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March 04, 2008


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We usually end up at a couple hundred bucks (300 maybe?). We invite a few friends and have a pizza or a BBQ or something depending on weather/what the kids pick to eat. The whole shebang ends up at about 300 bucks usually, including presents. My kids are 6 and 3.

I don't plan to do birthdays until 10 years old. I want them to get to and age, they are going to actually REMEMBER their party.

When the time comes it will be around $100 or under

When our oldest turned 1 my wife went all out and spent near $1000 on a birthday party at a restaurant, complete with open bar. The theory being that we did not have many friends or family with small children so we needed to "entertain" the grown-ups. We wizened up a little with our second child by waiting to christen her near her 1st birthday and holding one party for both. This one we held in our backyard and for a little less money had twice the party. Our youngest is just a month old but we are already planning on the same thing. For $3000 the party seemed more for mom and dad than for baby.

This year, we took our daughter to Chuck E. Cheese's on her actual birthday with gradparents and a couple cousins. Cost: $60. Presents: $30 - $50. We then had a weekend party at the in-laws house with enough food to feed an army. Much of the food is brought potluck style. (this is how all of my wifes family functions are.) Cost: roughly $100 for food and supplies.

It's funny, I thought we spent more until I just now broke it down.

My youngest has her birthday in the winter and we go skiing. My oldest has her birthday in the summer and we go to the amusement and water park.

It costs $300-$400 for each event. And yes, it's primarily an excuse for dad to ski and/or belly flop down water slides. The kids are just along for the ride.

For us it hovers around $100-$150. There are always exceptions...for instance the year we were living in Orlando, our daughter loved Cinderella, and so we had the opportunity to take our family to Cinderella's castle for the Princess Breakfast on her birthday...we would never have that opportunity again, so we would have been foolish not to do it...but those are the exceptions and never the rule. Most of the time...B-day parties involve..sleep overs, pizza and games.

I'd say around $50; usually includes pizza, cake & ice cream, and gifts. However, our kids are young yet, so I can imagine that the older they get the more expensive it gets. :)

We have three kids and probably every third year they will get a big party ($100-$200). If it's not their year, we just have a family dinner or a couple of friends over for a sleepover.

One year we were at Disney World for my 5-year-old's birthday. We splurged on a "birthday cruise" that took us out on the lake to watch the fireworks with cake and refreshments. Disney is a great place to have a birthday - you get a big button saying "Today's My Birthday!" and all of the staff give you special attention.

The most memorable birthday party of my childhood cost virtually nothing. Cake, ice cream, and a big tent in the backyard for me and my friends to camp out in.

When our son turned 1 last year, we visited a nearby orphanage in the evening and spent time with the kids there and made gifts (chocolates, games, toys) worth $50 - actually equivalent to $200 in PPP (purchasing power parity) terms. At night we went to a nice restaurant for a decent meal worth $15 - equivalent to $60 in PPP terms. It was a memorable day to say the least and we intend to do the same when he turns 2 this year. Maybe he will remember this one better...

We have 5 children, so we have to keep the cost per birthday small, really small.

There have never been any parties.

A small cake, some candles, we signing Happy Birthday and a lot of laughs.

Is talking about the amount spent on a child's birthday party any different from a conversation about the extent of spending on other events?

There will always be people who spend thousands of dollars on what others are happy to do for a few hundred bucks (or quite a bit less). Most of the time, what they spend is determined first by their peer group ("Well, honey, Madison's party was at the new place and I don't see why we can't have Emma's party at . . . you work at the same company as Madison's parents) and, only secondarily, by their budget.

As usual, the extent and existence of the happy memories are typically independent from the amount of money spent.

I don't have kids yet, and I can't say how much my parents spent on my early birthdays, but I know that my parties got less and less expensive the older I got. By the time I was in middle school, my party usually was a big sleepover; the only expense was food.

When I turned 16, I got to go on a week-long vacation with my parents to California instead of having a party. I remember that it felt very grown-up at the time, especially since it let me miss almost a week of school.

Keep in mind that the cost of living varies greatly depending where you live. I'm scratching my head how people can spend only $100. In NJ that barely covers the cake, paper goods and goody bags. My twins are in second grade and the custom is to invite their whole school class. Since they get a lot of presents from the guests, we don't really buy them gifts. We're spending about $500 for each kid's party held out of the house. Some people throw cheaper parties, some throw more expensive ones.

