This week I went to two different birthday events. First was a surprise party for a 40-year-old. My husband, at the adult party, shared a vent with the milestone birthday man about December birthdays and how they only get “half” the presents/attention.
The next night we went to a gathering at a pizza place on a kids’ night for a 10-year-old who “didn’t want a party.” I wondered if his parents would be able to remind him later on (say, when’s he 40 and complaining about getting shafted) that he was the one to say “no” to an official party!
Not that his parents were complaining, I’m sure. Especially at this time of year, it was probably a treat to save some money. Research from Barclays in the U.K. recently found that “the average parent will spend nearly £5,000 on celebrating birthdays during the ages of four and 11. Typically, adults spend £433.39 on birthday parties and another £164.65 on presidents.” (Yeah, I had to direct quote that because I love the typo in presents. I would have thought presidents would cost more!).
The top five party expenses were:
- Party bags
You’d think some money could be saved hosting the party at home. That may be true, but this was the survey’s “most stressful venue for a birthday party.”
But some parents also buy as many as 50 presents per birthday, the study revealed.
Barclay’s, being a financial institution, took the opportunity in reporting on the study to remind people, “the money you spend on presents and parties adds up and ultimately can end up having quite an impact on the savings you might have otherwise put aside for your child’s future.” Clare Francis, savings and investments director at Barclays, said: “The sooner you start saving, the better your financial trajectory will be.”
Starting at Year One
A Pop Sugar columnist would likely argue to start saving that money at year one. After all, her article is entitled, “Why You Honestly Shouldn’t Even Bother Throwing a Big First Birthday Party.”
She described the relaxed approach to her second child’s first birthday party: “It was a no-muss, no-fuss kind of party, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.” But this was a far cry from the stress of the first child’s first birthday party with “an intricate fondant-covered cake, blanketing the house in expensive decorations, and spending most of the party bouncing around the house making sure everyone had everything they needed.”
Looking back, recognizing that neither child will remember the event, she suggests “throw the rules out the window and do your kid’s birthday the way YOU want to.”
That likely means 50 presents and hundreds of dollars for some and low-pomp but lots of family fun for others.
Finally, while we’re talking about birthday expenses, I’ll also share this article from Bustle on how millennial women deal with splitting the bill at birthday dinners. The more you know, right?