Frightening Statistics for Halloween 2017
Halloween shopping expenses and participation continue to creep up slowly.
According to the National Retail Federation, overall participation and average spending both increased again for Halloween 2017. Roughly 179 million Americans will celebrate this year, up by 8 million from last year. The average household will spend $86.13. That’s also an increase from $82.93 last year.
5 Smart Ways to Avoid Creepy Credit Card Debt
Halloween definitely isn’t the most expensive holiday of the year. There’s traditionally no gifting that goes along with it, so you typically won’t break the bank. However, it’s still possible to go overboard and bust your budget. Then, if you put your Halloween purchases on a high interest rate credit card debt, it can turn into debt that won’t die easily. So, here are five ways you can curtail out-of-budget costs this year to avoid debt.
#1: Swap decorations with friends or family
If you love to decorate for every holiday on the calendar, it can be tough on your budget. These days, inflatables and yard art can cost hundreds of dollars. That’s not exactly an easy expense to absorb if you have a tight budget.
In this case, set up a decoration swap with friends or family. Trade out the decorations you put up last year with someone else (hopefully who doesn’t live near you). That way, everyone can have “new” decorations in the yard without incurring new expenses to do it.
#2: Don’t buy costumes or treats for your pets
Pet stores have made a big business out of costumes, toys and treats for each holiday. It’s a great way for them to increase revenue, and a pretty dumb way for you to go out of budget. If you want to dress up your pet for Halloween, make the costume instead of buying it. Your pet will probably only wear whatever it is for a few hours anyway before it gets messed up. So, make the costume, take your pictures for Instagram and avoid making any credit card charges.
You should also resist the urge to buy special toys and treats for Halloween for your pets. Does your dog really know the difference between their regular squeaky toy and a Halloween themed toy? The fun is really more for you than your pets. It’s just not worth the markup.
#3: Make parties potluck / BYOB
If you’re throwing a party for Halloween 2017, make it potluck or BYOB so everyone can share the cost. Either ask you guests to bring a dish or dessert, or ask them to bring their own alcoholic beverages. If you feel cheap, consider supplying beer or wine and mixers, then asking guests to bring their own hard alcohol. For food, you can supply the main dishes and ask your guests to bring sides, appetizers or desserts.
Also remember to count portions correctly. If you can half a recipe and still have the number of servings that you need, do it. You don’t want to spend all day cooking and then throw half of what you make out after the party.
#4: Check local calendars for free events
Avoid attending concerts or festivals that charge you for entry. There are plenty of free local events going on in every city for Halloween. Check your local papers, sign up for your community newsletter and hit up the free events with friends or family.
Before you go, withdraw a small amount of cash at an ATM that you can use for food, drinks and souvenirs. That way, if there are craft booths or vendors selling items, you don’t go overboard buying stuff you don’t need.
#5: Buy candy in bulk
Candy is one of those things that is best purchased in bulk. Hit up your favorite wholesale club to get the bags that you want. Also, fun fact: Halloween candy gets extremely cheap right before the holiday. This is not one of those items that gets marked up right before October 31. In fact, the discount shopping experts at iBotta found that candy is at its cheapest on October 27.
So, that means you’re not doing yourself any favors shopping for candy early. It will actually be more expensive. Wait until a few days before Halloween and buy up what’s left on the shelves. It should be cheap as stores try to clear their inventory.