In the past, to celebrate our kids’ birthday, my husband and I used to order cake at the grocery bakery. Last year my husband asked at the bakery when he should come and place the order for the cake. He was told he could come on the date the cake is needed and pick a cake on the counter and they would decorate for him. He would just pay for the cost of the cake. It is much lower.
Since then, he would go on the date we would celebrate the birthday and pick a cake and ask the baker to decorate it. It decreased what we used to spend on birthday cake.
This morning, my husband saw a triple chocolate cake 50% off and gave me a call to let me know that he picked it up for one of our daughters’ birthday in few weeks and he asked at the bakery to decorate it for her. He would put it in the freezer until the day before the celebration to move it to the fridge. The cake cost $15 and was marked down to $7.50. We have picked up cakes on sale before at more than 80% discount and just froze them to be used during holidays. I bake but we ate store bought cake few times a year especially during birthdays. I like to have space in my freezers to do my stock up. You can read how I stock up my freezer in one of my previous posts.
Also, in the past we used to buy decorations to decorate the house for the birthday party. I remarked that it was just a waste of our money. Since last year, I have stopped decorating for birthday. All I do is buying balloons in the package of 50 or more. We all blow as many as we can or until we get tired and lay them around. Sometimes, my kids write on them. They love balloons. It doesn’t cost much. These balloons can be in the house for months. We blow the rest of the balloons for Christmas.
We decided not to buy birthday gift anymore. We give the kids money. We asked them to count the bills and put the money in their piggy bank and later send it to their investment accounts.
I buy frozen French fries and nuggets and fry them at home. My kids love these threats they don’t eat often. It cost less than if we go to the restaurant to eat.
We just celebrate at home. No one from outside is invited. I don’t let my kids go to their classmate’s’ birthday party. Until they understand that they can celebrate their birthday without wasting money, I don’t want them to feel like their classmates have better birthday parties than them.
Last year a parent sent us an invitation inviting our daughter to her kid birthday party. We the parents would take the kids to a nail salon for their nail done as that was what her daughter wants to do with her classmates and it would cost more than $20. What kind of message would I be sending to my kindergarten child when I take her to her classmate birthday party to get her nail done at that price?
Another parent invited my daughter to her child’s birthday party at a restaurant and required that the guest dressed in a certain way.
I turned it down.
Another parent sent me a note to invite my daughter which plays with her daughter at school for a date where we the parents can meet and get to know each other. I didn’t answer back. I just told my daughter that she can play with her classmates at school. Once school is over, she gets to play with her siblings at home.
Months later I heard my daughter say that she told one of her classmates that would like to come to our house that her mom (I) don’t want her to go to other kids’ homes or other kids come in our house to play. I didn’t recall saying it that way but she quickly got the idea. She is only 6 years old.
If you don’t draw boundary at early age in your kids’ life it would be harder to do so when they are teenagers. Learn to say NO to them by standing by your believes and at the same time love them very much. But of course, every parent is free to raise his/her children the way that pleases him or her. There is not a best way to raise a child. You just have to do what you think it is write.
After School Activities
Oh did I tell you where I stand when it comes to after school activities? I dislike them. I worked during the day and my husband works at night. That allows us to watch our kids without spending on daycare. Therefore, after school activities in my opinion are a waste of time and money.
My kids go to school to learn skills. Our school system is setup to teach us skills to become an employee. You cannot become richer than your employer. Being an employee is one way of making money but not the only way; but surely it is not the method of getting rich. Therefore, we have to supplement that education with other leanings we don’t get at school.
After school, I would prefer my kids at home where they would learn to interact with each other, learn to do chores around the house, learn to invest, and how to be in business for themselves. They have to learn all those skills. They can’t just spend all day at school doing nothing. If they don’t know how to cook when they grow up, they would spend more on eating out for instance. It costs more each time they would outsource a service rather than doing it themselves. I know parents that complain about how much these school activities their kids are engaged in cost them in money and time and yet they don’t do anything about it. It is not because every parent is doing it that I have to do it as well. I don’t follow the crowd. I don’t want to start something I would complain about later. Therefore, I kept my kids out of these activities at the moment. They can play in the backyard at home.
How do you celebrate birthdays on budget?