‘How I throw my kids’ cheap birthday parties’ – mum spends just £50 on children’s party

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A financial mentor has detailed how families can throw birthday bashes on a budget, making sure their children don’t miss out on special days even amid the cost of living crisis. Mum of two, Elizabeth Buko, is a financial mentor and founder of Wealth From Little. She told PoundToy how she gets creative when it comes to planning birthday bashes in order to keep costs down. Elizabeth saves by setting a budget for her parties, and by keeping the cost of presents low when buying for her two children. She prefers to gift her children experiences.

She said: “I tend to have a subconscious party budget of £100 for food, decorations, and party favours.

“Also, my children hardly receive birthday presents from myself and their father because they get so much from our families.

“When we do give them gifts, I set a budget of £20 to £30 – not because I can’t afford more, but because they don’t appreciate the value of money enough to appreciate an expensive gift.

“I chose to start the tradition of giving more thoughtful gifts and experiences and create physical photo album books which they have on their bookshelf to seal the memories”.

As a financial coach and advisor, Elizabeth helps female entrepreneurs and professionals change the way they think about money so they can create, grow and protect their wealth.

She encourages other parents to be cautious of the motivations behind spending in order to stick to an assigned budget which will help to justify unnecessary spending.

She said: “I was able to save on the birthday cakes by baking them myself, save on the party favours by ordering them months in advance, save on venues and entertainment by visiting fun, nice, clean and free venues. I also saved on food by cooking most of the birthday party food myself.”

She went on: “Shop around for the best deals when it comes to birthday presents.

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“I’m also able to save on birthday cake costs by baking them myself, save on the party favours by ordering them in advance and save on venues and entertainment by visiting fun, nice, clean and free venues. I also saved on food by cooking most of the birthday party food myself.”

Elizabeth’s cheapest birthday was £50 for her son’s second birthday.

She said: “When my son turned two, we had a house party with a photoshoot. Total expenses were about £50.”

Using an amateur photographer for the photoshoot was free. Elizabeth spent £10 on a dessert table, themed decor and balloons, £25 on cake ingredients, £20 on drinks and £10 on party favours.

For her son’s first birthday, Elizabeth invited about 50 guests for a tour of our local fire station.

The tour and the fire safety talk were free and all the children got to try on the firemen’s gear.

Elizabeth said: “It was so much fun. Then we went back to my home to eat.”

The breakdown of the costs was just £20 for a homemade cake fireman ingredients, £60 for food, £40 for drinks, £15 for a dessert table, themed decor, balloons and £10 for party favours and gifts.

Elizabeth went on: “On his third birthday during lockdown we had a family paw patrol themed party followed by a visit from the police.

“His 4th birthday was at a soft play centre, we invited about 13 guests. The total expense was about £60.”

Elizabeth’s top tips to save on kids’ birthday parties

  • Make birthday cakes yourself
  • Hire amateur photographers
  • Give experiences, not gifts
  • Look to neighbours, friends and family to borrow

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