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40 Budget And Meaningful Birthday Ideas For Kids

40 Budget And Meaningful Birthday Ideas For Kids

It is very common for parents to want to do something special on their children’s birthdays. People often think this means birthdays are expensive events, but sometimes it is hard to find the money for such things.

The good news is that special doesn’t have to mean expensive. Kids can still have an amazing day with their friends and families without the high costs if you decide to throw a budget birthday party. Here are 40 fantastic ideas on how to have a budget birthday party for your child.

1. Fill the child’s room with balloons of all different sizes and colors for a wake-up surprise.

2. If your child is old enough, throw a craft party where she can decorate unfinished items. Secondhand stores are normally filled with old picture frames, unvarnished pots and wooden jewelry boxes.

3. Consider going to somewhere free, such as local museums, for a day trip.

4. If your child likes swimming, take him and a few friends to your local swimming baths.

5. Take your child to her favorite place to eat as a special treat.

6. If your child likes the outdoors, pack a picnic and take him to his favorite park, or a park he has never visited before.

7. Invite your child’s closest friends over for a sleepover.

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8. If your child is a toddler, throw a circles party–everything at the party is circle shaped. Good examples are party rings, polka-dot table coverings and big bouncy balls.

9. If her birthday falls during the summer, throw a garden party with snacks and music and invite her friends around.

10. If his birthday is close to one of his friends, speak to the parents about throwing a joint party for both of them.

11. If your child loves music, invite her friends around and throw a karaoke party. If you don’t have a karaoke machine, you can find videos on YouTube and play them for the children.

12. Instead of handing out expensive gift bags at the end of each party, stick with one treat for each child, from yo-yos to a bar of chocolate.

13. Throw a fancy dress witch party for your child and his friends if they love Harry Potter. Use food coloring to make potions, and watch a Harry Potter film afterwards.

14. If you live near a lake, take a day trip out with some snacks and pizzas for dinner.

15. Throw a birthday festival in your back garden, with bubbles, balloons, face paints and transfer tattoos.

16. If you own a Playstation, Wii or Xbox, invite your child’s friends around and have a game day where they can all play their favorite games.

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17. Let your child choose all of the meals for the day.

18. If your child is young, throw a teddy bear party with all of her favorite toys.

19. Have a movie night where he can choose the film, the snacks and the drinks.

20. If your child has a favorite film or book, decorate one room in the house to fit in with the theme, such as a Frozen-themed living room. Dress up as the characters and have fun!

21. If you have a young teenage daughter, have a pamper day with nail painting, homemade face masks and experimenting with makeup.

22. Let your child wear whatever he wants all day, including face-paint.

23. If your child enjoys sports, host a sports day in your garden with her friends, with sweets for prizes.

24. If you have an older child, a jewellery party with friends is a great idea. Buy beads and string and teach the children how to make necklaces and bracelets.

25. If your child is old enough, taking him and a few friends camping could be a great success. Pack marshmallows and hot chocolate for a sweet treat.

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26. If your child loves the outdoors, drive her and a couple of friends to the beach for a fun day trip.

27. Leave a trail of glitter or sweets leading your child from his bed in the morning to his birthday presents.

28. Print face masks out from the internet. Have your child and her friends paint and decorate their own.

29. Hold a backyard treasure hunt as the main event of the day, where the final piece of treasure is the child’s main birthday present.

30. Instead of packing a normal school lunch, pack a special birthday lunch with a slice of cake. Wrap a small treat and leave it in his lunchbox for him to discover later.

31. Make your child her favorite breakfast and bring it to her in bed.

32. If your child has a sweet tooth, invite his friends around and throw a decorating party. Bake plain cupcakes and allow the children to decorate their own.

33. If your child likes cooking, throw a pizza-making party with bowls of toppings and ready-made dough.

34. A painting party is often a great success with younger children. Buy paints and colored paper and leave them to it!

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35. Tape an old blanket from your child’s door to the ceiling, and fill it with balloons before taping it up. When your child opens the door in the morning, balloons will fall around her as a birthday surprise.

36. If your child is older, throwing a party for him and his friends in the garage is a great idea. Buy a secondhand disco ball, put out some snacks and have an evening to yourself while they enjoy themselves.

37. For a creative child, throw a paper mâché party and let them create whatever they want. Check out tips and tricks online and craft something with your child!

38. Make a time capsule with your child for her to dig up in 10 years. Let your child choose some things she would like to put in, and bury it together.

39. If your child’s birthday is in summer, take advantage of the heat and make your own slip and slide for endless hours of fun.

40. Write your child a short, funny, fictional story about her as a princess, wizard or superhero. Read it to her in the morning to make her feel extra special and excited.

Do you have any budget birthday ideas for children? Share them in the comments below!

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on June 6, 2019

The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

Are you on track for retirement?

If not, don’t worry, I’m not sure either. I save each month and hope for the best.

Fortunately, I’m at an age where most people don’t save so I’m ahead of the curve.

But, what if you aren’t in your 20s? What if you’re near retirement and are looking to gauge where you stand?

If so, keep reading. Here’s how to prepare for retirement and save wisely during the process.

What Does the Average American Have Saved for Retirement?

Saving for retirement is tricky.

Tell someone straight out of college to save $10k a year for retirement and it’ll be next to impossible.

Make the same request to someone decades older and they’d be more likely to be able to save this amount. But, a 20-year old college student can be “financially ahead” of someone saving more than them. Why?

Age matters in your financial journey. The younger you are, the more time you have to save and put compound interest to work. As you get older and have more saving power, you’d have less time to put compound interest to work.

