Parents often tell me that the costs of all of the birthday parties their children attend throughout any given school year really add upĘ‚,¨‚ÄĚand that doesnt include the expense of throwing their own childrens birthday parties. How can all of these parties be so expensive? Gifts!
If your child attends a birthday party for each classmate, even spending a small amount on each present can result in a big expense. Kids often feel pressure to give a good gift as well, and parents can feel this way too. Parents may think that if they give an expensive gift, their kids will receive nice gifts as well. At school, birthday children may also tell their friends what they want as their cool present. The guests may put pressure on their parents to buy this cool gift so that they can be the person who gave it to the birthday child.
In this day and age, when some schools are requiring that all children in a class be invited to birthday parties, the cost of gifts can be a problem. If you have 25 kids in a classroom and 20 decide to have some sort of party, at $10 a pop for each gift you buy you have just spent $200 on presents. This only take into account one of your kids, if you have more, you can see how quickly the costs ramp.
It all adds up, but you can make a budget so you wont break the bank. Think about how many parties your child will be invited to this year. If you have more than one child, you will have to take all the parties your kids will attend into account. Once you have this estimate, you can work out a budget for gifts.
Spending anywhere from $5 to $10 on a childs birthday gift is plenty. The present doesnt need to be big, just thoughtful. If your child has a special friend or one of your family members is having a party for your niece, nephew, etc. perhaps you will spend more on those childrens presents.
Still, $5 to $10 can purchase great activity books with colorful markers or crayons, interesting little games to play in the car, a cool miniature toy, a candy surprise, an interesting book, etc.
One party present wont break the bank, but 20 party presents may during one school year. Be aware of this, plan a present budget, and stick to it. Just remember: Do you remember what you got on your 7th birthday? Neither will this generation.
Submitted by Lisa Kothari