Personal Finance 

Four Ways to Save at Halloween

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Cute CostumesThe expenses that come with Halloween are downright frightening. What used to be one of those second tier holidays is now a big expense. You have to purchase the costume in order to go to the party or maybe you’re hosting the party yourself. Halloween now comes with cards and with a card you may feel inclined to send money and let’s not forget the office party and the treats that go with it. How out of control is the 21st century version of Halloween? Raise your hand if you bought your pet a costume?

Halloween is a big business with more than $5 billion spent each year with the average person spending nearly $70 on themselves making a family of four a nearly $300 expense in an economy where most don’t have the money to spare. Is there a way to cut those Halloween costs? Luckily, there are ways to reduce the financial fear factor that comes with this Fall holiday.

The Costume

No serious Halloween party goer would be caught dead in a cheap costume. Remember the days when you bought the Halloween costume in the box for $10? Those days are over but before you put big money in to a crazy Fad of the year costume, there are ways to look good for less. You could swap costumes with a friend, check out craigslist or Ebay, head to a thrift store or discount store for inspiration if you’re the creative type, and don’t forget to head out for those after-Halloween sales and find a costume for next year.

Bulk Purchase Your Candy

Want a really sweet deal? If you’re friendly with your neighbors, coworkers, or family, purchase your candy and other treats in bulk at a warehouse store. Sometimes those specially packaged Halloween fun packs are more expensive than the bulk packs made for vending machines. Just because you found it at the end of the grocery store isle doesn’t mean it’s the best deal.

The Yard

Christmas is the most decorated holiday, right? Wrong! That distinction belongs to Halloween and to earn that honor, people are spending big money to do it. Let’s be honest. When you drive by a house do you notice how the goblin was constructed? Find ways to save money by having your children help cut out witches and other scary creatures and find a broomstick and a skull head at the craft store for the yard. Is there a best decorated yard contest that comes with a big prize? If not, why spend so much money on it?

The Party

So you received (or volunteered) for the honor of putting together the most unscary scary party on the block. That’s quite the honor but does it really require you to buy new decorations every year? Seriously? Have you noticed that most of the scary stuff in the world is old? Hold on to it from year to year. And since you’re a good steward of your finances and sticking to a budget, skip the LED flickering thing that isn’t that scary anyway.

Raise your right hand and repeat, “I will not go overboard this Halloween. I will stay within a tight budget because nobody will remember how much I spent except for me when I have to pay for it in November and by then I’ll be tempted to go overboard with turkeys and pilgrams.”

(Photo: juhansonin)

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5 Responses to “Four Ways to Save at Halloween”

  1. Courtney says:

    I save on halloween by not doing any of this stuff… 🙂

  2. Shirley says:

    One year a son and his friends made a graveyard out of scrap wood pieces and odds and ends in our front yard. A picture of it ended up on the front page of our local newspaper.

    That was a very inexpensive undertaking that drew lots of attention.

  3. How about not buying a costume at all? A really cheap and truly scary way to spend Halloween is an all-night scary movie marathon, or spending the night at a cemetery!

  4. JG Larvan says:

    You can always partner with someone for expenses in the candies or in the decorations. It’s fun when you spend Halloween with the people that you love without spending more than you can earn.

  5. @JG I agree. Capitalism is great, but the materialism that is foisted upon our holidays isn’t always my favorite.

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