How to Keep Halloween from Scaring Your Budget

The average American spends around $86 on Halloween – between candy, decorations, costumes, and the like. And that’s only the national average, so many of us tend to spend quite a bit more.

If you’re on a strict budget this year, that amount might give you a scare. However, you can keep from frightening your budget this year. Try these tricks to help you stick to a painless Halloween budget.

Costumes

One of the main parts of Halloween fun are the costumes. However, dressing up can get costly – especially if you have several members of your family dressing up this year. Instead of buying a $40+ costume at the store or attempting to sew one together, turn looking for children’s costumes into a family game.

Head to your local consignment shop or thrift store and give each child an envelope with no more than $10 inside. Split up into teams to pick out a costume or find items that can be put together to create one. Don’t forget to also look in your closets at home to see if there’s anything you already have that can be used for dressing up.

Also check with your family, friends and neighbors to see if they have any costumes or items they aren’t using that you can borrow. Don’t spend a fortune on something that will most likely only be worn for a few hours.

Decorations

Some people really love to go all out for Halloween. However, if you keep blowing your budget on expensive Halloween decorations each year – you may be paying off your debt well into Halloween next year. If you need to stretch your budget, stop by your local dollar store for decorations. You’ll be surprised at the great items you’ll find!

Also save and reuse your decorations year after year. Store all your ghouls and goblins in a reusable bin once the season is over. Then pull them out next Fall without having to spend a dime!

Candy

Do you live in a neighborhood or on a street where it seems like the amount of trick or treaters are endless? Candy can be pricy too. If you know you’re typically visited by what seems like hundreds of kids in costume, don’t buy gourmet chocolate bars. Pick up a large bag of assorted candy in bulk instead. Do an online search for coupons and deals, too. Buy what you can afford, and when the candy is gone, it’s gone.

Try to keep track of how many trick-or-treaters visit your home so you can plan amounts better for next year. You probably also don’t want to overbuy and then be stuck with tons of candy sitting around either. The key here is to plan ahead!

Pumpkins

Pumpkins may only last a few weeks at most. And with that being said, they aren’t always cheap either. Once you start, it’s hard to stop with just buying one pumpkin too. From the porch to your patio, stairs and table – you might pick up 20 pumpkins when all is said and done.

Give yourself a strict pumpkin budget. Let your kids each pick only one or don’t spend more than $20 (or whatever number you decide is best for your budget).

While going to the pumpkin patch is a great Autumn past-time, don’t buy your pumpkins there if you’re looking to save money. Instead, buy pumpkins from the grocery store (they’re usually always cheaper and still look great!).

Greeting Cards

Is sending out a Halloween greeting card really necessary, even if it’s for your adorable niece or nephew or grandchild? Cards can be $5+ each nowadays, and that’s not cheap for something that may very well end up in the garbage can after it’s opened and read. If you really feel that you need to send a greeting card, try making your own instead. Use cardstock and get creative. Or hit the dollar store for cards – this is a best kept secret.

Fall Activities

Are there lots of farms with weekend harvest and Halloween events going on this month near you? The good news is, admission is typically free or not very expensive. Take advantage of this gorgeous time of year and all the farm budget-friendly activities such as corn mazes, pumpkin bowling, and the like. Take a hayride with the family or spend a few hours walking around the farm. You can also pile into the car and take a drive to look at the changing colors of the leaves, pick some apples, or pack up an outdoor picnic at your favorite local park. Look at your community calendar or website and scope out what’s going on near you.

Traditions

Plan a weekend for family or friend get-togethers this Fall. Save money by staying at home and trying a new tradition with your crew. Ideas include a Fall food cooking day (caramel apples, pumpkin pie, etc.), watch scary movies together, or do a backyard scavenger hunt.

It’s definitely possible to have an unforgettable Halloween without haunting your budget! With some planning and creativity, you’ll have a great holiday celebration without giving your bank account a fright. Happy Halloween!

Article Source: Dave Ramsey

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