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How to set a Budget for a Children’s Party

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As parents we all want to do our best to give our children a birthday party they dream of, but it is important you only spend what you can afford. If you set a budget before you plan your party, you will be aware of what you can spend and this will help when you start to plan the party. Here are some guidelines to consider when setting a budget for the party.
What you'll need: 
Pen
Paper
Calculator
1: 
Set aside a total amount that you want to spend on the party.
2: 
Write down an amount you want to spend on the venue.
3: 
List an amount for entertainment, which could include an entertainer, disco, games, bouncy castle etc. This will enable you to research what you can realistically afford before you start to plan the event.
4: 
Write down an amount for food and drink. This will need to take into account the number of guests and time of day. Some venues will do their own catering so you may need to check this out when researching venues.
5: 
List an amount for decoration. This may not be needed if you are using a venue that provides the entertainment i.e. soft play area.
6: 
Agree a maximum amount of money to be spent on a cake. This will enable you realise if you can afford to have one especially made, if you are going to buy a shop bought one or you can always make your own and all you will need to allow is an amount of money for the ingredients.
7: 
Write down an amount you are going to spend on party bags – only if you are going to offer them. These can be done quite cost effectively
8: 
Agree an amount for party invitations, again you can make these your own and just print them off the computer so all you will need to include is a cost for paper, envelopes and ink for the printer.
9: 
Add up the totals listed and see if this matches the total amount you had set aside. If it doesn’t revise your list and reduce expenditure in certain areas and keep checking the running total until you achieve the total budget figure you set aside initially. Sometimes this is hard to do, but by doing things yourself, reducing the number of guests and not having a fussy food menu planned – costs can be cut and the party can still be great!
10: 
As you plan the party, please refer to the budget list to ensure you don’t go over the budget agreed. If you need to increase the budget in one area you will need to reduce it in another area.
Conclusion: 
When you have decided on your total budget, if you divide it between the numbers of children you are inviting (including your own child/children) you will have a cost per head. This may be useful if you are considering looking into having they party at children’s play area, cinema, and restaurant etc where you can usually obtain a cost per head price.
Tips: 
Are there friends at school, in nursery or children who have birthdays within a few weeks of your child? If so, a joint event could be considered, this is especially useful if you are considering hiring a hall as the hire fee would be halved.
Stick to your budget.
Warnings: 
Be realistic with your budget, only agree a total that you can afford.

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