Tips from Consolidated Credit Counseling Services to have a less financially frightening holiday
Happy autumn! Now that back-to-school shopping has subsided, many Americans start planning for the holiday season. Some reports show that Halloween is now the second most expensive holiday after Christmas but most people overlook the holiday 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 spending, especially when it comes to Halloween.
According to NRF’s 2010 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by Americans will spend $66.28 on costumes, candy and decorations, which is up from last year’s $56.31 and comparable to the $66.54 average spend in 2008. Total spending for the holiday is expected to reach $5.8 billion.
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’s money experts to get you started:
- Use this as opportunity to be creative and make your own Halloween costumes. The website www.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 cut back your Halloween spending.
- Purchase unisex costumes: 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.