One year ago today, you welcomed a beautiful bundle of joy into your life. This bundle has taught you so much. You have experienced sleep deprivation at its worst, changed over a thousand diapers, felt like a complete failure many times over and have learned how to ignore the stink from spit-up on your clothes all day. You are amazing. You have kept this beautiful, precious little angel alive for a full year. Now, this beautiful little kiddo is turning one year old. It’s time to celebrate!
Let’s be honest for a minute, a child’s first birthday party is really for the parents. It’s not really celebrating the child’s age as much as it is celebrating the fact that you survived your first year as a parent. So, let’s celebrate! Let’s throw a big shin-dig and invite all of your family and friends. Spare no expense!

Sadly, when you have a baby, you don’t usually have a ton of money to throw at a birthday party. Most of your expenses went to the thousands of diapers you had to change, formula, and other necessities a baby requires. So, how do you plan to pay for this celebration? You’d be surprised at how much you can do for a kids birthday party for cheap. Especially if you DIY most of the party items. This helps you prevent yourself from going overboard with your spending. 
First you need to set a budget. Once you have figured this out make sure you have the money already set aside. It’s always best (to keep from going over budget) to get the money in cash and place in an envelope. Once that money runs out, you’ve met your budget and can’t spend anymore. Next, divvy your monies to different expense allotments. A typical party can be broken down into percentages. Each expense is a percentage of the party budget. Usually the percentage of party expenses are as follows (percentages may vary depending on your needs):

Budgeting for your Party

Budgeting for your Party

Venue-                       10%
 Food-                        25%
Beverages-                  5%
Alcohol-                      5%
Dessert-                      5%
Invites-                       2%
 Décor-                       30%
 Entertainment-            5%
Games/Activities-       2%
DJ/Band-                   4%
Photographer-            5%


Once you have these allotments filled, you then need to start planning your party. It’s always best to DIY everything yourself, i.e. bake the cake (or have a friend do this), make the decorations, cook the food for the party, make the goodie bags yourself and have easy and fun entertainment/games. If you don’t want to or have time to DIY a lot of the necessary items yourself, you can always hire out, rent or purchase these items. Just make sure it fits within your budget. 
You can always adjust or get rid of certain expense allotments if they are unneeded. If you follow your expense percentages and use only what is in your cash envelope, then you’ll have a party that you can feel good about. You didn’t break your bank and you can still afford diapers. 

I personally have tried this method for my kiddos birthday parties and other parties I have thrown. To cut on costs we hosted the party at my parents’ house (which is pretty large and accommodates many guests), made most of all the decorations myself, and kept it simple. As parents, we always want what’s best for our kiddos. We go above and beyond what is expected to give our children the best things in life and help to create wonderful lasting memories that they will take with them as they grow. We need to always remember though; our children are just grateful that we took the time to do something for them and with them. They aren’t concerned with how much it cost. Especially when they are turning one. They will look back on photos and see how happy everyone is and how much you loved them to take the time to celebrate their birthday.

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