Six Simple Steps to Planning a First Birthday Party on a Budget.

As you may (or not) be aware, a very special little lady is about to turn one. I cannot believe how fast the last twelve months have gone. They say time flies when you’re having fun and I guess they’d be right. The way I see it is that every day with our beautiful daughter is a gift, even the ones where she has melt downs because we wouldn’t let her crawl off where ever she wants to. She brightens our days with her smile, laughter and with her cheekiness. She is growing up so fast. Her understanding of the world is improving all the time. Her character is coming through and I am already bricking it for her teenage years as she has quite the stubborn streak, just like her mummy. She is showing a clear like or dislike of things too. She doesn’t like pear but she loves Hey Duggee. It’s her favourite thing in the whole world. We’ve bought some of her birthday presents already and there is a clear theme appearing. With this in mind, we wanted to incorporate this into the planning of her party.

So, let’s get down to the business side of this post. How can you plan a decent first birthday, on a tight budget? The answer is simple. It’s not easy to do but with some planning, using my bullet journal of course, we will make it happen and keep costs down. There are many ways in which you can save some pennies whilst still making it a day to remember.


Step One:

Set a budget before you begin planning. If you must spend money, shop around. Find the bargains out there to help keep the costs down. Amazon has some great items out there and if you’re planning well in advance, use the third party sellers, who are usually cheaper, to nab those bargain prices with a slightly longer delivery time. Keep a spending tracker so that you can stick to that set budget.

Step Two:

Don’t hire a venue, use your home.  No matter how small it is. Stagger guests throughout the day if needs be and keep the invite list small. She’s going to be turning one and whilst that is a great milestone, she isn’t going to remember if your great auntie Maud was there or not. Keep it to immediate family and a select few friends. Save the big guest lists for birthdays she will care about.

Step Three:

DIY. Make things yourself. I am sure you can find a few aunties or uncles to help out with making some cute decorations or the cake. There is no need to spend a fortune making the cake look amazing, especially if you’re doing a cake smash. All you need are some bits of paper and some string, even the craftily inept can manage this. If not, then scout out some cheap bits in pound shops. Look for bargains, nobody will notice if your napkins are a different shade of pink to your paper pompoms. Print off some nice pictures, one from each month since birth and string them together to great a lovely bit of personalised bunting. Make as much of the food for the party yourself and buy smart for the items that you can’t.

Step Four:

Don’t buy into a theme. Use something she likes to make it special of course. We are with some select Hey Duggee features but everything else will be simple and cheap. Don’t waste money on going all out because, as I’ve said, she won’t remember a thing.

Step Five:

Make sure people send you the pictures that they take of the day so that you can treasure them. It will save on hiring a costly photographer. With a bit of cloth and a few well placed props, you can make your own backdrop if you prefer to have those special pictures. Just make sure you have plenty of natural lighting.

Step Six:

Do not get carried away with the outfit for your baby. This is one I’ve found the hardest as there are so many cute outfits around on the internet. Remember that it’ll be an outfit for one day and that the likelihood of it being clean by the end of the day is very low.

I guess that’s all there is to it really. If you keep to these steps, then sticking to a budget shouldn’t be too hard. If you do get tempted by the expensive accessories for the party then just remind yourself that although it is a special day, she won’t remember any of it. As long as you can capture the moment, she will treasure the effort you made. If you can save a few quid on the party, then there is more money to spend on the presents.

Hope this helps with your planning. Is there anything you did to keep costs down that I didn’t mention?

Thanks for reading,

Monsterful Mama.

I’m taking part in the Mummy Monday linky with Becca from Becca Blogs It Out

The Pramshed