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Planning a Baby Shower - The Budget

Jan 30, 2008
At one time, a baby shower was a simple get together usually thrown by the expectant grandmother or other women in the community for a pregnant mom, where everyone would bring a simple gift, and sit around and reminisce of old times while the mom opened her presents. If there was food prepared great, if there were games to play great, but these were not expected, and were actually the exception rather than the rule. For some reason, today when we give someone a baby shower, we feel as though it has to be a huge, spectacular event, and so we end up working ourselves to death, and usually blowing our budget as well. When you start planning a baby shower and trying to figure in food, other than the obligatory finger sandwiches, games to play, a theme, parting gifts for your guests, etc., you really do have to stretch your budget to the limit. There are some things that you can do to help save some money so that you can stick to that baby shower budget.

Another bad thing about being the designated baby shower host is that typically all expenses will land in your lap. The baby shower is considered to be your gift, so you don not have to worry about purchasing one, but odds are you will end up spending considerably more money on the shower than you would for a baby gift anyway. When you start planning the event, you should know that the more elaborate you go, the more impact it will have on your wallet, so keep that in mind. Odds are, the mom-to-be really is not expecting a big affair, and will be happy with just a small get together anyway.

Your best bet is to first determine how much money you can afford to spend on the baby shower. It will be hard to stick to a budget if you do not know what that budget is! Once you have a figure in mind, then you should probably move on to creating the guest list for the event, so that you will know about how many people you will have there. Once you know how many people to expect, you can start shopping for shower essentials, plates, napkins, favors, etc. with every new name that gets added to that guest list, you can expect your costs to increase, so keep that in mind. To save even more money, once you have the guest list prepared, you could create hand-made invitations, or if you are not the crafty sort, get some from your local discount store, rather than having them professionally done. Taking small cuts like this really will make a difference in the long- run!

If someone else volunteers to help host the shower along with you, make certain you take them up on it. The more hosts you have, the more you can split the costs. You can all sit down together and decide who will pay for what, and that way one person does not have to bare the full expense. Another way this could be done would be that each host would give a certain amount of money to be spent on the shower, and then those funds would be used however the group saw fit. When you are looking for baby shower co-hosts, keep in mind that you really should not ask someone who is already have a hard time making ends meet, and that you probably should not ask the grandparents, as they will already be spent out as well. You do not want to put pressure on someone, or make them feel as though they have to help you. Hopefully, you have plenty of help that will volunteer, rather than having to solicit it.

You can always let well meaning friends help with small items for the shower, such as drinks, chips, etc. These items are fairly inexpensive, so you should not be taxing an already stressed financial budget, and will be saving some of your own money in the meantime.
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