How much do you spend on your child's birthday? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: How much do you typically spend on your child's birthday? (gifts, cake, party or whatever you do)
zero 1 0.65%
$1- $50 30 19.48%
$51- $99 33 21.43%
$100- $200 35 22.73%
$201- $300 18 11.69%
$301- $400 12 7.79%
$401- $500 5 3.25%
$501- $600 1 0.65%
$$601- $700 1 0.65%
$701- $800 0 0%
$801- $900 0 0%
$901- $1,000 0 0%
$1,000 - $3,000 2 1.30%
More than $3,000 1 0.65%
It varies too much from year to year to vote for one option 13 8.44%
I don't keep track of birthday spending 2 1.30%
Voters: 154. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 53 Old 01-24-2011, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dd's birthday is coming up and I wondered how much others spend on birthdays- gifts, parties or whatever else you do.

Going to post a poll but feel free to post details of your birthday budgeting..


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#2 of 53 Old 01-24-2011, 08:23 PM
 
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We spend under $50 for the party in total and then another $30 for gifts.  Our families SPOIL my children with gifts, so we go easy on them for our pocketbook's sake and our play room too.


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#3 of 53 Old 01-24-2011, 08:46 PM
 
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I voted $1-50, but sometimes we spend in the $51-100 category.

 

My kids are all elementary school aged.  Every year they have a friends' party as well as a family party (extended family).  For the most part, my kids already have SO MANY toys and more possessions than they need.  So we try to keep gifts reasonable.  2 of my children recently celebrated birthdays.  We bought my 10 year old a new skateboard & new wheels ($25).  My 7yo got her ears pierced (which ended up being $80 including tip). 

 

They both had home birthday parties. There wasn't much added expense for the parties.  We don't buy paper plates or give out birthday gift bags.  All of the decorations are homemade (we make birthday banners for the kids out of butcher paper).  The only extra expense would be for food, we serve whatever the birthday kid wants to eat and make a homemade cake. 


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#4 of 53 Old 01-24-2011, 08:56 PM
 
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Including party, gifts and everything... I voted $200-300. But he's an only child and we spoil him rotten on birthdays and holidays (and every day that ends in "y" lol.gif ). That may change if we have another baby... might have to re-think where all our money gets spent winky.gif


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#5 of 53 Old 01-24-2011, 09:04 PM
 
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Around $80-90.

 

Usually one 'big' (~$40) present from me and daddy (example- DS is getting a mini- wheelbarrow for his 2nd bday soon). Then around $40 on cake, party foods, balloons, etc. We always just do the parties in our own living room so no rental fees. Also, invites are expensive, so the past couple years, I have started buying blank note cards and filling them in as party invites.

 

If we didn't have a huge extended family that spoiled my kids rotten, I would def spend more on presents, but they get way over-toyed as it is, so we only buy them one present each.


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#6 of 53 Old 01-24-2011, 10:17 PM
 
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About $200. My DD is turning five in two weeks. We spent $150 for the party at the Children's Gym (15 kids) and will spend some $$ on cake, juice, party favors. That will basically be our present to her plus cards and a small cake at home. This will be her first "big" party.

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#7 of 53 Old 01-24-2011, 10:36 PM
 
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I voted 1-50. Other years we have gone out to eat so it has been a bit more, but this year we stayed in. We ate hotdogs and chips. We roasted the dogs in the fireplace. Cake made from scratch so super cheap. A couple small gifts. We also set up the tent in the living room and watched a thomas movie inside it. DS loved that. Dh and ds slept in the tent that night.

His birthday is right before christmas so he is always getting so much stuff around that time of year. I don't worry so much about gifts, just about making it special. If I ever do a party it won't be till he's older and if he wants one. I grew up with family birthdays at home and always found them to be wonderful.
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#8 of 53 Old 01-25-2011, 05:37 AM
 
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Mine are younger but each year has been different. For DD1's first birthday we spent around 40 and another maybe 30 on decorations for the house, second was probably 100ish, third was around 100 as well, fourth probably closer to 200 since I bought more instead of making it.. DD2's first birthday probably 20-30, second around 100ish or so.

 

We are the only ones that get our girls presents so whatever they get at their birthdays come from us. I think for her 2nd birthday my oldest might have gotten something from her great grandparents but it was addressed to both girls so I don't really count it (since it wasn't meant just for DD1.. Im glad she was young enough where she didn't mind sharing with her special gift. her sister).


