Three tips for a stress-free and budget-friendly child's birthday party

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We recently celebrated my son's first birthday. We had a wonderful party for him. 

Today I wanted to share three tips for keeping things budget-friendly and of course, stress-free. 

1. Set an actual budget, but keep it realistic. 

Keeping your birthday budget, or any budget for that matter, realistic is really important. Don't say you're going to spend $45 on the entire party and then at the last minute rent a bouncy house. 

Set realistic expectations for yourself and your child. And trust me, kids are never disappointed in a day that involves cake and presents. 

2. Decide on your big ticket item. 

Now, I am ALLLLL about keeping parties simple and easy. But maybe your child really has his or her heart set on that bounce house, or a princess character or a really cool photo booth. There are years we have had parties at the park or at a grandparents house, and there have been years we've gone for big. But decide in advance where you're going to invest those party dollars.

This year we decided for the first time ever to get a cake from a baker. We have a friend who bakes and decorates cakes as a side businesses and her rates are extremely reasonable. But it still cost more than our usual cupcakes from Walmart. But oh boy was that a good cake. 

3. Decide on a theme based on things you already have. 

This year we went with a Little Blue Truck theme. And it was perfect because I was able to decorate using things I already had like my kids Fisher-Price farm sets and things like that. 

I would love to hear some of your tips for keeping parties simple and affordable.