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Budget birthday party mistakes can be avoided so that you can stay on budget and still pull off an awesome party your child will love. Don’t miss these 10 great tips to ensure you avoid the top 5 budget birthday party planning mistakes!
Do you have a birthday party to plan soon for your child? Wanting to make sure you plan an awesome party, but don’t go over budget in the process? I’m sharing my top 5 tips of my best budget birthday party planning mistakes that moms make –and what you can do about it to make sure your party is awesome and still comes in under budget!
Before we jump into these 10 budget birthday party planning mistakes, you might want to grab our favorite freebie first – our Frugally Awesome Party Planning Secrets.
WISH PLANNING A PARTY WAS A PIECE OF CAKE?
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Common Budget Birthday Party Mistakes
So, tell me, what do you think are the most common budget birthday party mistakes that moms make? Those things we do that end up costing us a lot of money, or those mistakes we make that turn our frugal ideas into very expensive ideas?
If you are new here, let me give you a quick background on me and my situation. I’m a mom to three kids – boy, girl, boy. My oldest is now in high school, my daughter is in middle school and my youngest son is in elementary school.
I have my moments where I sure wish I would have had my kids closer together so they could at least attend the same school at the same time, but I didn’t. So there’s that.
13 Birthday Parties So Far
My oldest son has been lucky enough to have 13 birthday parties – we missed two years because we were on a trip as his birthday present one time, and the other he just opted not to have a party. It’s been the same for my other kids, a lot of years and a lot of parties.
I mention that simply to tell you that I’ve done a lot of birthday parties over the years with a lot of mistakes along the way – all with the same goal – trying to make the party fun and frugal. Please learn from my mistakes!
Today I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 budget birthday party mistakes moms make – or should I say the 10 budget birthday party mistakes that I’ve made over the years! My hope is that reading these will help you not make the same mistakes I’ve made.
10 Budget Birthday Party Mistakes Moms Make
- Trying To Do Too Much
- Failing to Plan Activities
- Serving Too Much Food
- Hiring Entertainment
- Inviting Too Many Guests
- Allowing Siblings To Attend
- Pinterest Perfect Decorations
- Buying A Big Gift
- Ordering An Expensive Cake
- Not Hosting An In-Home Party
Let’s further examine each of these mistakes and I’ll also share what you can do about each one so you can avoid the mistakes I’ve made. Plus, I’ll also share some of my mistake memories – just for kicks and giggles!
Mistake #1: Trying To Do Too Much
Our first budget birthday party planning mistake is when you try to do too much. I know you have been there.
When you have all these great ideas you want to include, and in the end, you find yourself stressed out trying to keep track of the all the details, and also with a busted budget because there were too many things to pay for.
Do yourself a big favor and keep your party simple! Not only will you save money, but you will enjoy the party so much more!
Mistake #2: Failing to Plan Activities
Have you ever dropped your kid off at a party where there were a ton of kids running around and the host mom looked totally frazzled? You know it’s going to be a doozy of a party when you find yourself wanting to drop off your kid as fast as possible while you try to duck out the door, so you don’t have to stick around and see the chaos?
That chaos is called Unplanned Activity Confusion. This type of party chaos can lead to all sorts of stress and frustration and may cause a lot of unplanned expenses. Not only do the kids act up, but the party can turn into a nightmare!
One time I dropped my son off at a party where there were way too many kids. The house was big, the crowd was huge – more than 20 kids all under the age of 6. They were amped up on sugar and running into every room of this house playing with every toy in sight, making messes, knocking down decorations, and even spilling food all over the place.
Giant Mess & Choas
It was a mess, and I was shocked at the chaos! The host mom was trying her best to keep it all together, but she looked exasperated. I asked her what the theme of the party was and what she planned to have them do for the 4-hour timeframe she requested they stay for.
She looked at me with a blank stare and said she just planned for them all to play. She didn’t have a theme or any plans of how she was going to keep 20 kids entertained and under control.
When I picked my son up 4 hours later, he told me that the party was just ok, like going to recess at school. Just a ton of kids playing a lot of things and making a big mess. Nothing special about it.
I don’t know about you, but I want all our party guests to have a great time!
Avoid this budget birthday party planning mistake by making sure you plan some frugal activities to do at your party. Not only will it be fun for the kids, it will keep them entertained and under control as well, and your house won’t look like a war zone when the party is done.
Mistake #3: Serving Too Much Food
Food is expensive, especially party food! If you want to save the maximum amount you can at a party and still have a great time – skip the main meal and just serve cake. You don’t have to provide a full meal to party guests – just keep it simple.
WISH PLANNING A PARTY WAS A PIECE OF CAKE?
Kids don’t really eat that much anyways, so save the money and only provide cake. I also like to host my parties during a non-mealtime, like 10-11:30am or 2-4pm. That way your guests aren’t planning on having a full meal, just snacks and cake will do. You will also save a lot of money too!
