Planning Out a Budget for Your Baby Shower

The last word we want to hear when throwing a party is that dirty word – budget. It conjures up all sorts of awful pictures like serving bread on sale from the bakery (read stale!) or using recycled and moth-eaten décor instead of something pretty. But in reality, the budget is your friend. It allows you to plan within your means and also makes you more creative; you have to find great things that you can afford.

So, while there are other articles that will tell you how to fit stuff within your budget, like taking advantage of free downloadable invitations and games, or making use of your computer to create some of the decorations for your baby shower, this article will help you make the budget so you know exactly what you need to spend on.

As a rule of thumb, you will be spending about $15 per person on the low side of the budget. This is the absolute minimum for purchased items, but you can drive it down lower if you make most of the items like the décor, favors, and food.

Basically, there things you need to budget for are determined by the number of guests you have and the time you want to give the baby shower. Fewer guests of course mean less expense, and having it at certain times will mean preparing less food, like at breakfast or early afternoon. These are the basic categories:

Stationery (3%) – these are the invitations, thank-you cards, and postage. If you need to cut back, you can create your own or not spend anything by sending your invitations over the net. The thank-you cards can be printed out and given with the favors, saving on the postage yet again.

Place (10%) – will you use your own home? Borrowing one from a friend? Or will you be renting a party area?

Decorations (15%) – the amount you need will depend on the place you will hold it in. A big, empty space will need more stuff to keep the decorations from looking skimpy, while a home may just need a few touches to set the mood. Holding the baby shower outside needs special consideration like umbrellas or tents to keep away the heat and alternate area in case it rains.

Entertainment (10%) – this is usually the music that provides the mood for the baby shower. Will you be hiring a live band or will you simply make a playlist for your MP3 player and use that? In that regard, do you need extension cords or special equipment for the music?

Food (50%) – the biggest part of your budget is centered here. This isn't just a meal, it includes the beverages and the cakes, too. First, are you having the meal catered or are you cooking it yourself? Will you ask the guests to bring potluck? Your meal can include a salad/appetizer, a main meal, a dessert, and the cake. If the budget is tight, there is nothing wrong in serving dessert and coffee or tea for the baby shower meal.

Prizes (3%) – this part of the budget is small since you only need a few, and you can also make them yourself.

Favors (7%) – think long and hard on what you're giving away. You don't want to spend a lot only to have your favor end up in a closet, or worse, in the trash. Practical or edible gifts tend to be less expensive, as well.