Monday, March 2, 2009

Put Your Kid in Charge of Birthday Budget

There's an article in the March Family Fun magazine that I wanted to tell you about, but I cannot find a link on the site. So I'll just have to sum up. Pretend I'm giving a book report and you are my third-grade classmates.
It's called "The Birthday Budget," by Pauline Childs. This is a very good article because it suggests setting a budget for your kid's birthday party (duh, right?), but then here's the interesting part: Put your kid in charge of deciding how to allocate said funds. That way, you don't have to be the bad guy who says, "No laser tag, too expensive!"
The author's kid was 8 when she started doing this, and sounds like it worked out great. My big fear would be that the kid would make impractical choices that did not make for the guests having a good time -- i.e., spend all the budget on candy and provide no real food or activities. Maybe you'd need to give your child a framework, like, you must satisfy each category: real food, check, activity, check, cake, check, favors, check.
Wonder if this would work for my Nutmeg who is turning 5. Probably too soon to turn the whole thing over to her, but she is already pretty much planning her party (even though it is nearly two months off) so there'd be no harm in me making her aware of the budget and how her choices fit or don't fit.