How Much Money to Spend on a Birthday Gift

Once you get that “{Your child’s name} has been invited to {friend’s name} birthday party!}”  – the big question looms – “How Much to Spend on the Birthday Gift” for said friend?
I often wonder how much of a ‘friend’ this person is to my child too. Are the besties? Does this child even say hello to my child during the school day, or bully them every hour on the hour. Then there is the stress of having the ‘right’ gift, so you aren’t labeled as ‘that parent’ the next time you see the other parent at the soccer game or PTO meeting.

How Much to Spend on a Present

I remember having a $100 per person wedding  – and a couple that attended the reception gave us a $20 sheet set. Trust me, I remember that when I see them. So it is not a wrong thought to have about how much to spend on a birthday party gift! You don’t want to look cheap but that the same time, don’t want to break the bank either over a gift for a child that probably won’t be in your child’s class (or even school) next year.
All the old etiquette books state, as it relates to weddings, you should give a gift close to the amount that the bride and groom are spending on you to attend the wedding reception. Most follow that rule, but give at least 50%.
Modern etiquette also asks how close you are to the bridge and groom. Using that etiquette guide as it relates to birthdays – the same question can be asked on how close your child is to the birthday boy or girl (and how well you know the family too!)
If you take the wedding formula, then most of the time you would be spending about $10-$20 on a birthday party gift. Most party venues around here are $10-$20 per person. Thus ‘most’ parents expect about $10 a least in value for the toy you are giving their child.

How Much Money to Spend on a Birthday Gift?

That does not mean you have to spend $10-$20. It is just a guide. Perhaps more for best friends and close families – and less for ‘who is this child again’?
Nor do you actually have to spend that amount regardless of social relations. I often shop for bargains where I can get something on sale for 50% off. So the toy MSRP is $10, but I only spent $5. You can also get creative and go to your local dollar store; spend $10 and get 10 items. Put everything into a cute basket or sand pail and it will look like you spent $20 or more.

some ideas from Charlene Chronicles on how much to spend on a birthday gift for when your kid gets invited to a birthday party

Want to know other ways to save money on birthday presents? See my post here on that topic! Then let me know in the comments how much you spend on birthday gifts!

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