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Last summer I wrote a post about why I don’t throw my kid’s birthday parties. It went viral and many mommas had some strong opinions about it. HA!

I am not anti-party. I have just turned the party planning responsibility over to my kids. I have had many of you write to tell me how awesome your child’s party went, when you too, hung up your party hat and allowed them to plan their own birthday.

I also got asked a lot of questions that I will answer throughout this post in between tidbits about how my 7 year old daughter Kayla spent her $200 birthday party budget this year.

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Kayla’s Birthday Budget

Kayla was so excited to plan her first birthday with a $200 budget. I love watching how different my kids are.

In my first post about Isaac’s birthday he opted for no goody bags saying they are a waste of money. He also opted for no decorations as well.

However, my gift giver/decorator of a daughter thought it was a travesty to have a party without goody bags and decorations.

The Goodie bags

For her, decorating for her party was the most fun. So all in all she spent $52 on Shopkins decorations and stuff to fill the goody bags.

I kind of cringed, but then I remembered my party planning hat was thrown out a couple of years ago and I let it go and let my sweet girl keep on doing her thing.

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She did ask us for gallon sized ziploc bags to put the goody bag stuff in. 

Inside each bag was a pair of Shopkins socks, a bracelet, and pop rocks. So it wasn’t packed full but just a few things for each of her party attendees.

shopkins-party

Question 1: Holy cow $200 for a party!?!?!  What are you rich?!?!

According to statistics if you make at least $35,000 annually you are in the top 4% of the world’s wealth.

So yes, I guess I am rich.

You don’t have to set a $200 budget for your child’s birthday. You can set whatever amount you wish.

But considering throwing a party at most bounce house places, jungle gyms, bowling alleys, pottery places, etc., costs well over $100 I don’t think my budget is crazy.

We pay cash for all the parties and never go into debt plus my budget includes all food and the gift for the child as well.

The Birthday Menu

Kayla decided the menu for the evening would be $5 Little Caesar’s Pizza with breadsticks and pop (soda, Coke, sodapop or whatever you call it).

We did make sure the pop at least didn’t have caffeine in it. HA!

We do pop only on very special occasions so I knew for a fact she would opt for that.

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The Cake and Ice Cream

Moving onto the cake and ice cream.

We priced out store bought cakes and they were all above $15, plus you add in ice cream and that would make it closer to $20.

Since my daughter is a DIYer she really didn’t consider buying a premade cake, but I wanted to let her know how much it cost so we went to the store to see.

She opted to buy a box mix of chocolate cake and a pink frosting tub.

I think she just wanted to lick the spoon {giggle}.

All in all in spent $10.75 on the cake and those little pre-scooped ice cream cups.

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While I don’t think any of you are going to pin her cake on your Pinterest boards her friends thought it was fabulous and she smiled ear to ear with each compliment she got.

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She was also insistent we buy a number 7 candle.

She also wanted the cake writers so she could write on her cake. The writers were $4.19 – that was a lot of her cake budget but she definitely had an opinion and there was no talking her out of it.

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Question 2: You are a mean mom! How can you not buy your kid a birthday present and make them buy their own? That is just terrible.

I think you have to know your kids.

My son loves to pick out his own gifts (every year we end up with another new pet!) but this year my daughter was disappointed because she really loves surprises and her love language is receiving gifts.

Both my husband and I felt bad for not thinking through that better knowing our daughter. So next year we are revising this.

We will buy each of our kids a small present (under $20) just so they have something to open from us.

If you want to lower your budget so you can buy your kid’s gifts, by all means, go for it!

This is just one mom’s attempt at trying to allow my kids to have a great experience and learn some important skills along the way.

The Birthday Activities

For activities the girls played bingo and Kayla set aside some of her older toys she didn’t want anymore for prizes.

The girls thought riffling through Kayla’s stuff was fabulous.

No complaints about the toys being used. Bonus!

bingo at a birthday party
bingo at kids party

Birthday Party

So she opted for a sleepover party.

