Birthdays make me Broke!

Lately I've been thinking about birthdays.  Well, birthday parties, really.

I'm sure for many moms, birthday parties for our children is high on the priority list.  It is for me!

But here's the problem... birthday's don't stop coming!  I feel like we just had Marco's birthday and here come's Jonas' right around the corner!

And birthday parties are expensive!  Living in a city where all of your family lives just multiplies the cost.  Because we can't throw a party and just invite the friends because the family will get their feelings hurt.  But we can't throw a party and just invite the family because then my kids' friends wont be there to celebrate.

For Marco's birthday, which was in the middle of June, we had close to 50 people in attendance!  The total cost for that party was close to $500.  The food alone cost $300 and when you add decorations, favors and cake, there you have it!  $500... for a 3 year old's birthday.

And really, I don't think we went overboard.  The food was simply hotdogs, cheeseburgers, chips, fruit, corn and cupcakes... not too much.  It was a pool party, so we didn't rent a bounce house or an entertainer or a face painter.  We didn't rent tables or chairs, but borrowed them from my dad instead.  So, you know... it was done as cost efficiently as possible.

But still!  We spent $500 just 3 months ago and now it's time to do it all again?!  Don't you think it's a little overkill?  I do.

And part of me feels guilty... well if I did it for one, I should do it for the other... blah blah... parental guilt... blah blah... will I scar them for life?

That's it!  I'm putting my foot down on this whole party money sucking fiasco!

I have decided that for Jonas' 2nd birthday, there will be NO bash. (GASP! FAINT!).  Instead, we will be having a play date at a park on the day before (a Thursday) and I will bring cake pops so that we can sing with his friends.  Then on his actual birthday (a Friday) we will have the immediate family get together at my house... and by immediate family, I mean my parents, my siblings, Mauricio's parents, Mauricio's sister and that's IT!  I'll prepare dinner for us and have a cake to celebrate.

The end.

This plan should cost me about $100.  That's a lot more reasonable than $500.

But I can't always do that to Jonas.  It's not fair that I give Marco a huge all-out bash and then give Jonas a lame ol' play date.  So here's what I'm thinking of doing in the future:

Since their birthday's are 3 months apart, I will have ONE birthday bash at the midpoint, 1.5 months after Marco's and 1.5 months before Jonas'.  We will have an all out, hold nothing back, over the top, party of all parties DUAL birthday party.  And it'll be awesome.

Then on each of their actual birthday's, we'll have the small family gathering with dinner and cake at our house to celebrate them individually.

Honestly, it's just too hard doing two big birthday parties.  It's hard on ME, having to plan everything... it's hard on our guests, having to buy gifts again and having ANOTHER party... it's hard on my husband, having to do all that set up and tear down... and it's hard on our wallet!  This will allow us the opportunity to go nuts for our kids ONCE a year and really celebrate the both of them together.  And the good thing is that since they're only a year apart, hopefully they'll have a lot of the same friends and be interested in the same things.

I'm excited for this!  I wish I had thought of it this year instead!

What do YOU do for your kids' birthday?  Do you do a combined party or give each one their own?  How do you make it work for your family?  I'd love to know!  We're still figuring this whole thing out ourselves!


Allie said...

Totally would do them together!! For sure!!! Great idea! We get a little screwed with V being in April, Luke in Aug and Jude in March....I might have to combine V&J one year! Seriously genius idea! I love parties but man they are so much money and work! Wheew!

Cheri said...

I didn't have birthday parties growing up. There were four of us and my mom just told us that we just don't do parties. We were never upset... in fact, I don't even remember thinking about it. Birthdays were still special because we got presents and cake and time with our family. We did get to invite one friend over for a sleepover once we got a little older. It didn't take much to make us happy!

Especially with young kids, birthdays are exciting no matter what you do. It's a day just for them! You can't go wrong!

Helo said...

Acho legal fazer Hot-Dogs, brigadeiro, Ice-Cream e Bolo de Chocolate!
Para enfeitar bexigas coloridas!
o que voce acha????

Danielle-Marie said...

For my kids' birthdays I invite close family and friends, make my own decorations, and I keep the food simple. It still works out to being around $200 after we get the cake and a gift...but $200 is $300 less than $500, so I'll take it.

I think you're doing the right thing putting your foot down. They really won't remember these birthdays anyways. And if we continue on with big extravagant birthday parties, they'll become expected, and there may be years where it's financially impossible to do so.

Shawna said...

We do immediate family parties (Grandparents and aunts/ about 12 adults total since Lee and I only have 1 sibling each ;-)

I love doing birthdays and would probably have a hard time not doing separate parties on their actual birthdays....but we definitely don't spend anywhere near that much since we have such small families. I can imagine how hard it'd be to plan for such big crowds each time!!