Kids birthday parties are becoming increasingly expensive and with huge guest lists and excessive decorating it isn’t hard to see why.  Here are 20 tips to throw a memorable children’s birthday party on a budget.


Unable to plan a party yourself? Have the party at an entertaining venue.

1. Perfect Timing – set your kid’s birthday part in either mid-morning or mid-afternoon.  This way guests won’t expect a full meal and you can save money on food and cutlery.

2. Digital Invites – save both time, money and the environment by skipping paper invites and using technology to spread the word about your child’s party.

3. Order Online – while prices online aren’t always better, shopping online in advance will help avoid last-minute impulse shopping.

4. Think about the Venue – if you don’t have the money to host your own party at home, consider hiring a local venue or making a trip to a local park instead.

5. Skip Party Favours – skip the goody bag and use lollies instead in a pinata.  Pinatas double as both a party activity and treats to take home.

6. Try No-Cost Games – turn to party games like musical chairs and charades to save money on buying expensive prizes and unnecessary equipment.

7. Take Advantage of Wild Imaginations – try swapping out cheaper items for prizes.  Have a treasure hunt for gold-painted rocks, ‘gold’ instead of lollies and chocolate.

8. Personalise Inexpensive Desserts – try making a cheap packet mix or buying a plain cake and decorating yourself to save money.  Specially made cakes can start at $20 to $30, which is money that can be spent elsewhere.

9. Consider Doubling Up – if you know another parent with a child who has a birthday around the same time, consider having a joined party.  One party between two means half the cost.


Splurge a little on the memorable parts, while going cheap on things like plates and cutlery.

10. Skip Expensive Decorations – try buying cheap decorations, buying in bulk or simply doing minimal decorating to save time and money.  To make your own decorations, try spray-painting different items to add colour.

11. Keep the Party Small – resist the urge to invite 20 or 30 people to your child’s party and just keep it to close friends and family.  You’ll save money on food and supplies.

12. Plan in Advance – know when you will throw the party well in advance.  This will allow time to save or budget for the costs and time to look around for cheaper supplies.

13. Splurge on the Memorable Parts – while you might need to cut costs on the overall party, skip certain things like decorations and cutlery and splurge on things like cake and party games that will be remembered.

14. Be your own DJ – save money by using your own music instead of hiring a jukebox or DJ.  Both YouTube and Spotify have free options and allow you to create custom playlists for literally nothing.

15. Let Guests Help – if guests offer to bring a plate of food or arrive early to help set up, take them up on the offer!  These offers can save you both time and money.

16. Be Clear with a Budget – before you begin planning your event, be clear on how much you want to spend on the party.  By setting a clear budget you can avoid over-spending on last minute items and ‘impulse’ buys.

17. Skip the Traditional Party – why not skip the party altogether?  Plan a smaller more casual event with close friends and family; allowing you the money to do something more memorable.  Or try throwing a party every second year, helping to save up for  a bigger, more exciting party every two years.

18. Use what you Have on Hand – if you have leftover themed decorations from another event, try planning a similarly themed party.  If you have a large backyard, host an outdoor party and skip the decorations.  Make the most out of your location and what you already have.

19. Hire or Borrow Items – don’t have a specific item necessary for your party?  Ask friends to borrow or even hire from a company.  It’s likely to be a fraction of the cost of buying the actual item.

20. Focus on the Guests – it’s likely that kids won’t be anticipating a full meal and extravagant party favours.  Focus your money and time on the things that matter.  Splurge on cake and play simple enjoyable party games to make the event one to remember for guests.