How to Throw an Affordable Birthday Party Your Child Will Love

6:00 AM

Learn how to plan an affordable birthday party.

By Katherine Halek
Most parents view their child’s birthday as a chance to make kids feel special. It’s a once-a-year chance to create a healthy memory your child can take into adulthood. However, many parents are also feeling the pressure to compete with increasingly expensive birthday parties for children. Just how pricey have parties become? Tom Cruise reportedly lavished his daughter, Suri, with a whopping $100,000 birthday party for her 2nd birthday!
How can parents hope to keep up with the Joneses year after year? Luckily, they don’t have to. With the right planning it is possible to throw your child a memorable birthday party, affordably.
Create a Plan With a Budget
Many party-planning parents will fall victim to one of two mistakes. First, they fail to make a plan. Although a child’s birthday party may seem fairly straight forward, consider how many variables there can be. How many guests will attend? How long are you expected to entertain them for, and what will they consider fun? It’s tempting to jump right into cake tasting and decorating, but you should know exactly what you are planning for before you reach these steps. Decide on a location, theme, and length of time before you begin so that you can tailor your decision to match this plan!
The second mistake is creating a plan without a budget. Parents who begin purchasing birthday cakes, streamers and party favors before they have a budget are more apt to be tempted into spending on unforeseen expenses as the day of the party approaches. Instead, assign a cost to each part of your plan and stick to your budget.
Manage the Expectations of Your Guests
More often than not, food will be the most expensive element of a party. By managing the expectations of your guests you can save some money. Rather than hosting a birthday party in the early afternoon or evening and serving a meal, plan your party for around 3PM and let it be known you will offer snacks and cake to your guests. This can even free you up to find some creative party snacks on Pinterest!
Secondly, you are not obligated to invite everyone in your child’s grade. The rule of thumb is to invite one guest per year of your child’s age. For a seventh birthday party, eight will be a very manageable number of party goers!
Create a Festive Atmosphere
Birthday parties at a restaurant, theme park, or indoor playground are more exciting to children because of the atmosphere they provide. These venues have brightly painted walls and decorations that excite children more than the inside of a home. Children may be apprehensive about a party at home, because they feel like they will be missing out on the exciting feeling of going to a venue. Luckily, you can create this same excitement for your child using balloons, custom banners, and party decorations. Don’t strain yourself redecorating your home, but take the time to make your child feel like he is at a party.
Allow Your Child to Enjoy the Party
After investing so much energy in finding the best presents, party games, or bounce houses it can be tempting to micromanage the party schedule. However, if your child becomes more interested in playing with a balloon than with the expensive entertainment you provided it will not be the end of the world. Remind yourself that creating fun memories is what you hope to give your child through a party and it doesn’t always matter how that is accomplished.
Parties can be as much for the parent as for the child. You can feel so much joy just by watching your child experience their birthday. Try to relax and take in the moment, there will only be so many birthdays in one childhood!
Katherine Halek is a Marketing Associate at, a leader in banner printing. Easybanners helps to create memorable parties, weddings, and events with high quality, custom banners. Connect with her on Google+.

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  1. I love planning and throwing my kids' birthday parties. Thanks for the tips!

  2. I totally agree that one should allow their kids to enjoy their party. I've seen so many elaborate birthday parties that the kids seemed bored at or were way too structured, when the kids would have had more fun just playing with Legos or running through sprinklers in the back yard.

  3. Great tips! I always tell my daughter she can invite this many children and let her choose.

  4. Great tips, I'm all about having a great party for less.

  5. I let me kids help as that is half of the fun.

  6. Thanks for the great tips. It's nice to know you can save some money when throwing a party.

  7. These are such great tips! It's so easy for the budget to spiral out of control.

  8. It is SO easy to spend a ton on birthday parties! This year a I did a park party for Gabe and Cadence and they loved it! (well, besides the broken tooth!)

  9. All three of my kids have birthdays within six weeks of one another, which can make things very chaotic here. Thankfully we still manage to always throw a successful event!



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