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

Last Minute Halloween Costumes on a Budget

Halloween is almost here and that means your time to find a costume is limited. If you are like many Americans, a Halloween costume is something that seems to slip to the bottom of the list every year. Whether you are putting together a last-minute fix for your child or a low-key costume for the neighborhood party, we have a few options for you.

Stick with the classics.

Everyone knows Charlie Brown. While his dreary disposition may not seem like the ideal inspiration for a fun Halloween costume, it is important to remember that Charlie always keeps it simple. Stock up on the following materials and create your own Peanuts ghost costume. You’ll need:

  • 1 white bed sheet
  • 5 sheets of black cardboard paper
  • 1 pair of scissors
  • 1 container of glue

Punny is priceless.

Everyone knows someone who doesn’t like to dress up. If you are that person, you’re in luck, this one’s for you. This costume commandeers the style of our Canadian friends and relies heavily on denim (also known as: the Canadian tuxedo). Grab your favorite pair of jeans, a denim jacket or shirt, and one “HELLO MY NAME IS” name tag. Fill out the name tag with the name “Jean” and you’re good to go. As a bonus, this costume will definitely keep you warm even on a cool October night. Costume supplies:

  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 denim top
  • 1 “HELLO MY NAME IS” name tag
  • 1 marker
  • Denim shoes or hat (optional)

Kick it old school.

Style is always changing and with decades of life experience comes decades of outdated apparel lining the back of your closet. Dig into your closet and revitalize one of your favorite old-school looks. From the bell-bottoms and big collars of the 70’s to the big hair and bright colors of 80’s – your Halloween costume is probably hiding in your closet, you just have to find it. This one’s easy – you’ll need:

  • Willingness to relive past fashion mistakes (and have fun with it!)

At the end of the day, Halloween is about having fun. Keep the stress and the cost low this year and handle the whole process in-house with these easy last minute costume ideas. Happy Halloween!

3 Simple Suggestions for a Budget-Friendly Halloween

Think back to when you were a kid. What was your favorite thing about Halloween? Was it the costumes? The candy? The spooky decorations around your neighborhood? All the above? Now, think about your little ones. Which Halloween traditions excite them most? There’s a pretty good chance they love the same things you did.

That timeless trio of candy, decorations, and costumes account for more than 80% of Halloween spending. How much do people actually spend on Halloween? According to a National Retail Foundation survey, Americans spent an estimated $9.1 billion in 2017, and the number is expected to top $9 billion again in 2018.

From shopping for the newest costume to overspending on premium candy for trick-or-treaters, it’s easy to get caught up in the fright-filled fun and spend more than you intended. So, how do you give your little ones a Halloween filled with fantastic childhood memories without blowing up your budget in the process? We’ve got a few ideas.

By following these tips, you can save money on candy, decorations, and costumes and help your kids enjoy a Halloween that’s a little less trick and a lot more treat:

Candy

Based on the survey mentioned above, a whopping 95% of Americans plan to buy candy this Halloween. If you’re looking for easy ways to save, steer clear of the brand name selections and buy in bulk. If you’re trying to be that house, the one all the kids talk about because you’re the ones that give out the “good stuff,” be sure to scan local sales and be patient. Stores will often discount candy on Halloween morning. A little last-minute shopping can give you the chance to get more for your money.

Decorations

Hosting a Halloween party for neighborhood friends? Instead of rushing out to a specialty store and buying elaborate displays and mass-produced trinkets, add a personal touch by letting your kids design decorations of their own. Your children will love showing off their handiwork to all their guests! Need some suggestions to get your family’s creative juices flowing? The home decorating experts at HGTV can help you scare up a great idea!

Costumes 

When it comes to finding great deals on Halloween costumes for your children, thrift stores are your friend. If you shop early enough, many secondhand stores will have a selection of costumes that were only worn once or twice before the previous owners outgrew them. If you’re getting down to crunch time and you don’t have your kiddo’s costume figured out, Pinterest is a great place to find creative DIY ideas.

Now, before you get carried away with crazy ideas about how to spend all the money you saved this Halloween, remember, Halloween savings can help ease the financial stress of holiday shopping. That’s right – once Halloween is over, there are only 32 shopping days until Hanukkah and 54 shopping days until Christmas. Now, THAT is scary!