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Are you looking for inexpensive birthday party ideas, but don't want to skimp on the fun? Throwing a memorable party that kids will love and keeping yourself on a budget aren't mutually exclusive — you can do both. As long as you make the most of the resources you have, you can make your kids' birthday parties ones to remember.

Spare your wallet with these tips to cut costs out of the equation, all while leaving the fun factor intact.

Pick a Cost-Effective Theme

A birthday party theme keeps everything cohesive, which will make your party look polished no matter how much (or how little) you spend. Choosing a theme that takes advantage of the resources and settings around you will help the party fit your budget.

For example, if you live near a beach or lake, choose a beach-themed party and have guests meet up at that particular location. If your child loves gaming, and you already have a gaming system with several controllers, then think about running a tournament themed around one video game.

Does your spare bedroom look like an aisle out of Michael's craft store? If so, perhaps an arts and crafts party is your best bet.

Evaluate When to Buy, Rent, or Crowdsource

You might be tempted to buy everything you need to pull your party together, but doing that can cost a small fortune. Instead, list everything that you want to include in your party, and then ask yourself if it makes sense to buy, rent, or crowdsource it (borrow from someone). Here's some guidance to help you decide:

  • When to Buy: If you know you'll need the item again for future use, such as foldable tables you can use for your next barbecue, then it might be smarter to make the investment now and buy them.
  • When to Rent: Renting can really spare your budget, especially for items you know you'll never use again, or that are very costly (such as large tents for your backyard). Consider renting if it doesn't make sense to buy it.
  • When to Crowdsource: If you have friends and family members who live close-by, ask if you can borrow a few items. For example, can you borrow the foldable chairs and tables you need from a couple of friends instead of buying or renting them? Or perhaps your mom has a punch bowl that you can borrow. Think about what you can crowdsource for your party to save money.

Find Inexpensive Ways to Give the Parents Something to Do

Will the parents be sticking around for this party, or will they come back to pick their kids up afterward? If parents are sticking around, be sure to create an atmosphere that lets them have a good time, too. Party activities for parents may include:

  • Carving out a Parent's Area: Tie in the name of this area with the theme of your party, and encourage the adults to mingle. For example, you could have the Parent's Cove while celebrating your beach-themed event.
  • Having Kids Partner with Their Parents: Have the parents partner with their child for activities such as a gaming tournament, obstacle course, or contest.
  • Give Them a Fun Job to Do: Can you involve the parents by letting them score contests? Or maybe the parents can go through the tournament as well, letting the kids act as the judges. How about letting parents set up the photo booth?

The best inexpensive birthday party ideas are the ones that, when executed, only add to the overall party atmosphere. Start your planning by keeping the ideas above in mind, and you'll be able to maximize the fun while minimizing the cost.

This information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable, but is not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither KeyBank nor its affiliates are acting as your agent or is offering any tax, accounting, or legal advice.

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