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7 tips to host your child’s next birthday bash
Ideas to save money on a party without sacrificing the fun
Birthdays are precious milestones, especially for the little ones in our lives. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many parents tend to overspend on big parties, even week-long celebrations that involve multiple outings and photoshoots. But big parties don’t always have to come with big budgets if you do it right. So if you’re a parent thinking about how to celebrate your child’s next big day, here are a few tips to consider.

Plan and buy what you need in advance

You know when your child’s birthday is, so why not take action early? Start thinking about the theme of your party and the little must-haves (like a birthday backdrop or gifts for the lucky draw), and you can buy the items you need ahead of time. With e-commerce platforms like Alibaba or Shopee, you’ll be able to find the items you want for a fraction of what you’d be paying in stores. Just make sure you order early – as early as two months before the actual date, to avoid disappointment in case there are issues with the shipment, in which case you’ll still have enough time for a plan B. Party favours can also be purchased in bulk so you get a wholesale discount and save on shipping.

Borrow party supplies

Instead of having to buy everything, consider borrowing items like balloon pumps and reusable items like cake stands from friends who may have them. After all, these items are rarely used. Not sure if they have what you need? Just ask. Then return the favour next time by lending them what you have. By sharing party supplies, you’re not only saving money, but the environment as well by buying less single-use items.

DIY your party decoration

Party planners are aplenty, but have you considered doing your own party decoration? There are lots of YouTube videos out there where you can learn how to set up your ideal party. From balloon sculpting for the more adventurous, or simple party decor ideas like hanging flags or paper pompoms, you can save hundreds of dollars by doing your own. If you have a specific character theme in mind, just look online! You’ll be surprised that some websites may even offer free templates to print. Even better, call a few relatives or best friends to help out a few hours before your child’s big party! Doing something fun together while you do a bit of chit chat is a bonus, since you’ll probably be too busy entertaining other guests at the actual event.

Choose an affordable caterer

Depending on the size of your guest list, catering can quickly amount to a large sum. It can be difficult to limit the number of guests especially if you have a large family, so the workaround is to choose a caterer that’s within your budget. Instead of looking at hotels and bespoke cafes to cater from, consider more affordable options that have better economies of scale.

Get creative with fun and games

It may be trendy to hire an external vendor for entertainment, like a birthday clown, magician, or even a bouncy castle. But while these events can be fun, they are also costly. Basic party games like pass the parcel or musical chairs may feel outdated, but maybe that’s all your guests need to have a great time! You don’t have to keep to the traditional ways of playing either. Change up the rules or add an extra element to the game if you like.

Cakes, cakes, cakes

Cakes are often the hallmark of a birthday party (and the centrepiece for photographs), but they can be extremely costly. There’s a big difference cost-wise, between getting a single-tiered or double, even triple-tiered cake. Just don’t get carried away and forget the purpose behind getting one, which is to celebrate your little bub and feed the guests, of course. It can also be common to get more than one cake but rest assured, your child will be just as happy with just one so there’s no need to go overboard.

Cake smash photoshoot - a must have, or not?

This may not be part of the birthday party, but it’s worth a mention because more and more parents are putting this on their to-do list for their child’s first birthday.

Having beautiful and cute photos to remember your child turning one is nice, but before you book a slot at the photo studio, take a step back to think if a cake smash photoshoot is really within your budget. If you decide to go ahead with it, there are many ways to reduce cost. You can choose to bake your own cake, or get one from the bakery instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a baby-friendly cake. The idea of your little one indulging in a baby-friendly cake is enticing, but in reality, most of that cake ends up on the floor anyway. Where outfits are concerned, look into more affordable options that you can afford to get dirty instead of designer wear because the focus should be on the child, after all.

Here are the main takeaways

If you keep an open mind and are willing to do a bit of work yourself, you’ll be able to save hundreds of dollars that can go towards your child’s education. Just remember that a birthday party lasts only for a few hours, but your child is with you for a lifetime. So take a deep breath, and do what you can. Most importantly, have fun!
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