I was a bit hesitant about this but we ended up agreeing to it in the end. She had 10 girls over for the party and then 7 stayed the night.

My husband and I made the best decision ever. We decided that when it was bed time we would be in the room.

I took a half hour shift and he took a half hour shift. That way all the girls were asleep and we did not have to hear so and so keeps talking, so and so won’t go to sleep.

So they were asleep by about 10:45.

They did wake by 5:30 a.m. but I still consider that a complete success for a 7 year old girl sleepover party.

Question 3: Birthdays are for celebration and not for teaching about budgeting and planning.

Goodnight! you can do that every other day of the year, why choose their birthday?

Great question. In my opinion every day of the year is training ground for my children.

Birthdays are even a better day since these are the most memorable days for them in their youth.

Getting to plan their own birthday so it is perfectly suited for them and learning to work within a budget is not only a chance to celebrate but also to learn.

The perfect duo if you ask me. But again, this is just how the Farrant household does it, so party plan on dear momma if that is what works best for you.

The Next Morning…

In the morning Kayla chose pancakes, bacon and orange juice for breakfast. All in all Kayla spent $96 on her birthday party.

She had $104 leftover and so far she bought a $43 set from the American Girl Doll store, a best friend necklace, and some dress up make up.

She has $44 left. She still said she wants to spend some of the money on the game Pie Face.

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Question 4: I love this idea, at what age do you think this is best to start?

I think each child is different but we started at age 7 with both of ours.

So Isaac has planned his last two birthdays and this year Kayla planned her first one with a $200 budget.

7 year old birthday sleepover

Kayla was ecstatic about her party.

It was just what she wanted. And besides a minor ordeal with Bunchems in a girl’s hair (DOH!) it was pure perfection for my 7 year old little princess.

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100 Comments

  1. Wonderful ideas and certainly takes the pressure off of us Mommas! Thanks so much for the refreshing take on throwing birthday parties!PS-LOVE your curtains show in the background!!!!! May I ask where you got them? Thanks!

  2. Thank you, Allie! I got the curtains at West Elm when I first moved into our new house a couple years ago. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure they are no longer available.

  3. All I can say to the folks who can’t understand this is …. wait until your kids grow up. They will be in for a shock.

    Loved this idea! I didn’t have more than one or two parties for my now 33 year old son that included anyone else besides family.

  4. You are fully suported by me! We started this with my two oldest at age 9 they are now 12 and 13 and we all love it!! They have many options of what they can do with their money, missions, donate, party, keep for themselves, go on an over night trip, things like that. Every year it’s been exciting to see what they want to do for their birthday! We also allow them to chose a place to eat out and pick what ever they want on the menu as part of a gift from us. (My 13 year old picked TGI Fridays last month and had a steak…that wouldn’t have happened on a regular day but it was his birthday!) I appreciate your post and am glad to see other parents doing this!!

  5. Thank you for your comment, Penni. I know my approach is not the norm, so it’s nice to see others who share my sentiments about party planning. 😉

  6. I really love this! I’m so not a “party planning” kind of mom, so I always dread the idea of birthday parties often trying to talk my kids out of them. However, I know they make my kids feel super special when we do them with friends and not just family. This idea may be a win for everyone with an added bonus of practicing to use a budget. Thanks!

  7. I just find it refreshing that you paved a way that suits your family and its personality/needs/goals/etc. whether or not I do the same. Thanks for sharing & being gracious. I think we’d be good friends. 🙂

  8. I think this is an awesome idea! I found this post first and went back to read part 1. You mentioned that $200 wasn’t super outrageous budget because once a family pays the party rate for bowling or a bouncy place with food, paper products, and decorations … you are close to that if not over. We aren’t quite ready for this phase yet (our oldest turns 5 in less than a month), but when they are ready, I think this is a great idea! 🙂 Two thumbs up!

