College, graduation party, diapers, don’t we give our kids enough? Fortunately, there are cost-effective ways to throw your precious angel a memorable birthday bash without breaking the bank- if they’re old enough to remember it.

Rule number one: don’t compete with other parents. Rule number two: save money by creating party themes yourself.

You can give your kids the birthday theme they desire without having to splurge on an expensive bounce house or taking them to the zoo.

As kids get older, the party no longer consists of your friends, but their friends. Unfortunately, kids can be very demanding. This doesn’t mean that planning a child’s birthday party should be a hassle. On the contrary, you can enjoy playing with some arts and crafts on your own to create a wonderful party that will satisfy everyone and save you a pretty penny.

Here are 5 tips to budget for your child’s next birthday party and save you some stress.

Plan Ahead

Ideally, you’ll want to plan out your child’s birthday party a few months ahead to figure out a budget.

There are thousands of free printable invitation designs you can send out to your next party. You can even save the trouble and develop high-end web designed e-cards to send out to parents electronically. Be sure to place an RSVP line so you can get a headcount well ahead of the event. This will give you an idea of how many supplies to order.

Be sure to keep organized so you don’t go over budget. You’ll need to plan out supplies, presents, a guest list, activities, and maybe even the day to take off work.

Consider the time of day you want to host your party. You can cater a kid’s birthday party in the afternoon with a few appetizers- taco dip, anyone? You can even occupy the kid’s time with a pool or find a discount at a family fun park if you go during the right time of day.

There’s no shame in asking friends and family for a little help decorating and planning your kid’s birthday party. Plus, this gets people involved and can be rewarding for them, while saving you time and money, as well.

DIY Party Favors

Consider the sheer amount of supplies you have to prepare for: invitations, party favors, food, drinks, activities, and a theme.

Purchasing themed party favors, such as Frozen inspired napkins, plates, and cups can get really expensive. Consider choosing bargain party favors that use complementary colors and still relate to the party’s theme.

Doodle tablecloth, balloons, and games like capture the flag or tag are great ways to entertain the kids at virtually zero cost. Suffice to say, kids are very easily entertained and you don’t need a bounce house to keep them smiling.

Board games are always a classic activity, as are anything sports related. There are endless activities for the kids, you just have to know which one of his/her friends will like the best.





Looking to save money on catering and expensive cooking. Skip the dinner and go straight for the sweets. The kids will enjoy ice cream cake and it’s always a great party theme.

Consider baking your own cake. This will save you money and it’s a little more special. Consider making your sweets do some overtime by hosting a build your own cupcake or dessert dish party. Provide sprinkles, chocolate syrup, and all the toppings to helps kids build their own sweet trays.

Another plus is that this allows you to completely control the ingredients being used. In a world where even premium dog treats are starting to catch on to the benefits of natural ingredients, that can be a huge draw.

Be sure to provide some chips so the kids have something to settle in their stomach besides straight sugar and syrup.

Shop Around

Coupons, coupons, coupons! These will save you so much money on food, party favors, and even give you some unique ideas for party planning. Look ahead of time and take advantage of any sales going on near you.

Consider looking to Pinterest or a party supply store for ideas and cheap DIY hacks to create a truly unique experience. Coordinate with family members for some money saving ideas. Now’s a better time than ever to finally get that Sam’s Club membership.

Looking to book live entertainment? There are apps for that and they will let you to shop around to find something that fits within your budget. Always check for a competitive price on anything you buy. Amazon is a great place to start.

Host at Home

Finally, forget taking your kids to the zoo or Chuck E’ Cheese. I’m sure the children’s parents don’t want to travel very far anyway.

Save some money and throw the party at your house. Reserve an area in your backyard for a live stage and come up with some great outdoor activities for the children to enjoy.

Consider a bonfire for the night with some s’mores or even a scavenger hunt during the day. You could even build your own playhouse for very cheap. Be sure to host your party outside to save money on energy and protect your valuables from getting broken.


Luckily, children’s birthday parties are relatively inexpensive. Save your money for the big parties when they turn sixteen and ask for a car (or an RV, if you have a kid with wanderlust, like me.)

These budgeting tips can be applied to any event you plan. The key to a great birthday party is not the amount of money you spend, but the amount of effort you put into making it unique and amazing.



Marcela Shine
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Marcela Shine

COO at oneQube
Founder & COO oneQube the leading digital Audience Management Platform [AMP] | Angel Investor | Proud mom | Advisor @TheTutuProject
Marcela Shine
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