Holidays and birthdays are often our weak spots. We have a tendency to splurge on a spouse or on our children when it comes to these special occasions. How do we keep these events special while staying on budget? Well, first of all, it helps to prepare for them and incorporate them into the budget ahead of time. Perhaps you think it's worth it to skimp on some expense that month in order to afford something special for the occasion.
Parties don't need to be extravagant. For birthdays, keep the party simple and small. Instead of inviting dozens of friends over, invite two or three close friends. Make the food and party games at home. Kids like having a say: Offer them a choice between having a few friends over or going out to an amusement park for their birthday.
If you're able to plan them in advance, you can take advantage of sales throughout the year for occasions that are still months away. Buy blank cards in bulk so you have them when you need them for any occasion [source: Walsh].