  9. Birthday celebrations are about the birthday child having fun, and creating awesome memories. You NAILED that both!!! Your kids will look back so fondly on their birthdays- talk with such pride of the parties they successfully planned and the money they had left over to get whatever they wanted!! It’s a kid’s dream!! I think my girls would love this. They have always loved playing a role in the party planning which really has made it more fun. It will really make them appreciate each element of a party now knowing the cost involved with each little thing. Brilliant idea!! Your kids are super lucky!

  10. Thank you, Jennifer. It has worked out really well for our family. I would love to hear if you give this approach a try with your girls.

  11. My daughter loves to plan! She turns 7 in April and has had her party planned for six months easily. She did this last year too and has already started telling me about her plan for her 8th. I love my sweet little planner! I keep it in a budget, but to be honest I never shared the budget with her. I love the idea of giving her the budget to stick to! I will definitely be doing that next year. And if your kids can plan a party and a gift for under $200 that is impressive!

  12. I hope your little party-planning daughter has a wonderful birthday, Tanya! 🙂 Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!

  13. I did not grow up with a lot of money for birthday parties either, especially if I wanted one every year. Your daughter’s party sounded exactly like many of my favorite parties growing up…the ones I remembered most fondly (more than the more expensive bowling and ice-skating parties!). Thanks for sharing this post!

  14. What a great idea. My oldest daughter is turning 10 in April and wants to have a spa slumber party. I usually get the idea from her, then plan it and probably go way higher than $200. I think she will absolutely love this idea of planning her own party with what she probably thinks of as a huge budget! Thanks for the idea

  15. I love this idea! My kiddo is going to have her 3rd birthday soon. She’s been invited to some pretty elaborate birthday parties already and I was getting sick just thinking of throwing a big party like that, especially for a 3 year old. I’m pretty sure we’ll wait til she’s older to let her make all the plans for her birthday (she is only almost 3, after all) but I think this year I’ll just ask her what friends she wants to play with and we’ll invite everyone to join us at a local park, and I’ll let her choose some treat to share with everyone. Low key, but still playing with friends.

  16. If you’re mean mommy, then I’m downright evil… I don’t buy my kids birthday presents, never have. They know that the parties cost me a lot of time and money and, as a sole parent, I can either afford a party or a present. Add to that the fact that my girls are nearly exactly three years apart (Their birthdays are one day after the next) and their birthdays generally fall right around Easter, it’s an expensive time of year for me. Some years, the parties were a bunch of friends over to our house and karaoke on the wii or playing in the back yard, other years it was bowling or swimming. Generally it’s a homemade cake and planned between meal times so we don’t have to feed everyone more than some snacks.

    I love the idea of allowing them to budget. I’ll have to set aside some money for this and let them give it a go. Lucky me, the year Easter falls the day before their birthdays… Maybe I can convince them to celebrate later in April instead?

  17. Or could you maybe just do it the following weekend? We had to plan my daughter’s sleepover a week and a half after her actual birthday because I was out of town on a women’s retreat.

  18. Yeah, I waited until my kids were about seven to really involve them in the planning and budgeting. I am sure your daughter will be thrilled to celebrate her birthday with her friends – no matter where it is!

  19. They’re out of school for the week after Easter weekend so chances are that a lot of people will be going out of town. The weekend before Easter is my boyfriend’s birthday too. March is always hectic. I wouldn’t do a party easter weekend anyway. I just have to do some bargaining if I want the parties on different weekends… neither will want it super long afterwards.

  20. I love this, my mum is disabled and has been since I was a baby so I always played a big part in planning and organising my childhood parties. I adored choosing a theme, making my piñata from scratch, baking a cake and decorating with balloons and steamers from the supermarket. I wouldn’t have had it any other way 🙂

  21. I’m going to do this with my son’s next birthday, it will mean so much to him in the end and it will take out the disappoint of me not being able to afford everything he wants because he will be in charge of his budget! What a great idea, thanks for sharing.

  22. Thanks for reading, Samantha! I am glad you like the idea and would love to hear how it goes after your son’s birthday!

  23. Eek. I am a party planner. I am like Pinkie Pie!(wow. I know too much about My Little Ponies)

    Anyway, I do love this idea, though. I think it might curb some of their extravegant ideas. We have been trying to teach my kiddos about money management and it is interesting what they think aboutone at ages 3 & 5.

