or dinner. Just lay out some snacks for people to munch on throughout the party.

If you do want to serve a meal, making it yourself might help you keep costs low. Throwing together a big batch of macaroni and cheese is generally an inexpensive and kid-approved meal that won’t be too difficult to put together. And if you don’t feel like you have the energy or time to make something yourself, look for the cheapest pizza place you can find, and order delivery. The kids will likely only need a slice or two to keep them satisfied, especially if you’re serving a cake and other small snacks.

And speaking of cake, don’t feel like you have to run out to a fancy bakery. You can bake one yourself easily enough by picking up a box of store-bought cake mix and a can of frosting.

4. Save on birthday party decorations

Having your house decorated for your birthday party on a budget might be festive, but ultimately, the most important thing is that everyone has a good time. You don’t need to go over the top on decorations for people to know it’s a birthday party. Stick with things you can grab at the dollar store like balloons and simple streamers. You can also pick up some cheap tableware from the dollar store instead of opting for pricey, themed tableware. Get your kid into the party spirit by having them help you set up before the party!

5. Save on invitations

Another way to save on a kids birthday party on a budget is to opt out of sending traditional paper invites altogether. Keep things paperless by creating an e-vite online for free and sending it out via email. This way, you’ll avoid having to spend money on invitations and envelopes, and won’t have to spend any time addressing them. You can even send out reminders online to the people who haven’t RSVPed.  

Use these tips to help you plan a kids birthday party on a budget

It might take a little more planning, time, and effort to throw a birthday party on a budget, but if money is tight, you may not be able pay someone else to handle these details for you.

If you’re really struggling with the idea of hosting a modest birthday party for your child at your own home instead of blowing things up and going all out, think about what you could be doing with the money you’re saving by keeping costs low. You could be saving for a family vacation, putting money into your emergency fund, or paying off outstanding debt on an online installment loan.

In the end, the most important thing is that you put some thought and effort into your kid’s birthday party, and you do your best to make sure they have a great time. This doesn’t mean you have to blow your savings on an extravagant party.

We hope we gave you some useful ideas on how to throw a kids birthday party on a budget!


Disclaimer: This article provides general information only and does not constitute financial, legal or other professional advice. For full details, see MoneyKey's Terms of Use.

Posted in: Lifestyle

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