7 easy hacks to throw junior a brilliant birthday bash on a budget

You won’t feel the pinch of planning the best bash for your kiddo with these nifty cost-cutting strategies.

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Woohoo! Your little one’s birthday is just around the corner. You’re probably getting all misty eyed just thinking about it. Reminiscing about the day junior arrived, how it seems like he was a baby just yesterday and how fast he’s growing up.

It’s time to for a reality check once you’re done walking down memory lane ― yep, it’s time to organise junior’s birthday bash! You can bet he’ll want as fancy a do as the one his bestie Jason threw last month.

Birthday parties are lots of fun and mark an important milestone in your little one’s growth and development. However, for long-suffering parents, the event can be tiring, demanding, not to mention, super expensive.

While every party comes with its stressors, you can save on the party itself, without compromising on the awesome factor. How, you ask? Here are easy ways to put together a low-cost shindig.

Tip #1 Venue

The most expensive part of any party is usually the venue, but it’s a cost you can totally avoid. For starters, consider your home as an option, because it’s free! If you think your home is not suitable, why not use that huge pool area in your condo or the multi-purpose hall under your flat? You’ll have to get permission or book it in advance for a small fee, but it’ll be worth it. Which kid doesn’t love a pool party with fun floats, toys and the works?

Tip #2 Invites

Professionally designed and printed invites are all the rage today, but try not get sucked into it. Keep it personal ― and low cost — by using coloured construction paper and creating handwritten invites or search for free printable invites online. Better yet, save the trees and go fully digital! Create the invite on your computer and e-mail or WhatsApp it to your guests. It’s no fuss and completely free.

Keep it personal ― and low cost — by using coloured construction paper and creating handwritten invites or search for free printable invites online.

Tip #3 Décor

When it comes to party décor, the sky’s the limit, but allocate a budget for it. And do the decorations yourself if you have a creative streak. Need inspiration? Check out Pinterest. You can deck the walls by pinning junior’s photos on some thick thread or a length of rope with wooden clips. Or buy a pack of balloons and a pump and blow them up yourself instead of buying them already blown, which usually costs much more.

If all the pretty DIY ideas online have failed to awaken the Martha Stewart in you, fret not. Your local Daiso or Japan Home will comes to your rescue! These stores teem with adorable décor items that cost around $2 each ― trust us when we say you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Tip #4 Entertainment

Entertainment is important to keep the energy levels up at a party. Plus, it keeps the little ones occupied, so they don’t get a chance to feel bored and act out. However, it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Instead of hiring an established singer or musical group, why not invite that friend who is also a budding guitar player to perform? You can also put together a playlist of kid-friendly music on Spotify to play during the party. Photo booths are another great option. They are not too expensive, but provide endless fun.

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Tip #5 Cake

What’s a party without cake? It’s also one of the biggest reason why most kids (and even some adults) attend parties. Cakes are not as straightforward as they once used to be anymore. These days they come in some of the most impressive styles, flavours, and shapes.

You want the best for your child, but if you’re on a budget, remind yourself that you don’t need to get a cake so impressive you can enter it for an international cake competition.

Your first option is, of course, to do it yourself. When your guests rave about how good the cake is, wouldn’t it feel good to say that you made it yourself? With the Internet chock-a-block with “easy to bake cake recipes” and some that are even “no bake”, it’s completely possible to bake your own party cake. Still not convinced you can pull it off? Practice makes perfect. So, have a rehearsal exercise before to avoid messing up on the big day.

If you have no time or interest in baking your own cake, no worries. You can still save a few pennies when you order it from a shop. For starters, stick to regular cake flavours ― exotic flavours always means additional cost ― then use fruit/biscuits/chocolate to decorate. Also, don’t over order. Check with the store how big a cake they would recommend for the number of people who will be attending.

Tip #6 Food

The easiest way around not having to prepare (and pay) for so much food is to throw the party outside of meal times. For example, if you did it in the afternoon after lunch, you could get away with just cake and drinks.

The easiest way around not having to prepare (and pay) for so much food is to throw the party outside of meal times.

If a lunch or dinner party sounds better to you, why not try cooking? Again, the Internet is loaded with easy recipes, and many of them are specifically for parties. Finger foods, such as chips and dips, and French fries are all-time kiddie favourites and super easy to make. For something a little different you could try pigs in a blanket, samosas or sliders. By the way, when grocery shopping, don’t forget to use credit cards that will earn you points or offer cashback benefits. Alternatively, you could also save time, and money, buy ordering your groceries online.

Tip #7 Party favours

Party favours are an option, so you can always choose to not have any. But if it’s important for you to present them, make goodie bags filled with simple items like stationery, candy and accessories. It will always be cheaper than buying one big item per child.

You could also create personalised photo frames mugs or calendars using pictures of your kid and the guests. Most of the websites or shops that offer this service also extend huge discounts when you do it in bulk.

At the end of the day, parties are all about celebrating a milestone and having fun. Your guests won’t care about how big the cake was or what you didn’t serve, but more about how much they laughed and smiled. So, keep it simple and you’ll make it a memorable day for everyone, especially your mini-me!

This article was written by BankBazaar Singapore, a leading online marketplace in Singapore that helps consumers compare and apply for the best offers across all financial products: credit cards, personal loans, home loans, car loans & investments.

Photos: iStock

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