Planning a Birthday Party on a Tight Budget and Timeframe

birthday cake 1You might be a whizz at organising client meetings in the office, but when you need to organise your child’s birthday party and you’re strapped for time and cash, it can seem like a daunting task. Don’t worry, we’re here to help!

Below we have a selection of hints and tips to ensure you throw a party that’s a hit with the children and parents alike.

Don’t Compete

If your child has attended other children’s birthday parties over the years, you may have noticed that each year certain parents try to outdo one another. Don’t fall into this trap – it’s a recipe for stress and feelings of inadequacy! Set a realistic budget and stick to it. Be creative, and have fun planning a special event for your child.

Who’s Coming?

First of all, you need to work out who’ll be attending the party. Are you planning a party for family, your child’s friends, or both? If you are inviting other children, will their parents also attending, or will they drop them off and pick them up later? Do you want a boys or girls only party?

The Location

Once you know who’s coming, you can pick a suitable location. Depending on the number of guests and the size of your house you could host the party at home, or if budget allows, you could hire out a local hall. If it’s summer, can you hold a garden party? To make it more fun and exciting for the kids, you can rent bounce house inflatables.

Party Food

This again will depend on your location, guests and budget. You could hire someone to do catering for you, but it’s cheaper to do it yourself. Party food is relatively simple (sandwiches and cakes etc.) but you could also include hot snacks such as sausage rolls, spring rolls and potato wedges. If you are hosting the party at home, you will have more control over cooked food, but if you host at a separate venue, you can cook in the morning and take the food with you. Make sure you cover any allergies/dietary requirements in your initial invitation!

Keep the Parents Happy

If you are inviting other children’s parents to stay at the party, whether it’s at home or at a venue, make separate food for them and offer it while the children are eating. That way they feel included too. Family & Private Events is a good option as they offer a party room or lounge for adults to hang out in while the kids play.


Entertainers are a popular option for children’s parties, from clowns, party princesses to DJs, but this costs money. It’s easy enough to do a lot of entertainment yourself. You can do the usual party games, or if your children are a little older, do a DIY disco. A bouncy castle hire is also a great idea to keep the kids entertained for the whole day.

Make sure you create a written schedule mapping out everything that will happen that day, from cooking, to setting up the venue, when the guests will arrive, and when people will eat, open presents, and leave. One last thing… don’t forget the party bags!

About the author: Sara Parker blogs for Face for Business – providers of telephone answering services to SMEs and parents with their own businesses.  

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