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#9 of 53 Old 01-25-2011, 06:25 AM
 
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I voted 301 to 400. DS is 18 months so he's only had one birthday so far but I'm starting to tentatively plan his 2nd and we will likely spend in that range on it again (this includes his gift, invitations, decorations, games for the kids, food, cake, favors.) We like theme parties and I make most of the stuff myself. It's cheaper that way but it means I have to start planning months in advance. Last years theme was Very Hungry Caterpillar and this year we're doing a woodland picnic. I imagine how we budget for them will change as he gets older... I prefer having his parties at home but as he gets older he might request something different. We are fortunate to have very indulgent grandparents on both sides. We stick to one gift from us to avoid toy/stuff overload.    


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#10 of 53 Old 01-25-2011, 07:10 AM
 
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I voted 200-300. We have an only child and we have a party at home with both sides of the family and some friends. It's a lot of people so we spend about 100-150 on food and drinks (all non-alcoholic). We don't hire entertainment and don't give out goody bags (which makes everyone crazy). I even had someone stand there just staring at me waiting for their kids goody bag for a couple of minutes before I realized that's what they were waiting for and I had to kind of say again .. well thanks for coming and that's it. We don't buy any paper products. We got lots of reusable plastic plates and cups on freecycle. They don't match but I don't care. We also only serve finger food and have cupcakes instead of cake so there is no need for silverware. My limit for presents is $100 but I've never spent that much. 


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#11 of 53 Old 01-25-2011, 07:30 AM
 
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I voted it varies.

 

We've done everything from small, quiet parties at home to kid filled parties at a go-kart track and everything in between.  My oldest will be turning 9 in a few months and I think we'll be having a larger kid party and then a small family party at home.  He's getting a bike and maybe some clothes from us, so not a ton of presents. 

 

My younger son is a bit easier, he's got a summer birthday so we can have his parties outside, cheaper and easier for cleanup and entertainment.

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#12 of 53 Old 01-25-2011, 12:42 PM
 
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It varies for us, we don't do a first or second birthday party other than family get together with cake and presents. So that would be under $100. But now that they're older we spend close to $400.

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#13 of 53 Old 01-25-2011, 12:51 PM
 
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I voted: $51-99

 

We host parties at our home

We send out e-vites or handmade invites 

We buy one gift for the birthday child ($20 range)

We have a party activity that doubles as a party favor, usually felt crowns ($25)

We re-use decorations from previous years or I'll make new ones

We serve a simple meal, the birthday child chooses the menu 

I make all the food and the cake ($45-50)

 

Birthdays are special and we try and make them meaningful because of the traditions rather than the presents.


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#14 of 53 Old 01-25-2011, 04:13 PM
 
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I chose 200-300 for this year.

DD is turning two, and we're having a joint birthday party with her best friend, who is also turning two. 

The party is next week!  How I'd LOVE to be able to do it in the park, but winter weather, so no.

We've rented out a local family resource centre (both our apartments are SMALL), so that's $75

I got invitations made: $40

Doll and carrier as gift: $50 (Got a 50% off coupon on Ethical Deals!!!)

Food for party ... we're making everything (including cake): $60?

We're doing a fundraiser for the food bank instead of presents (we'll give her the doll and carrier before the party).

Craft supplies and ECE circle time lady included in the cost of the rental.


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#15 of 53 Old 01-25-2011, 04:29 PM
 
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I voted it varies.  We have done the big, invite the whole class, party planner route and we done the invite a couple close friends and go somewhere really cool route. We alwasy have a small family part on his actual b-day but that is just part of our weekly budget, never have factored the cost of that.

 

Last year it was probably $500, maybe $600. I have a "holiday" line on my budget and that where B-days go.

 

We did a "Surfing" party- 15 kids, at our home. Basically a pool party with a surfing theme. Select kids (w/ parents and siblings-probably 20 people in total) were invited to the after party/BBQ which is why the cost was so high.  I rolled the cost of the night time entertaining into the total. The party itself (invites, favors, pinata, games, cake, etc) cost maybe $250 of which $100 was for the lifeguard.

 

 


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#16 of 53 Old 01-25-2011, 05:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HollyBearsMom View Post

 

We did a "Surfing" party- 15 kids, at our home. Basically a pool party with a surfing theme. Select kids (w/ parents and siblings-probably 20 people in total) were invited to the after party/BBQ which is why the cost was so high.  I rolled the cost of the night time entertaining into the total. The party itself (invites, favors, pinata, games, cake, etc) cost maybe $250 of which $100 was for the lifeguard.

