If you are in the same situation as my husband and me, then you are not just planning your child’s first birthday party, but you are planning the first birthday party of your only child. The pressure is on for us to have a meaningful celebration for him. However, we are a young married couple still figuring out how to live life comfortably on a budget.
There are plenty of ways to have a fun birthday party without worrying about how the cost will affect your monthly bills. Your son or daughter’s first birthday is a huge milestone and it should be celebrated with a party, no matter how big or small.
Limit the Guest List
Your baby is too darn cute! So, of course nobody wants to be left out of the party. Find a way to gently tell friends, co-workers, or neighbors that you are going to be having an intimate party. Only invite family members or your closest friends. If you have a large family, consider only inviting your parents, grandparents, siblings, and any nieces or nephews. If that number exceeds 20 guests and you cannot afford a party with that many people, perhaps you should only invite your grandparents and parents. Not everyone can afford a party that accommodates all relatives, and because they are your family, they should be understanding. Personally, we only plan to invite some relatives with young children, our siblings, our parents, and some friends with children.
Do Not Spend Money on a Venue
If you have a large enough house to host a party, then do not waste money on a banquet hall, which could easily cost at least 200 dollars. If your home cannot fit all of your guests, try asking a family member if you could use their house. Another suggestion would be to have a party at a local park. If you have a small guest list, simply inviting everyone to the park for a picnic will suffice for a party.
Keep Decorations at a Minimum
Buy a few balloons and streamers from a local dollar store. You could also find colorful plates, napkins, and utensils at a dollar or a discount store. You do not need elaborate decorations for a first birthday, especially if you do not plan to have many guests. Skip out on decorations with your child’s favorite cartoon character if you cannot find them at a discounted price.
Serve Simple Appetizers
Besides a venue, food is one of the most costly components of a party. However, if you stick to the idea that this is a kid’s party, then you should not feel pressured to serve an actual meal. Keep in mind the kinds of food children like to eat. Cut up some sandwiches, serve chips and dip, and put bowls of pretzels, popcorn, and candy out on a table. Serve punch, water, and iced tea. Buy or bake dessert. That is our tentative menu! A party does not necessarily mean you need to serve a three-course meal or display a large buffet. If you are having a picnic-themed party or a barbecue, then buy in bulk at a wholesale club like BJ’s or Costco.
Your child’s first birthday party should not pass by without some kind of celebration. A big party is not necessary, especially if you are struggling financially or do not want to spend too much money. The idea is to have a fun and meaningful day to celebrate the first 12 months of your child’s life. To speak personally again, we do not plan on doing an “all-out banger” of a party because…well, we are not sure our son will even stay awake for the whole thing! What matters most is that we are going to spend the day with the people who are closest to us.