Mistake #4: Hiring Entertainment
Don’t hire and pay for entertainment – ask your friends to help you out as a favor. Or, just be the entertainment yourself! No need to pay someone else to do stuff at your party- you do it or ask a talented friend to help you do it.
Balloon artists and magicians are expensive – jump on YouTube and figure out how to do both things yourself or ask a friend to help. Kids are very forgiving and don’t expect you to be perfect!
When my daughter wanted to have a cheerleader themed party for her 6th birthday, I wanted to make sure it was special for her. We asked the guests to come dressed in their favorite cheer attire. Then, I asked a friend with an older girl to come and teach the party guests a simple cheer.
Not only did our young guests think she was amazing, but they also loved learning a very simple cheer from her. I also asked a friend to help me with simple face painting, which we added a little sprinkle of glitter too and the girls loved it! No need to hire a professional, just ask for help from your talented friends! Maybe treat them to a coffee when the party is done.
Mistake #5: Inviting Too Many Guests
Our next budget birthday party planning mistake is inviting too many guests. The more people you invite, the more your party will cost. Keep your guest list small and you can ensure you don’t go over budget. I like to keep my guest list to approximately 10 party guests.
Mistake #6: Allowing Siblings to Attend
We have all been there, when a party guest asks if their younger brother or sister can tag along to the party. Right? You know exactly how I feel because you have done it too huh?!
Extra siblings mean extra food and supplies you need to buy to make sure everyone can participate. Plus, I think the most frustrating part of having siblings tag along is that you must scramble to make sure you have enough goody bags for everyone and buying extras at the last minute is an added expense and a huge hassle.
To avoid having to allow extra siblings to attend the party, I like to make sure the invitation is addressed just to the party guests you want to invite. I also try to make it easy for the parents, by mentioning on the invitation what time they can drop off their child and what time they can pick up their child.
If you have last minute cancellations, that’s always a great time to allow a few siblings to attend, but it’s also ok to keep the party reserved just for your child and guests his/her age – even when that doesn’t include extra siblings.
Mistake #7: Pinterest Perfect Decorations
Let us be very clear – kids don’t care about the decorations – they care about the fun. Pinterest perfect decorations are for the adults to show off, not for the kids to enjoy at the party. If you want to save money, then do not go overboard with decorations. A few things here and there and you can still make the party festive without going over budget.
To avoid this budget birthday party planning mistake, keep your decorations basic by using matching streamers and blow up your own balloons and scatter them around the room. You can even use a simple Happy Birthday banner and you are all set!
In fact, if you are looking for a remarkably simple generic birthday party printable kit – check out my Instant Party Toolkit.
This premade toolkit has everything you need to host a birthday party today if you need to! Simply push print and it is all done for you! Game, decorations, invitations and much more! Check it out now and check party planning off your to do list now!
Mistake #8: Buying A Big Gift
In our house, we consider their birthday party to be part of their birthday gift from us. It’s an expense and we do let them choose if they would prefer to pocket the money, we would’ve spent on their party for their gift instead.
One year, my oldest son chose to do this. He opted to skip a party and instead wanted that money we would have spent on his party. Which was fine with me, as I got a break that year from having to plan his party. But I will tell you that he learned that he really does enjoy having a birthday party and more than that, he loves birthday presents from his friends!
If you plan to host a party for your child, you can include them in on the budget part of the party. Show them how much you plan to spend and have them be a part of the planning process. As you plan, you can have them help you pick the things you include in the party and whatever is left over can go towards their gift.
If your child is set on a big gift, then their party needs to have a lot less bells and whistles. If we find a good deal on party supplies or if we find frugally awesome ways to pull off their party, a lot of times the extra money we save, we will give to our birthday child for their gift.
Mistake #9: Ordering an Expensive Cake
Do not make this budget birthday party mistake – you do not need an over-the-top cake to have a successful birthday party that your child will love. If you cannot make a cake for them, ask a friend to do it. If making and decorating a cake seems way to hard for you to tackle, and you cannot find a friend who can help, then opt to make something that is easier for you to do.
WISH PLANNING A PARTY WAS A PIECE OF CAKE?
Consider making store bought box cupcakes with a cheap tub of frosting and sprinkles. The kids will still love it and it will only cost you $5 at the most to make. Or do not make cake at all! Go for a donut cake, where you simply buy a box of donuts and stack them up on a plate in a circle to form a tower cake. In fact if you find clearance donuts you can make a donut cake for under $5!
Mistake #10: Not Hosting Your Party At Home
Our final budget birthday party planning mistake is straight forward. If you want to stay on budget, host your party at home. Do not waste the money on a location. If your house is not big enough, find a free location such as a friend’s house or a local free park.
There you have it! 10 great budget birthday party planning mistakes and what you can do about them to make sure they do not ruin your party!
You can throw a frugally awesome party your child will love without having to spend a lot of money to do it!
If you want to find even more ways you can save money on your upcoming birthday party, make sure you snag my Frugally Awesome Birthday Party Planning Secrets – it is my free gift to you!