    I am curious, we’re any of the parents uncomfortable that your husband had been alone in the room. With the girls as they were trying to sleep? I am an ex-social worker and have seen so many child abuse cases that I have a skewed vision of how to handle situation like that. I’m not sure how I am going to handle it when my kids start asking to go to sleepovers. I’m just curious if this is the norm now.

  24. Whaaaaa?!?!? Birhday party for under $100!!!! That’s amazing!!!! I’ve spent more than your $200 budget….. This seems like a pretty cool idea … I’m sure my kids would LOVE to plan their parties…….. BUT…… So do I lol soooo…. I might have to think about this lol

  25. My kids have had sleepovers at a friend’s house and cuddled on the couch with her dad. We know them pretty well now, and my girls are quite comfortable with him. He has 3 girls of his own though and he and his wife have become good friends of mine. That said for other sleepovers, I have simply made sure that my daughters are aware of what kind of contact or words are inappropriate and they both know my cell phone number and how to call it. They are both more than comfortable coming to me with any question or concern (trust me… I’ve gotten some… interesting questions from my preteen) and so yes, I am comfortable with my children having sleepovers when there are men in the house.

  26. Thank you so much! What a wonderful idea. My soon to be 8yo is very excited to try this. I’m already surprised at things I thought were worth the money, but she doesn’t.

  27. I love seeing what’s important to my kids and how different they are in regards to what they value. It really shows a lot about the personalities.

  28. I do something similar, except my kids are older (around age 10) so when we started this I gave them the choice of…this is the money set aside for your birthday, you can choose to have a party with friends and use that money to plan your own party, or you can use part of that money for a special family activity or use it all for yourself for your birthday present. If they are the kind of child that loves birthday parties and having friends over, then they go that route. If they don’t care about parties, then they might choose to have one friend over for a special birthday celebration with the family or just do a family thing. We have done movies, dinners, trampoline places, etc. if they choose not to go out to eat, then I make them their favorite dinner at their request. My kids are getting too old for parties now anyways, so we will have to revisit this whole idea. I think I just found our new topic of discussion for this weeks family council.

  29. Thanks for your feedback, Stephanie. It’s always interesting to see how kids are different and how their personalities emerge when deciding what they’d like to do and how’d like to spend their money.

  30. I think this is an awesome idea and I’m going to do this for my daughter this year. I know she would love this because she loves being in charge. Every year it never fails I spend well over $250 for a party that she didn’t really appreciate. Shopkins probably would be her theme also.

  31. This is fantastic! My girls are still tots, so it will be a while before they can do this, but it’s a wonderful way to teach them budgeting and money management with such a fun activity. I’ll probably have a hard time with it because right now I’m a bit of a control freak and I LOVE party planning, but I can see that it would totally be worth it to let loose on the reins.

  32. Well, you can certainly modify it so they get the money management aspect and you still get your party planning fix. 😉 Gotta do what works for you!

  33. Courageous mom and dad. At that age to start. The girls had fun and this is that is what is important. As a girl my parties were small and of course no bouncing houses. God old games or a few to a dollar movie. These are the memories that will be cherished. Keep up the good work.

  34. I think this is actually a wonderful idea! We have 6 kids and spend roughly the same, $200, on their parties (not including their gift). No, we aren’t rich and no, we don’t go into debt for it either. We plan ahead! My husband is always complaining it’s overkill, though, and I have come to realize, he’s probably right! This year I made 90% of the contents of the goody bag, per my oldest’s request and it was such a big hit. I will definitely be taking some of your ideas and running with it. What a great idea for teaching them money management while of course, having fun!

  35. Thanks for your comment, Amber! With size kiddos, I can imagine that does add up quickly, but kudos to you for planning ahead!

