28 answers

How Much Do You Spend on Birthday Gifts?

Hi ladies hoping you could help. We've been getting invited to birthday parties and I'm always wandering what I should spend on these gifts? The age ranges of the kids is up to 8 and I usually look for something around $10, unless they're close friends. Is this too cheap??? The parties we have attended they have not opened the presents but the gifts are so big?? so I'm curious if I'm spending enough?? Anxious to hear from you and thanks for your help!

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Ladies, you are wonderful thank you for the responses! It is always so comforting to read the responses and so glad to find out that I'm not a cheapskate. I've been so worried when I see the big, fancy boxes and wonder....is my gift even as much as others spent on the wrapping alone...now I know, who cares...I've got extra McDonald's money right??? Have a wonderful 4th!!!

Featured Answers

my MO has been around 15-20, but I spend about 10 on the gift, then I spend a few bucks buying candy, trinkets, confetti, etc. and then I wrap the present & put it in a bigger box and spread all the extra fun stuff around it and then wrap that box. I've found this is a really fun way to give cheap gifts, as the young kids REALLY like getting a LOT of anything - even if it's tootsie rolls & stickers. You can score the cheap stuff at party city, or order from Oriental Trading - just about any bags of "party favors" work.

(and hint: all parties my son attends and gets the favor bags, I save most of the favors and recycle in the next gift we give.)

Don't waste money on cards - they're expensive & that money is better spent toward the gift. You can print out a hand made card that's better and personalized.

2 moms found this helpful

Around $15-$20 seems to be the gift "range" in my area (I live in Frisco). I try to buy things on sale when I can and put them up for the next party-- that way I spend less-- which is a good thing. I also try to buy less expensive gift bags (dollar store, Big Lots) and I have my daughter make a card vs. buying one-- which saves money, makes it more personal and she enjoys doing it. The good news is-- I understand that the older the kids get, the less parties they'll be invited to, as the older kids tend to invite only a few select friends.

Times have gone up a bit, I think. We usually spend around $15-$20 on regular parties and closer to $25-$30 on close friends. Things just cost a lot more--Barbies, Bratz, Polypockets, etc!

More Answers

my MO has been around 15-20, but I spend about 10 on the gift, then I spend a few bucks buying candy, trinkets, confetti, etc. and then I wrap the present & put it in a bigger box and spread all the extra fun stuff around it and then wrap that box. I've found this is a really fun way to give cheap gifts, as the young kids REALLY like getting a LOT of anything - even if it's tootsie rolls & stickers. You can score the cheap stuff at party city, or order from Oriental Trading - just about any bags of "party favors" work.

(and hint: all parties my son attends and gets the favor bags, I save most of the favors and recycle in the next gift we give.)

Don't waste money on cards - they're expensive & that money is better spent toward the gift. You can print out a hand made card that's better and personalized.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi A.~
I also used the "birthday box" method...buy jewelry, books, toys, etc. and keep in the birthday box for my child to choose a gift for their friend. I also buy a box of blank cards and the tiny gift cards with envelopes to use, which are less expensive than the regular cards. I also found a bookstore with great prices on books. I do not know the name of it, but it is located on Spring Creek Parkway in Plano in the Garden Ridge shopping center. The children's books are really inexpensive there! Our limit is $15 - $20.00 until 18 years. Then we spend $25.00 on close friends and family until 21. Then we just send cards. We have a very large family...39 cousins! All are almost over 21 now!

1 mom found this helpful

A.,

Absolutely, $10.00 is enough. There is no such thing as too cheap if it is what you can afford. And, if you cannot afford $10.00 for a gift; Make the child a batch of homemade cookies or homemade candy or homemade Rice Krispies, or print fun things to do off of the Internet, such as how to play 10 different card games and include a new pack of playing cards. Make a gift in a jar that simple enough for a child to make, include directions for the child to make the gift with the help of their Mom, Dad or big brother or big sister; part of the gift is the joy they will have in creating the end result of the gift in the jar and the cooking experience itself. Make a homemade card or let your child make it, it will probably not be looked at again ever after the party is over. Make your own wrapping paper too if you wish; a Stamp It Up consultant can show you how to do this. The party is to to celebrate the child's birthday, not to see how much people will spend on a gift for the child. The fact that you took time from your busy schedule and took your child to the party is gift enough already, so there is no shame in giving an inexpensive gift.

