Personal Finance 101: Generation X Series – A kid’s birthday party for $500 (or more)?

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Personal Finance 101: Generation X Series – A kid’s birthday party for $500 (or more)?

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The New Rule: Field Goal Bill Paying

November 02, 2011

Generation X is classically defined at people born between the years 1965 and 1979. Pretty much those of you in your early 30's to the mid 40's. However, having given personal financial advice to thousands of people, I can tell you that many of you who were born 1960 to 1964 fit within the Generation X type of financial and personal attitude. Since I am 42 and have had a good deal of financial success, I've noticed some big mistakes that I see my generation making with their money and how they think about money. This week I wanted to discuss the mistake parents make that have two, three, or four children, and the crazy amount of money they spend on birthday parties.

As a Gen X parent with a 14, 12, and 10 year old, I got caught up making some of the mistakes other Gen X parents make. As you compete with your neighbors and friends for which kid has the coolest birthday party, you may have noticed over the course of the year what kind of damage this can do to your budget. When I was growing up, birthday parties were real simple. My mom basically made some sandwiches, put out a couple of bowls of chips, and it ended with an ice cream cake from Carvel. There's nothing better come birthday time than having some of that chocolate crunch inside of a vanilla ice cream cake. We usually played a few games in the house, and each kid brought over some small gift such as a board game or a small toy. Today, birthdays are often held at upscale gaming places or having tea and scones at high end place like American Girl. The party are more about the production rather than thinking about how the kids can have fun. By the time you throw in the event location, food, and decorations, many of these parties can run $500 to $1,000 before you even buy your child some birthday gifts.

For my daughters recent birthday (she turned twelve), we decided to actually use television to our advantage. I don't know about your kids, but mine watch some of these reality TV programs that are on today. My twelve year old happens to really like watching The Food Network including shows like The Top Chef and Cupcake Wars. Since she really likes the show Cupcake Wars, we invited seven of her friends over and did an old fashioned cupcake wars right in our kitchen. We made 3 different teams with the girls and gave them three different recipes with the adults as the judges. All of the kids had a great time and we even let them sleep over that night. When it was all said and done, the party cost less than $150. Could your next party have a reality TV theme involved?

I can only really remember a few of the birthday parties my parent's put together for me when I was a kid. Many years from now, your kid's won't remember many of the parties you throw for them as they grow up. Take the cash you would have spent on parties and put it toward something good such as their college education, your retirement, or just paying down your mortgage. Now that will be something to truly celebrate!

Go to www.oxygenfinancial.net to request a consultation with the leading financial experts for Generation X in the country.

Written by:

Ted Jenkin, CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®

Co-CEO and Founder of oXYGen Financial, Inc

Ted Jenkin is one of the foremost knowledgeable professionals in giving financial advice and Smart Money Moves to the X and Y Generation.

Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through NFP Advisor Services, LLC (NFPAS), Member FINRA/SIPC. Oxygen Financial is not affiliated with NFPAS. NFPAS does not provide tax or legal advice. This site is published for residents of the United States only. Registered Representatives and Investment Advisor Representatives of NFP Advisor Services, LLC (NFPAS) may only conduct business with residents of the states and jurisdictions in which they are properly registered. Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed. Not all products and services referenced on this site are available in every state and through every representative or advisor listed. For additional information, please contact NFPAS Compliance Department at 512-697-6000. PLEASE NOTE: The information being provided is strictly as a courtesy. When you link to any of the web sites provided here, you are leaving this web site. NFP Advisor Services, LLC makes no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of information provided at these web sites. Nor is NFP Advisor Services, LLC liable for any direct or indirect technical or system issues or any consequences arising out of your access to or your use of third-party technologies, web sites, information and programs made available through this web site. When you access one of these web sites, you are leaving our web site and assume total responsibility and risk for your use of the web sites you are linking to.

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Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice.

This site is published for residents of the United States only. Registered Representatives of Kestra IS and Investment Advisor Representatives of Kestra AS may only conduct business with residents of the states and jurisdictions in which they are properly registered. Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed. Not all products and services referenced on this site are available in every state and through every representative or advisor listed. For additional information, please contact Kestra IS Compliance Department at 844-553-7872.

PLEASE NOTE: The information being provided is strictly as a courtesy. When you link to any of the web sites provided here, you are leaving this web site. Kestra IS and Kestra AS makes no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of information provided at these web sites. Nor is Kestra IS and Kestra AS liable for any direct or indirect technical or system issues or any consequences arising out of your access to or your use of third-party technologies, web sites, information and programs made available through this web site. When you access one of these web sites, you are leaving our web site and assume total responsibility and risk for your use of the web sites you are linking to.