  36. Congratulations! I think it’s a great idea letting your children organize their own birthdays and I don’t think you’re such an awful mama as many others let you feel at your previous post. Maybe this is one of the best lessons you can give (with a gift meaning… talking about birthdays…) your kids. Perhaps I’ll copy your idea when my little bug grows, for the moment it’s a bit difficult than a one-year-old child does these things, but he will. I’m sure of it.
    Thank you for sharing your experiencia with us and receive a great hug from Spain.

  37. I have a 6 year old and since before she could understand I said you get a party or a gift for us. The party is my gift to you unless you want something else. I have in home parties with limited decorations. Luckily my kid are March and October so i bring one party sooner and push the other out.
    She has so far always choosen the party, but shes 6. She makes all her cakes. Also My 3 year old was so excited to make her own cake this year! I only ever bought 2 store bought cakes for each 1st birthday. By two they both love “helping”. I do simply decoration. But i do spend like $20 on balloon we love balloons.

  38. Ha! I love that. It’s fun just to see how every child is different and values different things when it comes to planning a birthday.

  39. We’ve got one Party down and one to go. It’s funny how different my girls are. I gave them each a budget of $100 and told them, like you did, that the leftover money is for them to spend however they want.

    My youngest opted for a party in the park, doing relay races. We had it last weekend and luckily got an absolutely beautiful day for it. I got sunburned! She scrimped on everything, making cupcakes and minimal decorations. She wanted to have a party but wants the remaining money to spend on star wars lego. She spent less than half her budget on her party 😀 We had 12 kids there and spent less than $50.

    My oldest went the other way. She considered the party budget and decided she wanted to take her friends to the local arcade. She found out how much it would cost for each child and figured out the cost of food and then figured out how many kids she could invite for the money she had. She’s invited 7 and doesn’t anticipate having much, if any, money left over. Hers will be this weekend.

  40. We do something similar, too! We have a really low key family party–just cake and ice cream. The party is done in less than an hour. Then we give our kids a choice–have a few friends over or pick one friend and go somewhere (zoo, COSI, etc). Our daughter always picks a few friends or play at the house and my son always picks one friend to go somewhere with. At these “parties” we do a special treat and that is it. Also, we ask that the friends don’t bring gifts. Our kids have enough! We have done it this way for about 3 years and our kiddos don’t complain about not getting gifts. They do get gifts from their family however–how can you stop grandparents? Lol! We celebrate our child, just in a different way! Their favorite part?? Birthday pancakes with whipped cream and sprinkles on the morning of their birthday!

  41. I don’t have kids yet or a significant other for that matter, but when or if I do I’m going to try this. I love it! I don’t think it’s mean at all, the kids get to do what they want and learn skills.

  42. I totally LOVE your birthday budget idea. I don’t feel like you should defend it from other people’s negative comments. The challenge I have in implementing this is that I live in California, in a small condo where I can’t accommodate many people/kids. Any suggestions?

  43. Love this idea! Totally brilliant! I’m on the opposite end of question 1!! ONLY $200 for a birthday party?! Super curious where you live! I live in Southern California and we can’t do a jumpy place/ice rink/bowling party room for under $300-400! That’s pretty much the going rate around here and most places don’t include food!

    My kids aren’t quite old enough for this yet, but I think it will be great to implement when they’re old enough! My birthday party philosophy has definitely evolved over the last 5 years of mommyhood!

  44. So great!!! We are actually doing this as well for our girl turning 7. I’d rather spend the money the way she likes it then at place where we don’t get options and pay a ton of money.

  45. I love your idea! Last month was my daughter birthday and we spent over $900 on her party. This was supposed to be a low budget party. The next day I asked her if she had fun and she said,” yes but I wanted to go to Disneyland” my heart dropped. Party planning is so stressful. I want everything to be awesome and sometimes I do wonder if it’s for her? Or to please/impress others? I’m Hispanic and parties are a big deal, we don’t ever not celebrate it with family. I’m left wondering if I could do this next year, sounds like it would be such a stress reliever! Thanks again for the idea. We will see!!

  46. Wow, $900 does seem like a lot. That is what I love about this approach… It starts with budget and then my kids can choose what’s important enough to them to spend the money on. No stress for me, and they are happy. Win win!