Here are the average savings Americans hold by age bracket:

20’s – $16,000

During this stage, most people are paying loans and moving up the corporate ladder. Your best bet during this stage is to focus on eliminating debt and increasing your income. Don’t focus only on getting a high-paying job neither.

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Instead, focus on learning via Podcasts, reading books, and taking specialized courses. Doing this will make you more valuable and give you more career options.

30’s – $45,000

At this stage, you’ve hopefully escaped your entry-level salary and work at a career you enjoy. Your earning power has increased but you now have more obligations. For example, marriage, kids, and a mortgage.

Set a plan to pay off all your debt and focus on eliminating unnecessary expenses. Leverage financial tools like Personal Capital to ensure you’re on track for retirement.

40’s – $63,000

This is the stage where you’re at the prime of your career. Top financial institutions recommend you have at least 2 to 4 times your salary saved up. If you’re falling behind, start maxing out your 401K and Roth IRA accounts.

50’s – $115,000

During your fifties, you’re close to retirement but still, have time to save. You may be helping your kids pay college tuition and other expenses. Since you’re at the peak of your earning power, max out all your retirement accounts.

60’s – $172,000

By this point, you should have about eight times your salary saved up. If not, you’ll depend primarily on social security benefits averaging $1400 per month. Max out all your retirement options as much as possible before retiring.

Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget

The sad reality is that most Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement.

Even high-earning power isn’t enough to secure one’s financial future. You need to have the discipline to save for retirement while time is in your favor. Don’t wait for you to have a high salary to save, start with having a small budget.

First, get a clear picture of where you stand. Write down a list of “needs” and “wants.” For example, Netflix and Amazon Prime are “wants” and a “cell-phone” is a need.

Use tools like Personal Capital to analyze your spending patterns. Personal Capital allows you to add all your financial data in one place–making it a powerful option to gauge where you stand.

Once you know all your expenses, organize them from highest to lowest expense. When you can’t cut more expenses, call your service providers to negotiate a lower price. If you’re not good at negotiating, use services like Trimm to lower your monthly expenses.

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How to Save Money Each Month

By this point, you know the average amount of money you should have saved for retirement based on your age.

But, breaking this down into monthly goals can be challenging. Here are some rule of thumbs to follow:

Aim to contribute 10%–15% of your salary each paycheck. Review your progress each week.

Why so often? The reality is that life gets in our way and you will have many financial setbacks. Your goal isn’t to be perfect but to get back on track instead.

Reviewing your finances weekly lets you know where you stand with your retirement. This doesn’t have to be a long process either. All it takes is login in Personal Capital to view your net worth and check how much you have saved for retirement.

Turn saving into a game and aim to save more each month. It will get challenging but you’ll get creative and find more ways to save.

Top Money Saving Challenge Tips

To prepare for your financial future and not be another statistic you need to be different.

How?

By adopting new habits that’ll help you become a saving machine. Here are some ways you can save more:

Automatically Contribute Towards Retirement

If you’re working for a company, you can automatically contribute towards your 401k. If you’re not currently contributing more than 10%, make this your goal. Contribute 1% more today and automatically increase this amount a year from now.

Odds are that you’re not going to be negatively affected by contributing 1% more. Many times we spend our money on things we don’t need. Contributing more towards retirement is a great way to secure your financial future.

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Use the Right Tools to Know Where You Stand

Once you’re contributing more towards your retirement accounts, gauge your progress. Make use of finance tracking apps to help you view the big picture of your retirement.

When I’d first signed up for the app Personal Capital, I didn’t know I had a negative net worth. Despite saving thousands of dollars, my debt brought my net worth to the negative. Knowing this motivated me to save more and spend less.

Now, I have a positive net worth. But, it was because I was able to view the big picture using the app. Find out what your net worth is using a finance tracking app and you may surprise yourself.

Bring in Experts to View Your Blind Spots

If you have too little or too much money saved, you should consider hiring financial experts.

Why?

You may need someone to hold you accountable to help you reach your financial goals. Or, you may need help managing your money as effective as possible.

Regardless of the reason, getting help may help improve your financial situation.

Before you hire an expert, find out which areas you need help the most. For example, if you’re constantly overspending, find a debt counselor. If you’re struggling with choosing the best investment options, hire a financial advisor.

Speed up Your Retirement Contribution

After learning how to manage your money well, the next best thing is to earn a higher income.

You’re capped at how much you can save but not much you can earn. Even if your employer isn’t giving you a promotion, you can still take charge of your financial future. How?

By starting a side-business.

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This will be something you’d work on after you’ve finished your day job. Once you start earning income from your side-business, you’ll be financially better off.

The best part is the more work you put into your side-business,[1] the more potential it has to earn more money.

So start a side-business in an area you’re familiar with. For example, if you enjoy writing, do freelance writing for small e-commerce businesses.

Once you’re earning a higher income, you can contribute more towards your retirement. Don’t wait for the right opportunity to secure your financial future, create one.

Reach Financial Freedom with Confidence

What if you were able to retire tomorrow with no problem, all because you’d have enough money saved up and little to no debt left to pay off? How would you feel?

My guess is that you’d feel happy and relieved.

Most Americans are falling behind their retirement goals for many reasons. They’re not prepared, they carry bad money-habits and are thinking short-term.

For you to retire successfully, you need to work backward and adopt better habits. Contribute more towards your 401K and focus on growing your income.

If you do, you’ll save money and pay debt faster.

Don’t beat yourself up if you’re behind your retirement goals. Take the first step today towards a brighter financial future. Isn’t retirement worth the hard work and sacrifice to be at peace?

Featured photo credit: Huy Phan via unsplash.com

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