5 ways to make birthdays more affordable

Table of Contents

Please note that some of this post's links are affiliate links, which means if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. SkinnySpending.co.uk is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Last Updated on January 25, 2022 by Melissa S.


Ways to save money on birthdays are often forgotten about until it is too late and you suddenly realise that the big day is only one paycheck away – by which time it is too late to create a budget.

Whereas Christmas is one area that gets a lot of focus when it comes to preparation and saving, birthdays can be an area that gets overlooked financially.

This is especially true if you are a parent with children to buy for, as well as a multitude of parties to buy presents for throughout the year. Here I list some tips to save money on birthdays for children and adults alike.                                                           

Save for birthdays all year round

It sounds obvious but how many of us actually do this? Make a list of all family, friends and children’s birthdays you know you will need to buy for and the approximate cost of each. Divide this figure by 12 and this should give you a monthly amount to aim to save. If this seems like a lot, you could aim to supplement your fund with side hustles such as Matched Betting, ebay selling or surveys.

Take advantage of sales and freebies

Armed with your birthdays fund cash to ensure you aren’t cutting into other funds, you can now look out for deals and offers throughout the year. Recently I saw an Instagram post where someone had managed to put together a beauty gift basket for her sister for around a £3 spend, with items that should have totalled £28.

Make sure you also use cashback such as Quidco or Top Cashback where possible. The only drawback is it can be tempting to overcompensate and keep buying extras to fit the original budget  – try and be strict with yourself!

I love this thrifty hamper idea from ThriftyClair.com

Save money and declutter by regifting where appropriate

To regift or not to regift? People can be very divided about this, but as I’ve got older I have completely changed my perspective. For years I had items cluttering up drawers unused solely because I was given them as a gift and felt like I should keep them.

Since putting myself through the KonMari method I realised just how much clutter I was holding on to for sentimental and not practical reasons. I am a bit more ruthless these days and anything I know I will not use I will either sell, give away or donate.

This could definitely be one way of repurposing something unwanted, as well as saving costs on a present. Just make sure the recipient will be happy with it!

Save money on presents in discount shops

This is especially good for children’s birthdays. Home Bargains is my favourite! They regularly have branded toys at big discounts. Stock is constantly changing, but recently I have seen brands such as Disney, Shopkins, My Little pony, Minions, WWE and Marvel all with big reductions.

It’s a great place to stock up on presents for the endless birthdays your child might attend over the year. I try and have around 2-3 “Emergency” presents at home that will work well for boys or girls. Playdoh or colouring sets are a good failsafe. Home Bargains and pound shops are also ideal for finding party bag prizes.

Plan ahead for the best deals on party hire

If you’re planning a birthday party whether for an adult or child, leaving things until the last minute is a surefire way to needlessly spend more on items like catering and entertainment.

Instead, plan well in advance when choosing the venue and hiring the equipment you need. Chocolate fountains can be a fun and affordable choice, such as La Fontaine de Chocolat.

Be clever with cards and wrap

Greetings cards can cost a fortune these days, this is why I stock up at The Card Factory. They regularly have offers such as 10 cards for £1. While these may not be suitable for every birthday, particularly a close friend or family member, they are great for children and general birthdays such as far flung relatives or work colleagues.

Wrapping paper can also be costly, especially if you are suckered into buying something like a pink ballerina paper for a little girl’s present, which is then not really suitable for anyone else’s birthdays throughout the year. I try and buy a large roll of something that is suitable for both adults and children, such as a rainbow pattern or balloons.  

If you are really savvy you could stock up on Christmas paper with no Christmas design on (such as a plain silver) as this is generally much cheaper than birthday wrap.

It’s another no-brainer, but saving any giftbags to reuse not only reduces waste but cuts your costs down too. Being an ex-teacher I have a whole drawerful of these!

How do you save money on birthdays?

2 Responses

  1. Thanks so much for the mention of the bargain hamper trick. Some fab tips here too, it’s so important to keep spending down whilst still being able to treat your loved ones.

    1. Thankyou! I really loved your post, and thought this was a fab idea. Glad you found it before I had chance to tell you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Hi! I'm Melissa

I help busy mums like me become financially fitter without resorting to extreme “crash diet” measures.

If you want to make extra money and balance your budget without giving up your coffee fix, you’re in the right place!

Get your Free Budgeting Bootcamp WORKBOOK