May 18, 2007, Newsletter Issue #138: How to Save Money on a Kid's Party

Tip of the Week

Most parents have been there. Your child's birthday is fast approaching and your finances are a little low. You want your child to have a wonderful birthday but you just can't afford to drop several hundred dollars on an elaborate party this year. Here are some ways to be frugal when planning your kid's party, according to the experts.

Don't assume the cheapest place to have a party is at your house. Once you buy the decorations, food and cake it might have been more cost-effective to buy a package birthday deal that includes all these things in a place like a bowling alley or Chuck E. Cheese.If you are having the party at your house, you don't have to hire expensive entertainment. Ask around and do some research. The stay-at-home mother next door might moonlight as a clown or magician. Or perhaps a relative wouldn't mind putting on a puppet show. Or perhaps your brother or cousin is a firefighter and can arrange a free tour of a fire truck as entertainment. Try to think out of the box!Most places famous for hosting a kid's party are really busy on weekends and the rates tend to be higher as well. Think about planning a party after school during the week. It might be cheaper than a weekend event. Do some price comparisons before booking.If your party is at another place, ask if you can bring your own food. It's almost always cheaper to, for example, make your own birthday cake and bring it rather than pay for one that's made by a party place or local bakery

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