See how your spending plan stacks up versus consumer expectations.
Do you have a plan for how much you’ll spend this Halloween? After last year’s lull in festivities, Americans are gearing up to spend more than ever on Halloween this year, according to the National Retail Federation. This infographic reveals some key Halloween spending statistics. Then we offer some helpful tips on how to avoid a scary credit card bill if you plan to celebrate.
Frightening Halloween Statistics 2021
216 million American ghouls plan to celebrate this year & the numbers are SPOOKY…
Total Annual Halloween Spending $10.1 billion
That’s up from the $8.8 billion in 2019 and the record-high $9.1 billion in 2017
65% plan to celebrate
Witches are the top costume
More than 4.6 million adults will don the costume
Annual spending on costumes
Annual spending on decorations
Percentage of people who buy costumes for pets
Most popular pet costume – Pumpkin (10%)
Average spending per household with children
66% of households will hand out candy, but only 25% of parents plan to take their children trick or treating
52% of people plan to decorate
6 smart ways to avoid creeping credit card debt
Halloween certainly isn’t the most expensive holiday on the calendar. As you can see from average spending statistics, most people usually don’t spend over $100 total on Halloween. Still, when you’re on a limited budget, even $80 can be hard to cover with free cash flow. As a result, those purchases for costumes, decorations, and candy can end up on credit cards. Even a few new charges are a few too many when you’re working to become debt-free.
With that in mind, here are some practical Halloween spending tips that can help treat yourself to less credit card debt this year.
#1: Get crafty
From indoor and outdoor decorations to costumes and makeup, Halloween is a holiday that was made for DIY. Instead of buying premade decorations and costumes, hit up your local craft store to purchase the materials you need to make your own Halloween spooks. If you have kids, this can be a fun project for the whole family to enjoy.
Also, don’t waste money on costume makeup. For moms, raid your regular makeup draw and look online to find tutorials on how to do over-the-top makeup using your everyday supplies.
#2: Swap decorations with friends and family
If you love to decorate for every holiday on the calendar, it can be tough on your budget. These days, inflatables, yard art, and even indoor décor can cost hundreds of dollars. That’s not exactly an easy expense to absorb on a limited budget.
For those big-ticket items like inflatables that aren’t exactly easy to do-it-yourself, set up a decoration swap among your family or friends. Each person offers up an item that they’re willing to trade. Then everyone swaps. That way, everyone’s yard can look like new without anyone spending money.
#3: Make parties potluck and BYOB
Paying for all the food and drinks at your Halloween bash can get pricey. Instead of footing the bill yourself, make the party potluck and BYOB. For food, you can supply the main dishes and ask guests to bring appetizers, sides or desserts. Then for drinks, consider supplying beer, wine, and mixers, but ask guests to bring their liquor.
Also, remember to count portions correctly. Don’t make enough to feed an army if you’re only having a small gathering. If you can half a recipe and still have enough servings for your guests, take the time to do it. This will help you save money and reduce food waste at the end of the party.
#4: Don’t buy costumes or special toys and treats for your pets
Pet stores have done a great job of convincing people that their pets need to be dressed up for every holiday. They also make a big business out of selling seasonal toys and treats. But really, your pets don’t know it’s Halloween. They can’t tell the difference between their favorite chew today and that new spider or ghost that you bought them.
Don’t waste money on seasonal toys and treats. And if you want to dress up your pet, go back to Tip 1 and get crafting.
#5: Buy candy in bulk
Halloween candy is one of those things that’s best purchased in bulk, and you don’t have to wait until the day before Halloween for candy to go on sale either. According to consumer-savings experts, candy is priced lowest about 2 weeks before Halloween. So, keep an eye on the weekly coupons or circulars from your favorite wholesale store. When big bags of candy go on sale, get to the store and buy what you need.
Just be realistic about how many trick-or-treaters you actually get in your neighborhood. Don’t go overboard purchasing candy if you only get a few groups each year. Having leftover candy isn’t good for your budget or your diet!
#6: Check local calendars for free events
You don’t need to hit up expensive paid haunted houses and theme parks to have a good time for Halloween. Avoid attending concerts or festivals that charge an entry fee. There are plenty of free local events going on in every city for Halloween. Check local papers and sign up for your community newsletter to find free events you can attend with friends and family.
Before you go, withdraw a small amount of cash at an in-network ATM that you can use for food, drinks, and souvenirs. Once you spend that cash, stop spending. This will help you avoid spending more than you intended when you get hit up at craft booths and carnival vendors.
Spooked by credit card debt? Talk to a certified credit counselor.