How much is too much to spend on a child’s birthday?

February 16, 2015 Updated: April 23, 2016

Planning a birthday party for your child? It’s likely you’ve already thought about where to hold it, what type of cake to have and what sort of entertainment to provide – and don’t forget all the presents, of course! According to Yahoo, a report by Gig Masters last year found that 70 percent of parents spent at least $300 on their child’s birthday party, while 14 percent spent over £1,000. Of course, that’s money not all families have or want to spend on a party.

How much should you be spending on your child’s birthday, really? The honest answer is this: spend however much you can afford without having to break the bank. If you want to throw your child a lavish birthday party, and can afford to do so, do it. If you’d rather stick to a budget and take on the do-it-yourself approach, it’s possible to plan a kid’s birthday celebration without spending big bucks. Below are some ways to cut costs without having to sacrifice the fun:

Hold it at home

Rather than spend money on a venue, why not hold it at home? If you have enough space, using your own home to host will save you money and the kids will get just as much out of it. You’ll also have more money to spend on birthday baskets and gifts! On a warm sunny day, you can also make use of the garden by moving furniture outdoors, holding a barbecue/buffet and playing garden games.

Make use of what you have

Instead of buying lots of expensive party games, there are many ways to have fun with things you already have at home. Play hide and seek, plan a scavenger hunt around the house, writing clues and hiding chocolate coins in each place, use the music on your laptop for a dance party or plan relay races in the yard. You can make your own party games and activities including hand painting and ‘pin the tail’ which is always a favorite with kids. Ask friends and family to pitch in; you could even ask one to dress up as a superhero or a clown!

Get the kids involved with DIY decorations

Have the birthday boy or girl choose their favorite theme and ask them to design some decorations for you to hang around the house. You can also get them to make party hats, blowers, noise makers, favors and even cupcakes. Martha Stewart has some great ideas for DIY party decorations and favors. Your children will love the responsibility of helping out and the party will look and feel more personalized.

Keep the food simple

Children never eat as much as you think they’re going to at parties, they’re too busy running around or wanting to play the next game! Don’t spend a fortune on the food; keep it simple with snacks you know they like (ask moms and dads beforehand), and don’t forget the jelly and ice cream!