Trick or Treat Spending on the Rise, Frightening Frugal Way to Have Boo-tiful Halloween

Happy autumn everyone! Now that back-to-school shopping has subsided, people start planning for the holiday season. Some reports show that Halloween is now the second most expensive holiday after Christmas but most people overlook the holiday when it comes to budgeting for expenses. As families feel the weight of the US economy more and more, they are becoming aware of their frivolous spending, especially when it comes to Halloween.

According to NRF’s 2010 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by Americans will spend $66.28 on costumes, candy and decorations, which is up from last year’s $56.31 and comparable to the $66.54 average spend in 2008. Total spending for the holiday is expected to reach $5.8 billion.   Here are some tips from Consolidated Credit Counseling Services money experts to have a less financially frightening holiday:

  • Use this as opportunity to be creative and make your own Halloween costumes. The website http://www.howcast.com/categories/272-Halloween-Crafts has step by step videos to show you how to make your own popular costumes and decorations out of everyday household items.
  • Hold a costume swap with your children’s friends. By cutting out the price of new costumes you can cut back your Halloween spending.
  • If you have more than one child, purchasing unisex costumes can open the opportunity to reuse the Halloween costumes when your second or third child gets older.
  • Start up a pumpkin bank or collection in your household. Throw your loose change into a pumpkin bank daily over the course of the year. Use the money you collect to pay for your Halloween expenses. Using a pumpkin shaped bucket will give you a constant reminder of what you are saving for.
  • Hold a garage sale. By cleaning out old junk around your house you can make extra money for use around the holidays. Never forget, one person’s junk is another one’s treasure.
  • Repurpose old Halloween costumes. Take pieces of old costumes to create new ones. For example, a black cape from a batman costume can always double as a cape for a vampire costume.
  • Shop sales at the end of the season. It’s never too early to start planning for next year. Many stores have sales for up to 90% off of items after the holiday is over. Use this opportunity to collect a few items to use for the following year.

About the Author

The following blog post is from April Lewis-Parks, the director of education for Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc. She is a certified credit counselor and a consumer affairs advocate who is dedicated to generating awareness about personal finance issues. She is on the education advisory committee of the JumpStart Coalition, which is dedicated to furthering financial literacy for the youth and she is active in the South Florida chapter of Junior Achievement which promotes entrepreneurship and financial literacy through hands-on programs.