  47. Hi Stephanie, We are in OH, just outside Columbus. You can certainly set the budget to whatever is reasonable for you. My philosophy has definitely changed too, and I love this less-stress approach!

  48. How about having a party at a local park? Usually this is free and the kids can play on the playground. You can use picnic tables or even just spread out picnic blankets! Of course, there are play places and gymnastic centers that offer party packages too. Or maybe your kiddos would love to just have a couple of their closest friends over for a sleepover or just a small, low key party.

  49. Parks, playgrounds, beaches, anywhere oudoors and free? If the weather is nice, have you got a local paddling pool?

  50. This is great! We’ve gone a bit of a different route and only do parties for the “big” birthdays and do super small cake celebrations for the others… Then we also choose a charity to serve at with our friends and family. Love teaching… Even on birthdays!

  51. We’ve done this for years with our girls, except our budget was $100. They can use anything already in the house and we’ve had plenty of little Caesars and nail painting parties! We’ve told them 10, 13 and 16 will have a bigger budget but beyond that they’ve had to make the decision between party for their friends or gift from mom and dad. Besides between friends and grandparents they get plenty of gifts!

  52. First of all, I read your first post and fell in love with this whole concept. So, I was even more excited to see how successful you were with taking this same approach with your daughter. As a mom to a young toddler, I am already exhausted from trying to keep up with the Pinterest expectations for parenting, and I agree that all that effort is usually for the parents (gotta keep up with the Joneses). Thank you so much for sharing. I am looking forward to watching my little one put her executive skills to use by planning out her dream party in a few years. 🙂

  53. Awesome, Liz. Thank you so much for sharing, and I love to hear that you were inspired to try this approach with your daughter!

  54. my son turns 8 this summer and I think I’ll try this! the best thing we can do for our kids is to teach them the skills they’ll need to be responsible adults. I bet Kayla was very proud of herself and her friends were impressed!

  55. I. Love. This!!! This teaches a child so many different lessons it’s ridiculous! Omgosh whew! I became out of breath with excitement, just reading this. People can’t imagine the sense of accomplishment and pride a child would feel from a success like this. You and dad are doing an excellent job reading your children to learn do many necessary, but lacking life qualities. I’m sure you probably hear this a lot, but good job mom and dad.

    Love,
    First time Mom to be

  56. I see the value in this. I mean all of my parties in middle school and high school were planned by me. My parents weren’t really party people.

    But I am a party planner type person. I LOVE planning out their birthday parties every year. Plus I have two whose birthdays are super close together (a week apart). I like this idea I just don’t know if I’d be able to let go in a couple years.

  57. I think this is a great idea, I might try it this year! I have two boys and they usually just tell me the theme they want and I run with it! I usually make them a pinata and one year my oldest told me he loves me doing that so I don’t think I could scrap that! But will definitely incorporate this, maybe let them hire me to make the pinata ha! An idea for your daughter liking surprise gifts; tell her whatever she doesn’t spend on the party the rest is for presents and have her give that money back to you to shop with. So she might know how much your spending but not know what she’s getting. I like to surprise my boys with the gifts and that’s what I will tell them! So if they want a video game they better have that in their mind for budget haha. But I’ve been trying to make them understand the value of a dollar, what better way to teach them than to let them see just how much time effort and money goes into their special day!

  58. Definitely, Jamie! Great idea about telling my daughter that whatever she has left over I will use to buy her gift. Thanks for the idea!

  59. I definitely think you have to do what works for you. If you love the party planning, then go for it. Me… not so much!

  60. I’m a total freak for birthday parties and gifts and everything else! But I still totally love this Idea, and asked my son if next year for his birthday if he’d like to plan his own he totally loved it!! But i agree my son know what i get him for a birthday gifts and it is never anything big and when he was little i never got him a gift, i usually do a birthday surprise when he wakes up in the am just for him and it’s never a gift! I think your choices are great my dear, i can’t believe anyone would put you down because of it -.- it’s your choice your not being mean!! lots of kids don’t have parties its normal, i have even noticed how many people in my sons school don’t have parties for their kids, your doing a great job! and letting your kids plan their own parties thats just brave you rock on!

