The holidays are around the corner and it marks one of the most expensive times in our consumer lives. We have a lot of events coming up and the first of them, is almost at hand. We are referring to our annual Halloween celebration of course.
This is considered to be second to Christmas when it comes to spending. Naturally, you would be concerned about finding ways to budget your spending so you will not be too broke to spend on the other festivities lined up until December. After all, you still have Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year to think about.
According to the Halloween Consumer Spending Survey done by the International Council of Shopping Centers, 74% of American households plan to spend this Halloween. The survey results published on ICSC.org also revealed that the expected spending for the 2014 Halloween festivities will amount to $11.3 billion. If you exclude the families that do not plan to spend this year, that puts the average spending to around $125. In fact, an estimate of 80% of consumers will spend the same or even more than what they spent last year. Around 20% of consumers are preparing to spend more in 2014.
If you think that you will be increasing your Halloween expenses this year, you may want to budget your spending to make sure that you will not go beyond what you can afford. Budgeting can help stop debt so try to head off the holiday debt by creating a foolproof budget plan.
Create a list of the things that you need to spend on and filter the details so you only spend on what is essential. Your Halloween spending comprises of three important categories: costumes, treats and decors. Find out how you can budget your spending on these three through our tips below.
How to save on Halloween costumes
First up is the costumes. This holiday will not be the same without a costume so make sure you are prepared for it.
According to the data coming from the National Retail Federation, 2 out of 3 consumers who plan to celebrate Halloween will purchase a costume. The results published on NRF.com mentioned that this is the highest for the past 11 years that this survey was being conducted. The average person is expected to spend $77.52 – an amount higher than the average of $75.03 in 2013.
But if you want to save money on your costume or that of your kids, there are a couple of things that you can do.
- DIY your costume. Look into your closet and see what you can come up with. You can dress up as a Sims character by putting on any clothing and adding a green diamond cardboard on top of your head. If you have a black and white striped shirt, put on a robber’s mask and come as a burglar. You can even get a roll of tissue, wrap it around yourself and be a mummy. You do not have to buy anything else.
- Swap with others. If you have neighbors with kids, you can probably exchange costumes and make a few modifications to it. Just make sure you clear it up with the original owners in case they want the costume to be returned as is. You can do the same with your own costume. Swap with family and friends so you can budget your spending on something else.
- Use makeup and accessories that you have at home. Buying makeup and accessories will cost you unnecessary money. Why not just use food coloring, some gelatin, and your makeup kit to transform your look to compliment your costume.
- Buy a 2nd hand costume. If you cannot swap with someone, you may want to just buy a 2nd hand costume. It will be cheaper and it should give you some selections. Just make sure to wash them first before wearing. Who knows where they came from.
You are also encouraged to keep your old costumes. You can probably come up with something new just by combining different pieces from old costumes.
How to spend less on Halloween treats
The next category that you need to budget your spending on is the Halloween treats that you will be giving away. Save yourself from holiday debt by making wise choices about your giveaways this year. Here are a couple of suggestions that will help you lower your spending on treats.
- Buy them in bulk. This is one of the things that you can buy in bulk and not waste any. Candies typically have a long shelf life anyway so this should be safe. Buy them in big packs so you have enough to go around when the kids come knocking at your door.
- Buy treats with the community. In connection with the first, you can team up with your neighbors and assign a particular treat for them to buy in bulk. Then, you can divide everything so you will have variety while still taking advantage of the savings you will get when you buy products in packs.
- Have two varieties. If you have neighbor friends whom you want to give special candies and treats to, separate what you plan to give them. Give the cheaper ones to the kids whom you do not really know. That way, you can give treats to more kids.
- Control what will be given. Do not let the kids dip their hands in your candy bowl. Make sure you give them out so you can control the amount of candies to last the whole night. Otherwise, you might run out early in the evening and you will have to deal with turning away other kids in the process.
It helps if you collect coupons so you can get discounts for the things that you need to buy. Also, take note that you do not only have the option to give away food and candies. Here is a video from Connecticut Style about an interesting tip on giving away treats this Halloween.
How to lower your budget on Halloween decors
The last thing that you need to budget your spending on are the Halloween decors. Nothing makes Halloween more fun and exciting than when you have the decorations to heighten the festivities. However, these will also cost you so make sure you plan how you will spend on this.
An article published on WFXG.com revealed that consumers are more cautious when it comes to buying decorations this year. It is said to be caused by the Great Recession. They are not too keen on spending much on decorations. In fact, the article reported that retailers have displayed their Christmas decors together with the Halloween because they know that demand will not be as high as it was before.
It is understandable if you want to skip on the decors this year because you want to save on your overall holiday budget. However, there are some ways that you can still have Halloween decors without spending a lot of money on it.
- Recycle what you used last year. If you do not want to appear exactly as the previous year, you can add a bit of decors or change their locations. Use your creativity and any arti supplies lying around the house. An unused cardboard box can be painted gray to become tombstones in your front yard.
- Swap with neighbors and friends. Another way to recycle old decors is to swap with your neighbors and peers. You can swap a few items so you both have something of the old and the new in your home.
- Buy from the dollar store. You will find a lot of great deals when you buy from the dollar store. With only $10, you can get a whole lot of stuff that you can use around the house.
- Clip coupons. You can opt to cut out coupons to use when you are buying decors. Be on the lookout for great deals and discounts.
- Be aware of sale promotions. Find out when your favorite store will hold a sale and opt to buy decors then. You will get a lot more stuff with just a little amount of money.
If you plan on buying decors, make sure that these are things that you can use again next year. That way, you won’t have to buy anymore products and thus lessen what you normally spend on Halloween.
Learning how to budget your spending for the holidays is not really rocket science. All it really takes is some early planning a sound judgement as to what you really need to spend on to enjoy Halloween.