If your best friend, sister, cousin,
colleague, daughter, daughter-in-law, or long lost cousin is about
to have a baby, you know what that means. You are probably either
going to a baby shower or going to be hosting a baby shower. Back
in the good old days, putting on a shower for the expectant mom
was not nearly as big a deal as it is now; in fact, most of the
time it was less expensive than buying a gift because the party
was the gift. Most people only expected a cake, some punch, a few
games, some balloons and streamers, and a lot of female bonding
as the mom-to-be gawked over gifts.
In our new society, however, baby showers have become much more
extravagant. In fact, some people may actually expect the baby shower
to be comparable to the wedding festivities as far as being memorable;
after all, the birth of a baby is right up there on the important-life-achievements
scale. That being said, it may be quite obvious that the costs of
hosting a baby shower can escalate and spiral out of control if
you let them.
You may very well decide to hire a caterer or a DJ
or a photographer. Then again, professional help can flatten your
wallet in a hurry. You may consider renting a hall or reserving
space in a restaurant to minimize your own effort. Then again, it
is much less expensive to cook and clean up yourself. Obviously,
you are going to be presented with some decisions to make, and the
first one is to decide the budget. Be realistic; even if you would
lay down your life for your sister, it is not necessary to go into
debt for her shower.
There are two basic ways of keeping baby shower costs under control
and sticking to your budget. First, look at everything that is going
to cost you money, and before you make the purchase, ask yourself,
“Is this item going to make the baby shower a lot better,
or can I leave it out?” If your answer is not, “Yes,
I need this,” don’t buy it. What you can and should
do is write the name of the item down. Then, later, near the end
of the preparation stage, if you have extra money, you can go for
it if you like.
Second, ask for help. Even if you are the host, there is nothing
that says you can’t find someone willing to be co-host. If
you do decide to get a co-host, your costs are reduced by 50% right
off the bat! Even without a co-host, though, you can still save
money by getting others to help you.
Lots of people love to help
and have talents they can share. For example, just about every woman
(and some men) has one particular recipe that turns out delicious
every time. If one or a few of the guests can bring food, that can
help the budget tremendously. Other folks have a flair for creating
the cutest decorations from inexpensive materials, like construction
paper and cotton balls or some such thing. There are multitudes
of tasks you may be able to delegate, all of which can reduce costs.
Remember, the baby shower is a prelude to the actual big event,
and the most important thing is that the mom-to-be (and dad-to-be
sometimes) has a great time and knows that she and her new baby
are loved. Do not go overboard unless you can truly afford to; set
up your budget early in the game plan; think before spending; and
do not be afraid to ask for help.