People always told me that having kids was expensive. And I understood that to a point. Yes there are the early expenses of daycare, feeding, diapers, clothes, gifts, strollers, car seats, pack and plays, swings, etc. Then there are the big expenses like a car, college, and a wedding. What I didn't anticipate were all the little expenses that creep up on you like birthday parties. I never really put any thought into what it costs to throw a birthday party. Its a cake and some decorations right?
I priced invitations for awhile before deciding to do Walgreens photo cards. They had a deal before Christmas for $5.00 off an order so I got 40 personalized photo cards with envelopes for $15.00. That was a lot better than the cards I was looking at that started at at a dollar per card. Then I went to Card and Party factory yesterday to pick up napkins, plates and decorations. I needed to get those early so I could order a cake to match. I spent $25.00 on cake plates, napkins, a Happy Birthday banner, 1st birthday bib and treat bags. I went with a zoo theme because they didn't have a lot to choose from unless I went Pooh or Disney and he doesn't care for any of those things. Then I realized I have to buy stuff to go in the treat bags for the kids that are coming. So I went online to the Oriental Trading company website and picked up quite a few cute zoo related items to go in the bags. That was another $25.00. So I am $65.00 not including postage for the invitations and I still don't have the food or the cake. I know it will only get worse as he gets older and wants more expensive parties like Chuck E Cheese which starts out with a basic party package at 10.00 per child.
I know I don't have to do that much for a 1st birthday party that he won't remember. And honestly I thought I was going low key. Just hamburgers and cake at the house with our friends and family. Its not like I am getting a clown or a bouncy house. I'm already starting to stress about all those incidental expenses that you don't think about till you get there. Like parties, school supplies, valentine cards for the class, Halloween, carnivals, trips to Six Flags. I guess its all relative.
I just feel like money is flowing out of our pockets. We just had a bad leak in our hot water heater this week. My husband fixed it but we spent $50.00 at home depot buying all the stuff. Which is a whole lot cheaper than having a plumber fix it but still. And we discovered our light switch that goes to our fairly new garbage disposal was hooked up wrong and a surge fried the garbage disposal. So my husband replaced the switch and rewired it but the other kitchen switch is now screwy so he will fix that one tonight. We just spent a nice chunk on Christmas, birthdays, and fixing our air conditioner this fall. And our 2007 property taxes are due this month. Oh well, I am counting my blessings that I can afford to do these things and that I have a very handy husband who can fix most things himself saving us lots of money on repairmen.