 

 

 

What a fun theme! Sounds like it was a blast thumb.gif
 


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#17 of 53 Old 01-25-2011, 06:12 PM
 
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Ours has really varied.  The first year we had to buy all the basics (serving pieces, etc) so that was a bit more.  I'd say on average we spend about $300-400.  But, I always invite the entire family of kids and feed everyone a meal.  I think the most I spent was about $2000 but we took all the families to a really cool kids concert and fed them (catered).

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#18 of 53 Old 01-25-2011, 06:22 PM
 
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Ours varies considerably.  We rarely do parties and have no family within 3000 miles so they are pretty low key.  We have done small parties at places 3ish times for each child in their 17, 14 and 12 years.  We always do a family dinner at their choice of restaurant and they are allowed to bring a friend.  This year for my dd's birthday she traded in any gathering ($25 bowling with friends with coupon) for a date with her dad to Cirque de Solei.  I think she made a good decision.  It's the most we've spent ($70 a ticket;it's their small show I think), but she'll remember it forever.

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#19 of 53 Old 01-25-2011, 09:52 PM
 
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For Jude's birthday we had a party at my in-laws' backyard. They have several outdoor tables for us to use. I got a few yards of sheer rainbow fabric and put those over some light blue, light green, and light orange gingham table cloths that they had. It looked really cute. I also put a vase of flowers and a pitcher of water on each table. Each vase was different and very colorfull. They also had some plastic plates and utensils for us to use so we didn't have to buy disposables. There was only water to drink, so no soda or juice. Cheap and healthier. smile.gif For food we made veggie burgers, guacamole, salsa, chips, and had a veggie platter with dip. I made a date cake with homemade frosting (basic powdered sugar & milk frosting but with some cinnamon added to it...yum!). It was so nice and colorful but not expensive at all...$50 maybe and that was mostly for the food for over 20 people.

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#20 of 53 Old 01-25-2011, 10:01 PM
 
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I voted $500, but I wouldn't say that is accurate for each of my children. It depends on what their party entails (as well as celebrations on their actual b-day if it's not the same day as the party). Last year, we spent more than that for DD when she turned 9, but that's b/c she had a little party with a few friends, gifts, and then we were in California for her b-day. If you count a day at a theme park and dinner at benihanas, it's adds up to even more.

This year my kids each want parties and iPod touches (which are $200 each). I have four kids and they all happen to have b-days within 30 days of each other (kinda crazy time of year, but what can you do). Right now I have $400 for each budgeted - hopefully I can stick to that, or even convince my two that have b-days 2 days apart to share a party, even though they are 4 years apart.

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#21 of 53 Old 01-26-2011, 04:30 AM
 
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My dd will be 12 next month. I will spend about $100 on video games,books,and candy. I do the same for ds.$100 is my limit for bday/xmas. I prefer to spend our limited money on the kids rather than on a party. Since we  don't do birthday parties in the summer when their friend is over(he stays the entire summer) we will have a birthday party for all of them since he doesn't get anything but $20 on his birthday.

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#22 of 53 Old 01-26-2011, 07:18 AM
 
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I voted between 400-500... But it really varies.  I've been trying to spend less and have realized that the kids have a great day even when I don't spend a ton of money.  For my DD's first couple birthdays we didn't do a big party, but I went way overboard buying her stuff since she wasn't really getting gifts from anyone else.  She's a May baby so a couple years we've done a big cookout party and probably still ended up spending the same amount because of food, cake, and party supplies, and I still went over-board on presents.  Last year (6th b-day) we had her party at a place called Pump it Up (they have a whole bunch of blow up things to play on) It was about $300 but it allowed me to invite 25 kids and I didn't have to worry about clean up or anything, so again we still probably spend about $500 when all was said and done (cake, party, presents, and thank-you cards).

 

For my DS1, he still hasn't had a real "party" yet since he's and Oct baby and it's harder to have people over.  We've pretty much just had cake on his birthday with immediate family.  So the only expense was for his gifts and  another $20 or so for themed plates and whatnot.  I still probably spend between $200-300 on presents though.  We've had playdates with his friends the past couple years also, but that's free aside from me baking a batch of cupcakes. He turned 4 this past Oct and even though he started pre-k this year he didn't really have a chance to get to know anyone in his class well enough to invite them over so even again this year we just had a small at home family party.  I think we probably spend about $200 on him this year for presents.

 

DS2 will be 2 in March and we'll probably only spend about $100 on him, cake and gifts.  We'll do the small immediate family party and that's it.  Same as last year

 

DD's party will be different this year though.  She'll get to invite a few friends over and she wants to have an ice cream party.. So I'll let the kids make their own sundaes.  I think instead of gift bags I'll make a batch of cupcakes and they can use the left-over ice cream toppings (candy) to decorate the cupcakes for home.  That way they still go home with something and we'll be able to use up some of the leftovers.  We'll get her a couple small gifts and the rest will come from her friends.  I'm hoping to only spend about $200 for all of it.

