Birthday Party Presents: How Much Is Enough?

  • Parents Only

By Phoebe Ackland, ellaslist

At ellaslist, we are torn on this subject! As your kids reach pre-school (and even at daycare), there is a plethora of birthday parties to attend, meaning weekends become a peak time for drop offs and pick ups! For each party hosted, there’s a tiny host looking forward to a gift. Which leads us to the question – how much $$$ is enough??!

It is no surprise that with so many parties scheduled, being overly generous will hit your bank account…hard, and this could get pretty ridiculous very quickly. Here are a few things to consider when trying to pick a gift for your kids’ classmates.


It’s important to remember to be fair – don’t splash on an extravagant gift for little Tommy when you can’t do the same for cutie pie Isabella. Perhaps it is a good idea to have an amount in mind, and stick to that year-round when party invites pop up. Of course, your child’s extra special best friend might be an exception though – it’s fine to be a little more generous.

birthday girl

Your Budget

Everyone will have a different amount that they want to spend on gifts. Don’t feel shamed if one mum goes a little over the top and makes you feel stingy. Birthday presents can often be a source of competition between mums – don’t get pulled in! Just set an amount that’s right for you and doesn’t cause too much strain, be it $10 or $100.

Get Creative

It’s extremely cliche, but it’s true – it’s the thought that counts! If you’re a mum that can’t afford purchasing a gift you know is going to be a hit, then get creative! You might want to put together some affordable but cute things from the arts and crafts store- stickers, pretty papers, markers, and decorations. Gifts like this will feel very personalised and thoughtful, something that is always appreciated.

small gifts

Helpful Hint

Throughout the year, if you find bits and bobs that kids will love (colouring books, games, DVD’s, anything on sale), put them away for later so you’re not in a mad rush to find the perfect gift last minute. It will definitely come in handy to have a treasure trove of gifts that you’ve added to when you could afford it.

Club Together

Many schools offer a birthday collection within the classroom, especially if the whole class is invited. Chat to your class-mum representative and see if you can organise a monetary collection that anyone can contribute to. That way, the child ends up getting an amount of cash that could be used to buy a pressie that they really want.


ellaslist wants your help! How much is too much? How much isn’t enough? What do you spend on children’s birthday gifts? 





Apr 15 2016

I find bits on sale that can suit birthdays down to thank you for having little Emma over for the night. $30 is my limit for birthday invites and $50 for special best friend. Couple of movie passes are great as can be parent and child or child and friend. Books are always fun at any age. $30 can get a nice mini facial or pedicure for a little miss ( something different ). I find boys a little harder as variety is limited but bowling or movie passes help in holiday times . Also the presentation is also the key . Colourful bright abstract paper or hand crafted envelopes and cards etc.


Apr 04 2016

Nothing less than $20 as I would rather get something half decent then just get some rubbish that is only $10. I stock up when good stuff is on sale.