We have boys turning 1 & 3 years old - their birthdays are only 4 days apart - both in March. From our past experiences with shopping for party decorations throughout the year (it was easy to guess our 2 year old wanted a Thomas b-day party) and having some luck with family that love to bake awesome cakes - we're out under $50/child.

Granted we're in the mid-west - but I cannot imagine spending $3,000.

I plan and pay for my granddaughters Bday parties....Although they Look expensive I spend about $300 max(this includes everything decorations,food and goody bags) and there is at least 20 kids invited...heres what I do:

I buy "goody bag" & "prize" items throughout the year when I see them, most often from clearance shelves...I buy the small shopping bags from the craft store when they are on sale and in the weeks before the party my granddaughter and I decorate them with whatever the "theme" is...its been "Princess" for the last 2 years...we use stickers and glitter and have a Blast doing them....the parents save them and have used them to they come out pretty decent...

For the decorations for a "slamming" Princess Party I buy tulle when its on sale...I do the tops of the tables with plastic tablecloths from the Dollar store and then drape and gather the tulle....I also buy wooden crowns from the craft store and those are handpainted and spray glittered...those hang down from the sides along the tables....for the centerpiece I either do flowers from my garden or buy silk flowers on sale...

We always do a "craft" project....last year I downloaded FREE Princess coloring pages (there are all kinds of free coloring pages..Scooby Do...Dora..Thomas) and then bought clear cover report covers...I put a cover sheet of card stock and then put out on the tables all kinds of foam stickers...glitter...ribbons...etc, and all the kids "design" thier own not only makes a great take addition to the goody bags but it also keeps them busy for 20 minutes or so....

I make most of the food myself and make both adult and kid food....macaroni salad with diced celery/peppers for the kids and then for the "adult" version I add a can or 2 of tiny shrimp...both like pigs in blankets...I use crescent rolls and GOOD hot dogs....also a platter of taco chips with chili and cheese... a tray of mac n cheese and finish off with a big platter of chicken fingers (I buy chicken cutlets on sale and make my own)...juice boxes and Yoo Hoo boxes for the kids...soft drinks for the adults (we don't serve booze at a kids party)

I have been asked by other parents If I would do thier kids parties so it seems to be a really big hit....

I don't have any kids, but I have been to friends' kids' birthday parties. They usually spend $200-$300 for each kid, 3 kids, a total of $600-$900. And this is with her consciously shopping for goody bags things throughout the year. To me, this is amazing. I never had a birthday. We only have cake with the immediate family when I was growing up.

I think in our circles, most people spend about $200-$300 for a party for a big bunch of kids. The first few years of my daughter's life, we had parties at home for her friends, family or preschool class. Sometimes we go out to dinner with family, and that can get pricier. Last year we spend nearly $200 doing a gymnastics party for her whole class (co-hosted with a classmate). This year my sweet turning-7-year-old is having a "benefit" party -- she's invited a few friends over, asked for contributions to orangutan conservation instead of gifts, and we're focusing on fun. (She got the idea from our neighbor, who had a "newborns in need" party for her 7th birthday last year.) We will probably spend about $100 on the pinata, craft activity, cake, gifts for my daughter and, most likely, a contribution to the ape cause.

I spend $300 on my children & my husband total. My kids are very appreciative because I don't waste a lot of money during the year on junk for them. They pretty much only get stuff on their bday and Xmas. Anyway, so this has always been great until, yesterday when my child goes to a friend of mine's birthday party and they have spent about $2000 on all his stuff. My son's birthday was the day before our friends, I don't know how to explain to him. His little face looked heartbroken. My son is 9. Do any of you have any ideas of how I can explain this to him? Thanks.

^$300 EACH sorry that wasn't clear

^$300 EACH sorry that wasn't clear

My baby boy is turning two so he really cant decide on what he likes but i know he likes the same charaters as my older boys which are 5. I usually spend around $150-200 for all four of my kids birthday parties. Here in a small town in FL. We can get lots of cheap things like table cloths,plates,spoons,nakins,cups,balloons,prizes and gift bags from the dollar tree. I only spend $30 on that. The rest of the money goes into food, lots of games, the cake, drinks, pinata. Since my sons birhtday is in the winter i want to have the party inside, i may have to book a center because my house is not large enough so that would be the other $100.

Wow! I know my mom spent about $50 absolute max on my parties, when I was like 14 I stopped having parties coz people at school didn't want to come not coz they didnt like me (I got invited to their parties) but coz they were so awful.

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