I suggest that you gift shop all year round; buy puzzles, playdough, books (even books from Half Price Book Stores), or any age appropriate gifts that fall within your child(ren's) and their friends ages. Just yesterday I went to the going out of business sale of a Teacher's Supply Store in Grand Prairie on Polo Road 75052 and purchased a box of 60 wooded blocks from Melissa and Doug for only $12.50! The sale ends there on the last day of this month. You can find wonderful bargains at Tuesday Morning stores, they are located all over the metroplex and have quality, name brand toys, books, puzzles at amazing discounts. Watch for sales at local stores, after a holiday you will find stuffed bears, stuffed bunnies, etc. on sale at about 75% of the original price at grocery stores, but don't forget the Internet, often you will find bargains online with free shipping. And if someone looks down on you, boy do they have issues in my opinion, and someone didn't bring them up right.

As your child(ren) get older they should be learning the value of a dollar; if they receive an allowance, teach them that they will need to contribute their money to the gift, it will help them learn that nothing in life is free. Your child should be taught to always be appreciative that they received any gift whatsoever, even if they already have that toy or receive two or three at the same party, they MUST be grateful and say Thank You to their friend that came and brought them a gift. Which reminds me, get a gift receipt if available so that gifts can be exchanged in that event. This is all just so rediculous to me that anyone would "worry" about how much they MUST spend on a GIFT for someone. Most children these days have entirely too much to play with and don't appreciate the toy and aren't taught to be grateful; they aren't even taught to take care of the toys and books, etc.

There is NOTHING wrong with having a birthday party for your child and only inviting family members, and having the party at your home, making the cake yourself, making some pizzas, enjoying time spent together and playing with the child making memories.

Did you all grow up having your own birthday parties at an expensive "party" place, with all the "fixin's"? I didn't, my husband and our children didn't? We are all just fine and don't feel that we missed out. Do you feel that you missed out on something? We are sending the wrong messages to our children if we are going into debt to give them a party that is about the party itself and not about them and the celebration that they have been with us for another year. It is sending the wrong message to your child about having to spend a certain about on their friend to make everyone look good and impress someone too.

My oldest daughter has four children and three will be in school next year; she is PTA President for the second year and was PTA Vice-President for two years prior; she attends church and her kids get invitations for church kids, all of the school kids in her children's classes and invitations from family members; are you kidding, they cannot spend $10.00 for a gift for everyone of these parties....and, if all four of her children attend, they still only purchase one gift from them for the birthday child!

My second daughter has 3 children and one on the way, only one of hers is in school but the same information applies as above. And her children are in Daycare and get invitations from children there!

Best Wishes, P.

A little about me:
I am a 53 year old mother of two adult girls and seven grandchildren with another one on the way. Wife of a Baptist Minister, celebrating 36 years of marriage to him in July of this year.

1 mom found this helpful

I stash gifts in the closet for future birthdays and holidays too. When Target clearances the toy department (usually mid-end July and around mid-end of January) I stock up on gifts I know I need to buy for future parties. But I also try to keep the kids I am buying for in mind and the rest I buy things i know are classic and loved by most kids. I used to think the more expensive it was the more appropriate it was but then the first party my son (8 months at the time) was invited to, I let his father pick the gift out. He got a three year old boy a five dollar set of Golf Clubs from Walmart. I was very embarrased. And it was the cheapest gift given at the party and I was so red when he was opening all other other "nicer" gifts in front of everyone. But it turned out the golf clubs were the birthday childs favorite gift!! I learned a great lesson that day. Turns out my ex knew the kid loved golf and that was why he picked them out. All the kids went outside and played with those Golf Clubs for the next hour. The rest of the "nicer" toys remained untouched on the floor.

1 mom found this helpful

My children's friend all have a little more money and I notice they spend more ($30-$40) and buy at Learning Express when it is not on sale...which I certainly can not match! So I try to shop early and get sales. After Christmas Toy's R Us always has sales and then I put it away in the closet. Or I try to go to Marshalls or someplace where they have last years toys on sale. But if it is a close friend I do spend more.

A.--I had the $10 rule for a long time too, but it's hard to find much in that price range so I raised it to $15.

Hi, we usually spent about $20 on the gifts for classmates at their bday parties, and more if it was a close friend. Hope this helps.

D.

My goal is always under $10 unless it is family or a very good friend. There are alot of cut things you can get for that price. Even better is when you find a $15 gift on sale for $7. If we spent more than that we would go broke or have to say no to alot of B-Day parties.

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.