As a mother, you probably count the days your children were born as the happiest of your life. It’s logical that you want to celebrate to the fullest when your son or daughter’s birthday rolls around. However, kids’ birthday parties are expensive, and the cost can get out of hand quickly. This is especially true if you have multiple children or if the big day is near another expensive occasion, like Christmas or back to school. However, take heart! Use these tips to save money year round, so you’re prepared when it’s time to plan for the next birthday bash.
Don’t Let It Sneak Up On You
Birthdays, unlike most parenting, are completely predictable. They happen at the same time every year, so you have a whole year to prepare and save up. Determine an appropriate budget for your child’s birthday celebration. Divide that by 12, and try to set aside that amount in your savings account each month. As the special day approaches, you’ll have money on hand to pay deposits on a party venue or a cake, and you won’t have to blow up your household budget to absorb all the expense at once.
Comparison Shop Annual and Semi-Annual Expenses
Think about all the expenses that pop up in your budget only once or twice a year. Homeowners’ and car insurances are two good examples. Most consumers just pay the bill without a second thought whenever it rolls around. It may be well worth your time, though, to shop around and make sure you’re getting the best deal. After all, what’s available in the marketplace changes over the course of six or 12 months. A little comparison shopping online could save you hundreds of dollars each year.
Look for Ways to Save on Utilities
Cable, internet, electricity, water, natural gas, trash pickup — these monthly bills eat up a significant portion of your monthly income. The good news is that you have more control over them than you may think. For example, did you know that routine maintenance service of your HVAC system can save you more than it costs? Having the air ducts in your home cleaned and sealed is just one step you can take to reduce your monthly bills and avoid costly repairs. Review your household budget and look for expenses like these to make small cuts that add up to big savings.
Whether you have little ones who want a bouncy castle and cupcakes or a teenager who wants to skydive, taking the time to save and plan ahead is the best way to make sure you can bring the birthday dream to life. A quick review of your annual and monthly household budget will likely reveal several ways to trim expenses. You can even enlist your children to look for ways to save. They’re more likely to buy in if they know the end result will be a birthday they can look forward to, and they’ll learn valuable money management lessons at the same time.