  61. This is an awesome idea, my son turns 7 this year and this is what we’re going to do this year. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with. Thanks for sharing.

  62. This is great!! I hung my party planning hat 5 yrs ago when my oldes now 13 was turning 8( I have 5 boys 13, 11,10,9 ). I also have a $200 budget ..I came to that number because that’s about the amount I would spend …actually I would spend more. So the $200 is cheaper. We give them the choice of a birthday party or they get $200. With that money they been able to buy things I wouldn’t normally buy–like eclectic scooters and tablets and iPods, Wiis etc. We always shop Craig’s list first or our local Craig’s list type. So that their money can stretch further and they are thrilled when we find what they want for cheaper. Once in a while they’ve done half and half and like you they plan and buy what they want for the party with whatever money they have left. So far I’ve had 2 of those and the rest they’ve opted for the money. It’s the best!!!

  63. Thanks so much for the original post and this follow up. My soon-to-be-8 year old was over the moon with this idea and the 6 year old started crying because she missed the opportunity, poor thing. I especially love your answer about how every day can be an opportunity for the kids to learn something, especially in a way that’s not heavy handed. Thanks again!

  64. So glad you can use this idea with your kiddos. Tell your daughter next year is her year! 🙂 Thanks for your comment!

  65. I am not a parent yet, actually i am only 22. But i can´t understand why any parent would be against this… Is is an amazing way for children to learn that life is lived on a budget and to handle the money the right way, if they want a bigger present they spend less on the party and the other way around too… Also i think this is something very fun for every child to take part in, since you birthday is always controlled by your parents. its much more fun to plan it yourself

  66. Thank you so much for reading and commenting, Eldalina! I am glad you like this approach and hopefully you can use it one day with your own kids.

  67. Absolutely love the idea. I am one of those that lets them pick their theme but then tend to go overboard and it ends up being my party and really not theirs. I will definitely do this when my son gets a little older, he’s 4 now. Thanks for sharing!

  68. I love the idea of the child Planning their own party. Everyday is a day to learn. I can’t wait to use this idea. I look forward to see the outcome!! Hats off to you!

  69. Love this! I can imagine you replace party planning time with instruction time – prioritizing, budgeting, menu planning, sticking to a time table, and so many more lessons. And the sense of accomplishment your children feel now will translate into confidence as they get older. I’m a Pinkie Pie and love party planning, but I would give it up to instil these qualities and skills into my toddler as she grows up. Excellent job!

  70. I think you’re a genius! You are instilling real life skills in your kids, the kids are developing a sense of accomplishment and appreciation for what they have 🙂 #goals

  71. I absolutely love this idea!!! My kids are older now, 15 and 20, but over the years we went from the birthday parties with lots of friends to something much simpler and still as much fun. We gave them the choice of spending their money on a party or inviting a friend over to have a special day out. They almost always chose the day out option. We called it “Maggie Day” or “Luke Day.” We would go to either a movie, complete with popcorn, candy, and arcade, or to the local go-kart and putt-putt amusement park with pizza. Whatever money was left in the budget we would spend on a couple of presents for them. We did have special parties for those teen milestones, like 13 or sweet 16, but even those we simple with us making our own tie dye cupcakes and byob t shirts and we supplied the dye for the shirts. That one was a fun party! Anyway, whatever makes the day special and includes the child in the planning is always more fun, in my opinion. And if you can save money along the way, even better!!!

  72. Thank you for sharing a different way to the norm.Shame on others for thinking they know whats best for YOUR family.We do Christmas diffrent and cath flack many years for it.

  73. What a great idea! Your daughter looks thrilled. I love that it teaches the children to budget. You are right I spend more when I’ve hosted parties for my child. Cake, goodie bags, location, food, gift, etc. Your way not only is your child the guest of honor but also the true host or hostess. Brilliant!

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