New parents spend a whopping £207 – on their baby’s FIRST birthday party, according to research.
Despite being a day most birthday boys and girls won’t even remember, this is more than any other milestone birthday party during childhood.
In comparison, the average sweet sixteen costs £198, while 10th birthday parties see parents spend £162 and £160 on 5th parties.
The poll of 2,000 parents of children aged 1-18, commissioned by social money app Pingit, found personalised cakes are the most expensive items parents buy for a first birthday party, along with a new outfit for the baby and balloon arches.
Party props, such as a fake snow machine or glitter blaster, a children’s entertainer and personalised party favours also see the budget blown.
However, as lockdown and social distancing measures have caused havoc to party plans, one in five parents would cancel a child’s birthday celebration completely rather than go ahead with a scaled back version.
Just under a third (32 per cent) would reschedule so the party could happen at a later date – while 16 per cent would attempt a ‘virtual’ bash.
Pingit’s jar function, which allows users to hold up to five ‘jars’ at a time, helps parents easily manage their money and budget for several occasions at the same time – helping them to avoid blowing the birthday budgets.
Pingit director Clare Francis said: “We have seen a noticeable trend in Pingit customers naming savings ‘jars’ after birthday parties.
“And it is clear the UK is spending big when it comes to celebrating their children’s big day.
“Being a mum myself, I understand how much you can end up splashing out before you know it.”
The study also found parents spend an average of three months budgeting and saving in order to pull off the perfect first birthday party for their baby.
But many are split on what they would do as a result of the lockdown.
While a third would keep a tight grip on their budget amid financial insecurity at the moment, 19 per cent admit they would splash more cash than they planned to make sure their child has an extra special birthday at home.
It also emerged parents feel under pressure to put on the perfect party from celebrity culture (18 per cent), other parents on social media (30 per cent) and family members (25 per cent).
Before the lockdown restrictions put a stop to their extravagant plans, one in five even tried to copy bashes hosted by social media influencers and celebrities.
Almost one in 10 admitted to throwing lavish affairs to outdo other parents while a further 11 per cent only put on a big party to show off to other family members.
But four in 10 of those polled, via OnePoll, admitted they spend more time stressing about the party than celebrating, although more than a third believe it to be worth the hassle if they pull off a party better than another parent in their playgroup.
To help relieve the party planning stress – virtual or otherwise – Pingit has partnered with pop star and mother of two, Jamelia, to help parents plan a memorable and stress-free birthday party.
Jamelia said: “We have all been there, t-minus two weeks to b-day and the party entertainment serves you with an unexpected and early invoice.
“Money, time and nerves are all in short supply in the run up to your child’s first birthday but there are little changes which can make the whole affair a lot more manageable.
“Being busy with work and having to be the world’s number one party planner doesn’t come very easily but if you follow my tips and budget in advance, you can put on a birthday bash without running out of cash.”
JAMELIA’S BIRTHDAY PARTY TIPS:
1. First things first, plan ahead & set a budget
2. Get crafty… make your own decorations and treats
3. Send the invites virtually
4. Keep the guest list manageable
5. Take advantage of discount stores
6. Go Retro, bring in some old school games
7. Birthday girl or boy needs to be the focus, not the guests
8. Recycle, recycle and recycle again
9. Host at home and not at a venue
10. Lastly, call in some favours from other parents, family and older children
Top 10 budget blowing birthday items pre-lockdown
1. Personalised cakes (35 per cent)
2. Brand new baby outfit (35 per cent)
3. Balloon arches (27 per cent)
4. Brand new outfit(s) for parent(s) (17 per cent)
5. Themed baby costume (16 per cent)
6. Party props (i.e. fake snow machine, glitter blaster) (14 per cent)
7. Children’s entertainer (14 per cent)
8. Flower wall/arches (13 per cent)
9. Personalised party favours (13 per cent)
10. Handmade and environmentally friendly invitations (10 per cent)