A survey has revealed that Irish parents fork out over €5k on children's parties and presents.
The research estimated that parents spend, on average, €5,460 on parties and presents for primary school children,
The report was conducted by Mummypages.ie and found the average cost of hosting a party was €366.
Youngsters are also invited to approximately 12 parties per year with an average spend of €15 on presents.
Eight in ten mothers reveal they dread the expense and 82 per cent of parents feel under pressure to ensure their children's party can successfully compete with the celebrations of their child's classmate.
"The cost of both hosting and attending birthday parties can be a financial worry for parents of younger primary school children," said spokesperson Laura Haugh.
"The trend is to invite the whole class, with friendships evolving and school policies dictating that nobody is left out.
“The average birthday party costs parents €366 per child in addition to the €180 they will spend on gifts for their friends throughout the year. This adds up to a whopping €5,460 per child over ten years.
"Our mums reported that their children are invited to at least 12 birthday parties per year with an average spend of €15 each time on gifts."
The party invites can cause a strain on those who are already feeling the pinch.
"The mummy wars also extend to birthday parties unfortunately, with the theme, cake and entertainment becoming increasingly competitive in order to wow both children and parents alike," said Ms Haugh.
"Thankfully the competition is not based on how much money is spent, but rather how creative the parent hosting the party is and how much effort has been put in to give a unique party experience.
"Some parents book their child’s party entertainment months in advance, while others researching and practice the creation of their child's birthday cake, by their own hand, for weeks before the big day."
More than 60 per cent of parents invite guests to a venue while 32 per cent opt to celebrate at home.
However, 70 per cent of mothers said they still food and 21 per cent have hired the services of a bouncy castle.
"Our advice is to be sensible. There are bound to be lots of mums in your child's class who feel the same as you do in terms of the cost or indeed the amount of organising involved," said Ms Haugh.
"A good idea is start a parent's council in your child's year or class so that the parents can club together and share birthday parties with their class mates who are all born in the same month. Many parish halls and community centres now hire out their facilities to parents looking to host an inexpensive party outside of their home."
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