At some point birthday parties for our kiddos seem to have gone from a once or twice in a lifetime thing, to a big, overpriced annual extravaganza. Families are shifting buckets of money towards the perfect venue, cake, loot bags and so on. What if a family has multiple children? They can likely say goodbye to dreams of vacations or home renos in order to prioritize these parties, or worse, do it all without the means.
Let's say a family decides they want to crack down on their expenses and start budgeting, will they remember to set aside over $600 per year for each party? What about the dozens of other parties their child/children will be attending and must provide the obligatory gift? These are often overlooked expenses, and where debt balances come from. Your options are to either opt out of this expensive new norm, or take a hard look at where those funds will come from.
If you are trying to make a budget and get your numbers in line, sometimes it's far too overwhelming to try to think of every single dollar going out. Most families have a month where there is an influx of expenses that hit them every year, but when you look at your budget outside of that pricey month you don't think about all those clustered birthdays/anniversaries. Sometimes it's easier to ear mark money to a separate account to cover these costs and alleviate stress when those big months hit. When a tax return comes in or at bonus time, put a couple thousand dollars to a savings account and use that to cover gifts and other occasions that just don't fit into your monthly budget.