Have you ever heard of a fiver party? If not a fiver party is a birthday party where you ask your guests directly for money for the birthday boy or girl. As you might have guessed, and as the name suggests the Money denomination is, in fact, a five-dollar bill or in slang terminology a fiver — a five which is used to describe a five-dollar note or euro in many countries.
I guess the name Abraham or Lincoln doesn't have the same ring to it as Fiver. Sorry, Abraham Lincoln, who portraits appears on the U.S. five-dollar bill.
Some might consider it very forward to ask for a cash gift, but there are several good reasons why you might. In fact, asking for and receiving cash for your child's birthday is a great teachable moment for both recipient and their guests.
Teaching Money Skills with a Fiver Party
The immediate impact of a fiver party and receiving cash for your child's birthday is a decision of what to do with it. It's an excellent opportunity to teach your kid about money. The fact that you have a pile of five-dollar bills gives you as the parent a teachable moment, even if it's as simple as counting, and responsible handling of cash.
To take it a step further, you can discuss the idea to Give, Save, and Spend. You may want to have a portion of the fiver party money to be given away or donated. It may be as simple as setting aside a five-dollar bill for a future birthday party invite or to be given to a sibling. It's important to highlight how giving makes them feel. Most of us experience joy when giving to others.
The saving lesson can teach your child about delaying gratification. It helps build this muscle by saving a portion of the fiver gift money to be used to purchase something at a later date. Depending on your child, you may explore the concept of buying with credit, taking on debt and the power of using cash.
The spending might be the best experience for your child because they get to purchasing something they want. It is, however, an excellent opportunity to explain wants versus needs aa a concept. That money can be used for either a want or a need, and generally, you should spend on needs first. Since this is gifted money, it can indeed be spent on a want.
Even taking these lessons further, you may decide on a percentage of the money gifted to be allocated to the three give, save, and spend buckets. So something like:
- 10% for Giving
- 30% for Saving
- 60% for spending
Or whatever works best for your family. Overall this is a solid foundation of personal finance concepts for your child.
Teach Invitees with a Fiver Party
Now the underlying education of money skills doesn't only have to be for the birthday boy or girl. As a guest invited to a fiver party, you can talk to your little partygoer about all of the above topics too. You might explain the reason why someone might choose this type of party and cash giving experience as opposed to asking for purchased gifts.
I know for me personally when my three children were younger, and we were paying off debt, we had a birthday party budget line item. We'd typically gift between $20-25 for each party any of my children were invites too. Having an invite to a fiver party would have given us the ability to stretch our birthday party budget further.
Budgets could be a topic of discussion too for your child if you have a certain amount of money allocated for birthdays.
Reduce Clutter and Make it Special
Another significant side effect of hosting a fiver party is you decrease the amount of new toy clutter, and if your lucky enough maybe there will be fewer legos to step on. With less clutter and toys to play with, you may see an increase in the quality of play by your child.
The fiver party also gives your children the ability to pool their gifted money and buy something they really want or something extraordinary. This may help make their birthday just a little more memorable or stand out from other parties.
Requesting a cash gift of equal value levels the playing field for all invitees too. It reduces the stress of gift buying and any competitive feelings someone may have.
Fiver Party Invitations Examples
Because most people would rather talk about sex instead of money, and generally, that money is a taboo topic, requesting cash for your child's birthday party may seem a little tacky. Here are a few ideas on how to word a fiver party invite.
“Let's Teach our kids that parties are about fun together, not a pile of presents. Please joy us to celebrate and consider giving $5 and reduce the stress of buying a gift.”
“Your presence is the only present that we need, but should you want to give something to the birthday girl, please consider giving $5 that she can put toward something special.”
If you know ahead of time what your child might want to purchase with their pooled money, you could add that to the invite as well, to help ease the request for a cash gift.
Be sure to include the basics in your invites like your child's name, age, party date, time, location, and RSVP details.
I really wished fiver birthday parties were a thing before my three children were teenagers. It would have made the kids birthday party experience less stressful for my wife and I. It would have allowed us to discuss money in a way our kids might be interested in. It would have made our birthday budget line item go further, and not have to deal with present returns or exchanges.
I'm hoping more parents will consider the benefit of a fiver birthday party and get our youth thinking about money.
Brian is a dad, husband, and an IT professional by trade. A Personal Finance Blogger since 2013 who, with his family, has successfully paid off over $100K worth of consumer debt. Now that Brian is debt-free, his mission is to help his three children prepare for their financial lives and educate others to achieved financial success. He blogs at Debt Discipline.