Why do we spend so much on children’s birthday parties?

A new survey has highlighted the true cost of kid’s birthday parties, but do we really need to fork out so much?

According to a survey of 2,000 parents carried on behalf of Nationwide, the average cost of a children’s party is now £218, with entertainment and venue hire being the highest contributing costs.
Whilst most people budgeted (54%) or bought items over time (22%) and the same amount saving up in advance, 15% chose to fund the occasion with a credit card, 5% paid for it with their overdraft and 2% got a loan.
So why do we spend so much? What is causing this pressure to throw ever more extravagant parties for our kids and what is it teaching them?
Many parents must attend a party at a zoo, or a £12-per-head Pirate party lead by a team of actors, or a ‘pamper party’ at a beauty salon for an 8 year old and wonder if it increases their child’s expectations for their own event. Trifle and a game of Statues seems a world away. 
However some of the problem may lie with parents, who want to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ or celebrities, exacerbated by social media. Recently American rapper Tyga threw his 4-year old a Ferrari-themed bash with real Ferraris’, a trampoline, bouncy castle, a Ferris Wheel, giant car cake, photo booth, large inflatable slides and a mini-racetrack. Does a 4-year old really know the difference between a Ferrari and a Fiat?
LV’s ‘Cost of a Child’ report estimates that parents now spend a staggering £231,843 on raising a child to their 21st birthday, around 38% of their annual income. 
Education and childcare are the main areas of expenditure. The cost of education including uniforms, after-school clubs and university costs has increased 128% since 2003, whilst the cost of childcare has risen by almost 78%, so there are arguably more important things for parents to spend their money on then parties. 
If you’re struggling with managing your outgoings, or you have built up some debt, call our advisers for a confidential chat on 0800 043 40 50.