Valley First

Paying the Birthday Bills

Valley First parents share their tips on paying the birthday bills
September 15, 2014

Penticton, B.C.—Research shows Sept. 16 is the most popular birth date on the calendar and 10 of the most common birth dates fall in September. It’s little wonder it can seem like feast or famine when it comes to party planning or purchasing presents.

While some of us would prefer to stop counting the years, birthdays are eagerly anticipated by the younger ones. As are the get-togethers, gifts and associated price tags. Although it can be easy for costs to balloon, it doesn’t have to be this way, as parents from the Valley First team share.

Mother to a 16-year old and a five-year old, Heather O’Coin, a small business banking expert, says bigger isn’t always better for the birthday budget.

“We find that planning a small birthday party is the best way to manage your party budget,” says O’Coin. “Keep the guest list down to a few of your children’s best friends as a way to keep costs from skyrocketing.”

Mark Parker, a communications specialist at Valley First says the time of year his daughter was born helps with finding low-cost celebration ideas.

“Our daughter was born in mid-summer and here in the Okanagan we can usually rely on the weather to plan some outdoor fun,” says Parker. “The spray park in West Kelowna has an awesome array of sprinklers and soakers as well as a huge patch of grass for games and a picnic. Best of all, it doesn’t cost you a dime!”

And finally, if your child has outgrown the party phase, here’s a tip from Valley First Branch Manager Shawna McCrea: help your kids manage their birthday windfall.

“Our 13-year-old daughter is often sent money for her birthday, but she rarely spends it,” says McCrea. “Instead it goes straight into her back account. She really likes growing her money and is working toward buying a car in the future. This saving behaviour is great to see as we believe good money management starts young.”

About Valley First

Valley First is a division of First West Credit Union, B.C.'s third-largest credit union, which has 38 branches and 29 insurance offices throughout the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Kitimat and Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys. Led by Launi Skinner, First West has $7.7 billion in assets under administration, more than 177,000 members and close to 1,300 employees.

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