 

Birthdays are really important and special, but I don't want my kids thinking they are going to get a huge party, and a million gifts from us. I'm thinking $200 each is about good for a small party and a couple gifts.  I want the day to be fun and memorable first and foremost and I think we're working our way towards that :)

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#23 of 53 Old 01-26-2011, 07:34 AM
 
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i voted $51-$99.  my sister-in-law always makes the birthday cake, so i don't have that expense.  i quit mailing paper invitations after the 2nd birthday, since all of our people are online anyway.  we do our parties at home, though i pride myself on feeding my guests a meal, so that's the majority of my budget.  our family and friends are generous, so if we don't have the money to swing buying a gift on top of throwing the party we don't sweat it.  in the years that we can buy a gift, we generally do only one "special" gift and that might increase the birthday budget to $150.

 

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#24 of 53 Old 01-26-2011, 01:15 PM
 
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I'm impressed by how many of you can swing a birthday party and presents for less than 100$! There are obviously a few tricks for me to learn when it comes to saving money! Ds's last birthday was a backyard cookout, with food, drinks for parents and kids. We also rented a bounce toy for 75$. The total bill topped 300.00. How do you possibly feed a group of people and throw a party for less than 100$!?!

When my kids are small, we have the bigger party, invite friends, family and forego the present - the party is the present. But, now that dd is getting older (7), the last couple of years she has had just a few friends over for cake - without the expense of the big party, we were able to get her the present she wanted, a nintendo ds. So, it still cost us 250+, in the end.

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#25 of 53 Old 01-26-2011, 01:28 PM
 
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I voted the $401-500 option. DS1's birthday is in May so we're able to get him really cool outdoor toys and summery items that he'll enjoy. DS2's birthday is in January, and there's just no way to swing it equally at that time of the year- not just the money issue but there is nothing more he needs so close to Christmas! So we celebrate his half birthday in July instead. I look at the boys' birthdays as the middle of the year big item purchase time. We get the big ticket items for them at birthday's and Christmas. So... that's why we spend so much. To be perfectly honest, it'll probably go up soon because they're getting older and have more friends and I'll have to do big birthday parties at some point. But for now it's about $400-500 per kid.


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#26 of 53 Old 01-26-2011, 02:18 PM
 
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voted 0. Not because I'm super-awesomly frugal(i'm not) but because we don't celebrate b-days :P


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#27 of 53 Old 01-27-2011, 08:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The amount we have spent on dd's birthday in the past has varied.

This year I am budgeting $200 for everything. We aren't having a party but will be eating out and dd has a few activities she wants to do that will cost money. She doesn't get much birthday attention from others so no gifts are really expected from anyone but us.


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#28 of 53 Old 01-28-2011, 05:00 PM
 
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Usually around $300, but I think we've gone up to around $500.   Ds has a cold weather birthday.  We have always had his friends party at the ice rink, roller rink, inflatables place, etc.  So there is the cost of the party place, cake, snacks, gift bags, presents, invitations, etc.  When we go home for Thanksgiving the grandparents throw a family party for him.


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#29 of 53 Old 01-28-2011, 06:43 PM
 
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The one person who voted for $3000 has me bugging out.

Anyway, as for us: it's varied a lot. I spent more on DD1's first few birthdays-- maybe $300-- because we had more money and fewer kids, in those days. Then I went ultra-frugal for a few years, and rarely did more than $100 total. My twins have never had more than a $100 birthday party (that's $100 combined, not for each twin), but this year I'm going whole-hog for them and spending almost $400 to have a party at a local gym and to spend a bit more on gifts than I usually do.

The cheaper birthdays have been cake-and-ice cream affairs in the backyard. The more expensive parties were ones at the bowling alley and at the local nature preserve.

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#30 of 53 Old 01-30-2011, 08:03 AM
 
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Usually $100-200. We almost never have parties outside of our immediate family as everyone lives far from us and we haven't really met many friends down here. Homemade cake, minimalist wrapping, etc. I try to mostly get books and something "big" for their birthday. Like I got a good deal on a kickboxing thingo for ds ($80) this year, so that and gloves are his only presents. smile.gif I think the most we ever spent was $150 for a party at the City Museum and that was awesome.

AP Mom to 5 knit.gifhomeschool.giftoddler.gif
 
  

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