As a kid in the 90’s I remember my mom throwing awesome birthday parties for my sisters and me. Many times the parties had a theme and fun games. Everyone would bring their sleeping bags because we would end the night with a sleepover in the living room. Is it just me or does it seem like birthday parties were a bit simpler back then?
I love party planning and like to say I got it from my mom. I actually banned myself from party planning this year because I love it too much. I end up putting too much time and energy into them. Planning parties can come with lots of excitement, but also lots of anxiety. There is usually so many ideas, but it can be hard to do them all if all those ideas don’t line up with your budget. In a world full of glamorous Pinterest and Instagram party photos it can almost feel like you’re not doing good enough. I know what it’s likes to feel overwhelmed by trying to make it ALL happen. So with that…
Here are some tips below on how to plan a birthday party on a tight budget.
Tip #1 – DIY Projects
DIY (do it yourself) projects can help eliminate costs. I’ve looked up party themes on Pinterest and have made some of the items people have bought. For example, instead of buying this $30 frame to put a horse silhouette in I bought a laser cut oval wood frame for $7.99 at Hobby Lobby. I painted it white and also cut out my own silhouette horse with cardboard paper I already had. I’ve also created a mini barn out cardboard. Slapped on some red, black and white paint and it came out super cute! I’m always finding things to use towards DIY projects on sale at Hobby Lobby or Michaels. If something is not already on sale at one of these stores then I use the 40% coupon provided on the Retail Me Not app.
Tip #2 – You Don’t Have To Over Do It
This one is hard for me, because I get tempted to go all out. There is nothing wrong with going all out if you can and really want to. But don’t put yourself in debt with things like over doing party decor, having the bounce house, extravagant cake and petting zoo if it’s going to hurt your finances. Look up the costs of all the things you want, then write down of all your options. After that, put a check mark next to what fits in your budget and cross out what you cannot afford. Don’t get caught up in impressing people. This day is about celebrating another year of your child’s life. What your child will remember most is the experiences they have around people who love them, not so much the extra fluff.
Tip #3 – Don’t Compare Yourself To What You See On Pinterest Or Instagram
Don’t compare what someone else can do to what you can do. Like I already mentioned, you may see those Pinterest or Instagram photos then feel like you have to keep up. Remember it’s not about keeping up with what others can do. Focus and find joy on what you have going on. It’s totally okay if you cannot do it all.
Tip #4 – Make A List Of How Many People You Are Able To Invite
I understand the pressure of feeling like you have to invite everyone and their mother. My husband and I have a huge family and many friends. We ended up with a list of 200 people. Yeah, I’m not kidding. I had to narrow it down to 50. I’ve feared offending people. But honestly, you gotta do what you gotta do. How many people can you afford to feed? If you cannot afford to invite every single person in your life, don’t. Last year I ended up inviting only my daughter’s closest kid friends and immediate family.
Tip #5 – Use What You Have Or Borrow Items
Use items you already have around your home. Get creative. It all depends on the theme with this one. For example, when my daughter had her farm party, I used crates I already had and a tassel banner from her room that matched the party colors. You can also borrow things from someone you’re close to. For example, when my daughter had her “Tea For Two” party, my sister had a ton of tea cups left over from her antique themed wedding that I used at the adult tables.
Tip #6 – Breath And Have Fun!
Your child will remember the laughter and fun moments most of all. <3