Planning Your Child’s Birthday On a Budget

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by Denise on January 29, 2011 · 2 comments

in Parties

As a single mom, your financial resources are limited, yet you want to give your kids everything they would normally have in a two-parent household. When it comes to birthday parties, you can give them a great party without spending a fortune with a little careful planning and preparation.

The first step is creating and sticking to a budget (download .pdf). Then, choose a spot that fits that budget. If your home or yard is large enough, that is the most affordable option. However, if the guest list will be too long for your home, you can have the party at a local park and reserve a shelter for very little money.

One of the biggest party expenses is food. If you plan the party at a time when your guests would not normally expect a meal, such as around 2:00 in the afternoon, you can get by with just serving cake and ice cream. Make your own simple cake from a cake mix and you have very little expense for food. This also cuts down on the cost of plates and napkins and utensils, because you will not need to have separate plates for your meal and your dessert. You can serve nuts and chips or pretzels to give the kids a little bit of substance.

For games, consider options that require little preparation or materials. Remember that kids primarily enjoy being together and playing, so you may just want to let them play rather than focusing on a bunch of party games. If you are outdoors, purchase an affordable outdoor yard games kit with items like horseshoes or croquet that the kids can choose to play if they wish, or give them some playground balls to toss around. You can also make a papier-mâché piñata and fill it with dollar-store party prizes and candy for the kids. This can then double as the party favors, saving you another expense.

You do not need to purchase party invitations. If you have a theme, use free clipart that matches your theme, and print your own invitations at home. Save money by handing them out in person rather than mailing them if you can.

For decorations, keep it simple. Balloons and streamers are cheap, and you can pick up a disposable tablecloth for very little money at your local discount store. You can use a few printouts or even just your invitation or cake decoration to showcase your theme, rather than purchasing expensive, licensed décor. Remember, your child wants to have presents and friends, and the rest is just “icing on the cake,” as they say. So relax, have fun, and plan ahead, and you can throw a party that does not cost a fortune.

About Denise

As a mom to three girls Denise knows the difficulties of being a single parent. Denise has been working to help single moms across the country since 2007. In her free time Denise enjoys camping, riding four wheelers and just spending time with her family.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Margaret February 2, 2011 at 12:07 am

Another tip is choosing or narrowing down the guests and kids that will attend the birthday party. Ask your kid who he wants to invite and who his friends are (not the entire grade-school class) so that he can socialize and play with them. Do not invite your friends or the children of your friends since it’s not your birthday party.


Savannah February 17, 2011 at 10:27 am

Great tip! Big parties with children your kids don’t care about just makes for more stress for you, and a less enjoyable time for your child. Narrow it down and have a laid-back party!


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