A Total Guide to Budget Friendly Minimalist Birthday Parties

I have a friend and she is ahhhmazing at throwing the most extravagant, Pinterest worthy birthday parties ever for her kids. Every time we attend I can’t help but giggle because, well, I’ve dropped the ball in the birthday party department. I used to be the mom searching Pinterest, finding the best ideas and putting together a fun, pin-worthy party for my kids. Now…well, now I’m a little more hose in the back yard kind of mom. My new favorite is a budget friendly minimalist birthday party. How have I managed to make the transition and still keep my kids happy? Lemme break it down…

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The stress factor

When we downsized our house my daughter had just had her 5th birthday. It was a Princess/Superhero/Fire-breathing dragon birthday party. Because that’s what she requested. Equipped with 2 older sisters dressed up as Elsa and Anna.

Our Princess/Superhero/Fire-breathing dragon party

I’m not sure if it was sheer exhaustion from moving or what but by the time my son’s 4th birthday came 3 months later, I threw down a slip n side in the back yard and called it a day.

By total accident I caught with of the joys of having a laid back, stress-free birthday party. And you know what? Everyone had a blast. And I had more fun too!

I actually got to sit and chat with people and I wasn’t sweating profusely when guests started coming and I had time to snap pictures because I was sitting and just letting the kids play.

No activities, no constant entertainment. Just laid back birthday fun. My first minimalist birthday party.

The finance factor

In all fairness, a minimalist birthday party, being simpler, should also have a more modest budget, right? Grab my Budget Bundle to start planning simple budgeting and saving in all areas of your life.

Instead of seeing all the things you want and then paying for them, create a budget first and then seeing what is special enough to fit into your budget.

After creating a budget it’s so important that you stick to it and pay in cash. A birthday party is a big event, true, but if you are paying for it every month until the next birthday, it loses a little bit of its magic, wouldn’t ya say?!

When you are throwing a birthday party for your children and you want a big, beautiful party they remember, there is nothing wrong with that. There’s also nothing wrong with putting money that would have been spent on a party into a college fund.

Working to be intentional with your purchases and your finances can help them have a great party now and benefit them financially down the road.

Need more help with budgeting?

If you need more help with budgeting and could use some support from like-minded people, join my FREE Fun Sized Budgeters Facebook group.

Check out my Budget Hacking course where I’ll share the methods we used to finally stop living paycheck to paycheck and how we freed up over $1,000 per month.

What do your kids want?

Sometimes your kids might surprise you. Often times they want a minimalist birthday more than you know.

I recently spoke to a mom who said all her son wanted for his birthday was a day with grandma. The grandma threw a big, giant surprise party instead. All the kid wanted was one on one time with her though.

Here are good questions to ask:

  • Do you want to buy a cake or bake a cake together?
  • What three friends do you want to invite?
  • Would you rather do this…(insert fun activity) instead of have a party

Just simple questions gives your child options and helps them feel like they are a part of the party decisions. It also gives you an idea of what they want so you can make sure to have a party that they’ll cherish.

Having minimalist birthdy parties with kids doesn't deprive them at all. In fact, it could be more beneficial than a Pinterest worthy party. Here's how.
Grabbed a pizza and ice cream cake quick before heading to the beach in Cali. No gifts were given by her friends. It was her favorite birthday yet.

I say, let them skip gifts

There have been a lot of studies conducted in recent years that show how fewer toys for kids is beneficial to them.

New ideas around birthday party gift-giving as well, like the “Fiver Party” are also starting to be a new trend.

What is the Fiver Party?

A Fiver Party is where the parents decide on one large gift for their child and have all the guests contribute $5 to the cost of the present.

This is a great way for the parents to limit the clutter in their homes and save their guests some money!

At the end of the day

At the end of the day, your child is going to remember the fun they had, not the gifts they received or how much time, effort and money you spent on the party.

Did I miss any great minimalist birthday party ideas? If so, feel free to give more ideas in the comments!

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Having minimalist birthdy parties with kids doesn't deprive them at all. In fact, it could be more beneficial than a Pinterest worthy party. Here's how.