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How To Throw A FREE Kid’s Birthday Party

The Talking Cents blog has written about birthday parties on a budget before. However, this one is all about throwing a free kid’s birthday party. This way you can maintain your debt management or savings plan. Here are some tips on how you can spend $0 on your next event.

If you're paying off debt, here are some ideas for a free kid's birthday party!

If you’re paying off debt, here are some ideas for a free kid’s birthday party!

Tips to Plan a Free Kid’s Birthday Party

Recently, I have been thinking through a party for my daughter. As we are saving for a house, the idea of spending money on a party is tough. However, I really do want to celebrate her birthday in style! So that got me thinking and researching. Here are some tips and tricks I found to avoid nearly all expenses to make it a free kid’s birthday party.

The Venue

There are a few venue options I have found for a no-cost party that keeps you away from consumer debt.

  • Your own backyard is a very convenient option with no scheduling conflicts. You also won’t spend any money on gas!
  • Local parks or green spaces are sometimes free. They do require scheduling, especially if there is a pavilion. This can be a great advantage if your yard has no shade in the summer instead of spending money on a tent.
  • A friend or family’s house is another great way to throw a free kid’s birthday party. Take note of people with pool’s or other fun options that your house lacks or that you want but can’t afford for the party.

The Food

Food can be a massive expenditure. Here are a few ways to avoid spending money on food.

  • Pick a time of day that doesn’t involve a major meal time. Use your grocery budget to make some snacks and appetizers to get people through the experience.
  • Make it a potluck! This is a tried and true method.
  • Limit the amount of attendees. Less mouths to feed makes it more manageable.
  • Ask a few family members to contribute to the food instead of buying gifts.
  • Create a theme and ask folks to bring an item- pies, desserts, sundae bar, fiesta. This is like a potluck but a little more fun and organized.

The Games

And here are some ways to save money on party decorations and games.

  • Use some party cups and a ball for yard bowling.
  • Set up a net for badminton and volleyball.
  • Soccer balls and dodge balls are always fun.
  • Let the kids shoot hoops or rollerblade around the driveway or park.
  • Go on a tractor ride. This corrals the kids and is super entertaining.
  • Draw with sidewalk chalk.
  • Go bobbing for something, like apples.

The Decorations

Finally, here are a few ideas for free decorations.

  • Make your own paper banners.
  • Use cardboard and paint to make some sturdy cutouts of favorite characters or party theme related items.
  • Forget the decorations for older kids- play music, have lots of games and activities. No one will be any the wiser.
  • Make centerpieces using items from around the home.
  • Have your little ones do some crafts beforehand to hang.
  • Borrow some cute items from friends.
  • Use seasonal decorations if the dates line up.

While this ideas may take some time or cut into your grocery budget a little, it can help you avoid more personal credit card debt. Even if you spend $10, it still leaves you in a great place. Your kids will appreciate the effort and won’t worry about how much your spending. They may even have some creative ideas, so don’t feel like you have to keep it from them. Make it a family goal!

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today. 


Michelle is a regular contributor to Talking Cents. She has taken several financial courses on debt management and is ready to circulate what she has learned from them as well as lessons from her own life- family to DIY projects to student loan debt.

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