Before the days of social distancing, parents in the UK were splashing a staggering £3.9 billion on celebrating first birthdays – a day the birthday boy or girl certainly won’t remember.
With an average cost of £207 per party, the spend on lavish birthday bashes marking the first 365 days of baby’s life has overtaken other milestone markers - with birthday parties for 5th (£160), 10th (£162) and even sweet sixteen (£198) trailing in its wake.
A third (30%) admit other parents’ social media posts add to the burden of throwing the perfect party. Mums and dads also state friends (27%), family (25%), playground peers (18%) and even parent/baby groups (13%) are the driving forces behind them splashing the cash for their child’s big day. All this pressure is taking its toll on parents, with four in ten (41%) admitting they spend more time stressing than celebrating.
With the costly trend threatening to dent parents bank accounts, Pingit has partnered with parenting influencer, pop star and mother of two, Jamelia, to create tips on how to plan a memorable and stress-free birthday party, no matter the age of your little one.
- First things first, plan ahead & set a budget
I know this might seem like an obvious one but prior planning (and booking) means you will keep in budget and get the discounted prices.
- Get crafty…make your own decorations and treats
There are so many videos online, from how to create the perfect wall decorations through to baking a delicious birthday cake. A little word to the wise, always plan a few attempts of the birthday cake so your guests get the best version!
- Send the invites virtually
Elaborate invitations are all the rage, but you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to stand out. Why not get online and visit one of the many free-to-use sites where you can send personalised e-invitations.
- Keep the guestlist manageable
Everyone loves a party but hiring a space fit for all your friends and family can end up breaking the bank. I would suggest only inviting close friends and family to keep the costs down.
- Take advantage of discount stores
Although our first thought might be to head to the party store to pick up decorations, paper plates and disposable cups, I always plan a journey to the discount stores as they often have the same items but for a fraction of the price.
- Go Retro, bring in some old school games
It feels like our kids are more tech savvy than us nowadays but there is definitely something to be said in going back to basics. Pass The Parcel, Musical Statues and arts and crafts are really easy ways to keep the little ones entertained and much cheaper than hired entertainment or a petting zoo!
- Birthday girl or boy needs to be the focus, not the guests
Adults have a lot more needs and this normally leads to spending more on food, entertainment and the venue. Make it clear from an early stage it will be a low-key event focused on your birthday boy or girl.
- Recycle, recycle and recycle again
I know it is all too easy to bin everything after a birthday party but always think that you may well need them again and plates, cups and decorations never really go out of fashion. A little bit of time bagging and storing can save money (and the environment)
- Host at home and not at a venue
If you have the space, host at home. Apart from being where you are most comfortable, it allows you to manage the guestlist and keep the numbers more manageable, saving you from shelling out.
- Lastly, call in some favours from other parents, family and older children
Not many people call in favours nowadays but a great way to save on money (and stress) is to get help from those closest to you. Many hands make light work and you can repay the favour next time!