On CBS' MoneyWatch.com yesterday, personal finance writer Sarah Lorge Butler wrote about a friend who so far this year has attended nine children's birthday parties (or her children have, anyway). At that rate and spending $20 to $30 per gift, Butler estimated that her pal will shell out more $500 in presents this year--not including wrapping paper and cards.
She also raised the issue of the cost of birthday parties today, figuring parents spend $450 for a premium bounce house party package.
"... couldn't we all just close our wallets, go to the park and have a little cake? Maybe do the relay race where the kids dress up in adult-sized clothing and try to run? That one cracks me up every time," Butler wrote.
We can talk about the cost of hosting birthday parties another time, but I'm curious--how much do you spend on birthday gifts for your kids' friends?
Please take the poll below, then feel free to leave a comment elaborating on your response. Butler gives a few ideas for $15-or-less gifts that kids love, like flashlights and diaries that lock. Do you have a go-to gift when money is tight?