Overspend on a First Birthday Party: Why Do We Do it?This post may contain affiliate links which might earn us money. Please read my Disclosure and Privacy policies here
One thing we learned from this financial journey is that first birthday parties are overrated. I’m not here to tell you this to make you feel bad or to judge you because my friend when it came to a big first birthday party, I was that mama!
I spent tons of money on my kid’s first birthday party and then we got smarter. You see when we were trying to kill my debt we were so broke that we decided not to buy our son a gift for his first birthday party.
We felt like crappy parents but we had bills to pay and we would be spending the day with our family and close friends and that would be enough.
I remember even writing about this and how much crap I got from parents about not buying toys for our boys years ago, but that’s another topic!
It made me realize that number one, many people don’t read before they start judging, and number two, many people assume we all parent the same way. Of course, this means that because we don’t parent the same way as them, we were terrible parents.
Now, if you are having a hard time about this let me just remind you that buying your kids material stuff doesn’t equal good parenting, my friend. Going broke and stressing over first birthday parties shouldn’t even be a thing.
Let’s continue with why it’s ridiculous to overspend on a first birthday party, shall we?
Why It’s Ridiculous to Overspend on a First Birthday Party
A first birthday is certainly an occasion worth celebrating. You want to take plenty of pictures, keep a hat or napkin from the party, etc. What you don’t want to do is spend hundreds of dollars. Parents have started spending more and more money.
Why? Who are these people trying to impress? Who are you trying to impress? Let’s look at why it’s ridiculous to overspend on a first birthday party.
Your Child Will Never Remember It
Twenty years from now, your child is not going to remember her first birthday party. She won’t remember that you spend over $100 on the birthday cake or had the event catered.
Even if you have the best intentions, it makes no sense to spend an insane amount of money. Yes, it’s a special occasion, but it’s the occasion that can be celebrated with a few close family members and a cake. You don’t have to go overboard.
Where Does It End?
If you start your child’s life with an extravagant event, where does it end? Will the second birthday also be an excuse to overspend? What about the sixth, thirteenth, and sixteenth birthdays? Will you constantly try to top each big milestone with another huge party? If you keep this up, you’ll have a child that’s not only spoiled but feels entitled.
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Why Are You Doing It?
We all love our kids and want the best for them. Because this is your child’s first birthday, you may be tempted to go big. But how much of it will your child really enjoy?
Another reason may be because a friend had a huge party for her daughter’s first birthday.
When you start trying to keep up with other parents, you’re doing everything for the wrong reason. You have to think about what’s best for your family.
How to Throw a Realistic First Birthday Party
You don’t need a lot for a first birthday party. You need a few cute party supplies, which you can pick up at your local Dollar Tree. You also need a small cake for your little one to enjoy and a cake for the guests.
You’ll also need a camera. That’s all you REALLY need. You don’t need a candy station or entertainment. This should actually be the least expensive birthday party for your child, not the opposite.
We all want our child to have an amazing first birthday, but a one-year-old doesn’t have a lot of demands. Take advantage of this time to throw an inexpensive party that your child will enjoy. As long as there’s cake and a fresh diaper, your child will be good to go.
Now that my kids are way older, I look back at their parties and realize that, yes, they were probably over the top, but I think there are some reasons. First, you’re bringing family and friends that are happy to share with you the milestones and want to celebrate with you. Second, let’s face it, the first year is pretty tough, so it’s probably just as much of a celebration for the parents to say ‘We made it!’