Every month, it seems we get at least one invitation to a birthday party for one of my kids’ classmates or friends. Buying those birthday presents can certainly add up.
So how much should you spend on a gift for a classmate? What about a close friend of your child?
As a general rule, I spend about $10-15 on a classmate and $15-$20 on a close friend. Looking online at several sites shows that I am right about on target. Most people seem to say between $10-$20 for classmates and $20-25 for friends. One survey had 70% of people spending between $12-30.
My go-to-gift for little girls is a bracelet making kit found at Michael’s. With their 40% off coupon, you can pick up a set usually right around $10. I don’t have a go-to-item for boys.
One thing I won’t spend much money on is the wrapping (reuse bags from other parties or use wrapping paper from the dollar store) or birthday cards (kids don’t care so I just by the cheapest ones – usually 99 cents or $1.99 each).
As for my own kids, we budget $50 per child for birthdays, but we also throw them an awesome party which is technically part of their gift. Parties (including cake, goodie bags, invitations, plates and party place) typically are budgeted at $300. As they get older and their toys get more expensive, we will probably have to increase that budget on gifts, but hopefully we will get them to have smaller parties at the same time, which will be a nice trade off.