Tough US Economy Scares the Spending out of Halloween 2009

Tips from Consolidated Credit to have a less financially frightening holiday

Come the fall after the back-to-school shopping has subsided, Americans start planning for the holiday season. Halloween is now the second most expensive holiday after Christmas and it is often overlooked when it comes to budgeting for expenses. As families feel the weight of the US economy more and more, they are becoming aware of their frivolous holiday spending, especially when it comes to Halloween.

According to the National Retail Federation’s 2009 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, Americans plan to decrease their average Halloween spending from $66.54 to $56.31; one-third of which choose to do so because of the state of the US economy. With the expected total spending for the holiday reaching over $4.75 billion, Halloween 2009 should hardly be a blip on the budgeting radar.

Halloween was once an inexpensive holiday. Families made treats like candy apples, constructed costumes out of old bed sheets, and made their own spooky decorations. As stores stockpile all of the typical Halloween fare, find the time to sit down with your family and plan a budget for this trick or treat season.

Here are some tips from Consolidated Credit:

  • Use this opportunity to be creative with your Halloween costumes this year. The website Howcast.com has step by step videos to show you how to make your own popular costumes and decorations out of everyday household items.
  • Hold a costume swap with your children’s friends. By cutting out the price of new costumes you can drastically cut back your Halloween spending for 2009.
  • If you have more than one child, purchasing unisex costumes can open the opportunity to reuse the Halloween costumes when your second or third child gets older.
  • Start up a pumpkin bank or collection in your household. Throw your loose change into a pumpkin bank daily over the course of the year. Use the money you collect to pay for your Halloween expenses. Using a pumpkin shaped bucket will give you a constant reminder of what you are saving for.
  • Hold a garage sale. By cleaning out old junk around your house you can make extra money for use around the holidays. Never forget, one person’s junk is another one’s treasure.
  • Repurpose old Halloween costumes. Take pieces of old costumes to create new ones. For example, a black cape from a batman costume can always double as a cape for a vampire costume.
  • Shop sales at the end of the season. It’s never too early to start planning for next year. Many stores have sales for up to 90% off of items after the holiday is over. Use this opportunity to collect a few items to use for the following year.