Barney Toddler Party
There are certain times of year when living on a budget is harder than usual, and my children's birthdays used to rank right at the top of the list. Birthdays are supposed to be special, and for much of my life, special has meant expensive. When my oldest daughter had her first birthday, my husband and I spared no expense to make her birthday party special, right down to the matching cups, plates, and birthday hats! Of course, she was sleepy, irritable, and more than a little overwhelmed by it all. When my second daughter's first birthday rolled around, we were a one-income family struggling to feed ourselves everyday, let alone everyone we knew. But this was our baby's first birthday, so we pulled out the credit cards and had our usual blast!
Well a lot has changed since those first birthday parties. Our financial IQ has gone up and the size of the birthday bashes has gone down. Surprisingly, scaling back our birthday celebrations has made them more enjoyable by putting the focus back where it was supposed to be all along and that is on our children. Now my husband and I can actually enjoy our kids' birthdays instead of frantically running around trying to buy food and decorations for fifty of our "closest" friends and family members. (And we also enjoy not getting those dreaded "party charges" on the following month's credit card statement!) Here are some ideas to make your child's birthday more special, not just more expensive.
Birthdays are special because they are a celebration of the greatest gift you will ever receive, which is your child. Remember, birthdays are supposed to be fun, not stressful. If your child is old enough, ask them what they would like to do for their birthday. The answer may pleasantly surprise you! Whatever you do to celebrate, you can't go wrong if you keep the focus on spending time with your child instead of spending money on decorations. So relax and put the "happy" back in your child's birthday. You'll be glad you did!
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