| October 30, 2015

Research of the Week: Consumers Shop Smart for Halloween

Average spending for spooky fun down from last year.

Each week, Consolidated Credit searches for financial research that can help you deal with your debt and budget. This week…

The interesting study

Curious how much the average family spends to celebrate Halloween in style? Each year the National Retail Federation (NRF) releases Halloween Spending Survey that polls consumers to see how much they expect to spend to celebrate this year.

The big result

The average Halloween spending per person is down from last year. Roughly 65% of Americans will celebrate Halloween in some fashion this year and the average price tag for their fun will be $74.34. That’s down slightly from last year’s tab of $77.52.

 

The fascinating details

Here’s a quick look at how that $74.34 breaks down, as well as some scary totals for how much Americans will spend overall:

  • Total U.S. spending on Halloween should hit $6.9 billion this year
  • Families will spend $27.33 for everyone’s costumes, on average
    • Total costume spending should top $2.5 billion – that’s $1.2 billion on adult costumes, $950 million on children’s costumes and $350 million on costumes for pets
    • About 68 million Americans will don a costume for the occasion, while 20 million pet owners will put a costume on a pet
  • Nine of ten (93.7%) celebrants will buy candy to pass out this year, for a total spend of $2.1 billion
  • 5% of those spooky spenders will buy greeting cards, for a total of $330 million spent for scary seasonal greetings
  • For those who want to do it up on decorations, the average spend will be $20.34, for a total of $1.9 billion

What you can do

“It’s encouraging to see families aren’t trying to outdo themselves from last year and are being smart about how they spend money to celebrate this year,” says April Lewis-Parks, Director of Community and Public Relations at Consolidate Credit. “Celebrating a holiday is a lot of fun for the whole family, but going over-the-top can be a monstrous burden on your household budget.”

According to the survey, about one third of celebrants start Halloween shopping before October 1 and most finished up last week. Still, one in four celebrants (25%) didn’t start shopping until this week, which may mean some shoppers are still putting the last-minute touches on their plans before tomorrow.

If you’re still shopping for the final frightful trimmings on your Halloween plans, keep these tips in mind:

  • Candy is on sale now, so you can get a good deal if you still want to pass out candy to the neighborhood kids.
  • Don’t waste money on costume makeup if you have people in your house that wear everyday makeup, raid the makeup draw and simply use regular products in an embellished way.
  • Hit your closets for last-minute costume touches, so you don’t waste money on jewelry and other accessories to enhance your look.

A last note on Halloween spending if you charged any of your Halloween purchases, make sure to pay off the debt within the next billing cycle. Otherwise, interest charges will mean your Halloween price tag is higher than you think. Additionally, any rewards you may have earned by making those purchases on credit would be offset by interest added after the first billing cycle.

Remember, if you’re only making the minimum payments, then it will take you time to pay off even a small debt under $75. On a $15 per month minimum payment limit, it could take up to 6 months to pay off the debt in-full and you would add interest charges every month it takes you to pay off the debt.

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