We don't want to scare you, but Halloween is looming and if you're not careful, it could take a gruesome bite from your monthly budget. Halloween is a huge business. Each year, $5.07 billion is spent on costumes, cards, candy and decorations, and the average person will spend around $65 on themselves. You can see how the bill adds up fast. For each of your children there's a costume and a party, and since it's a holiday, you may feel inclined to purchase small gifts for the family. Let's not forget about costume-day at the office, mobs of children chanting for tricks or treats, and by the time November rolls around, you've blown the budget. And that doesn't even include your pet's costume! (Use these tips for a bountiful Yuletide on a Scrooge-like budget. For more information, read Tips For Avoiding A Holiday Spending Hangover.)

IN PICTURES: 5 Ways To Control Emotional Spending

Halloween's theme is meant to be scary, but at least you can fend off financial fright. Here are six ways to save money during this ghoulish occasion.

1. The Costume
Finding the best head-turning costume is the serious Halloweener's main goal. That old, dusty Britney Spears costume can't be worn again this year, right? Before you spend a fortune on that must-have giant hamburger costume, let's cast off the demons of bad financial decisions and take a more frugal approach. Here are a few ideas:

  • Swap costumes with friends.

  • Look for local websites where people post items for sale.

  • If you like timeless costumes, take advantage of after-Halloween sales.

  • Find inspiration at a thrift store.

The costume industry has a little secret: They have their fingers crossed that you'll let your kid wear his/her costume early and ruin it. Put the get-ups on a shelf so you don't end up buying two costumes this year.

2. Community Candy
Everything is cheaper when you buy in bulk, right? In the case of candy, that's definitely true. So talk to your neighbors and get a volume discount on this year's treats. This is a sweet deal, guaranteed to trick out your treat budget. Also, don't purchase it too early. Do you trust your willpower?

3. Decorations
What's the second most decorated holiday in America? Halloween! If you like to decorate, you know that it can cost a lot of money, but it doesn't have to. Once again, patience is a virtue. Purchase your decorations soon after Halloween and store them. If you're good at arts and craft, visit your local craft store for ideas. Let's be honest, homemade likely won't look as good as the expensive, ready-made decorations, but aside from a huge November credit card bill, what do you get for being the best decorated house on the block?

4. The Party
Congratulations on being the designated party planner for this year's fright night. How about holding on to those party decorations year-to-year and letting the designated party house use them? Ask people to bring snacks, and resist the urge to hire the expensive pirate. Remember, a party is more about the company than the black lights and playing an endless loop of "Thriller" and "Monster Mash". (Hosting more than just the Halloween party this year? Learn how to control entertaining costs, read Host a Holiday Party For Less.)

5. The Pumpkin
What can be saved on a pumpkin purchase? A glance at some elaborate jack-o'-lanterns suggests there's room to scale back. Does your pumpkin really need LED lights and a speaker system? How about using some of those Christmas lights instead? If you have a green thumb, why not help your kids start a pumpkin patch? This isn't practical for some but for those who enjoy gardening, this can be a fun activity, and the kids will love watching the pumpkin grow. (While you're at it, you may as well plant a whole garden. For more information, read The Economics of Gardening: Can You Dig It?.)

IN PICTURES: Vacation Savings Tips

6. The Budget
As with Christmas, set your budget and stay within it - no matter what. Halloween is only one day, but credit card debt can last a lifetime. Be thrifty and remember that the ghosts, costumes, and haunted houses should be scary - not your credit card bill!

The Bottom Line
Halloween has become a nearly $6 billion industry in America and has the potential to break your budget. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to keep your Halloween from becoming a spending nightmare.

For the latest financial news, see Water Cooler Finance: History's Biggest Rogue Trading Scandal.

Related Articles
  1. Insurance

    5 Ways to Lower Life Insurance Premiums

    Learn several effective methods for lowering life insurance premiums. These include quitting smoking and considering term life insurance.
  2. Budgeting

    The 7 Best Ways to Get Out of Debt

    Obtain information on how to put together and execute a plan to get out of debt, including the various steps and methods people use to become debt-free.
  3. Credit & Loans

    Don't Get Burned by High Credit Card Rates

    The average card charges 11.8%, and some rates top 20%. Experts warn that credit card interest may remain steep.
  4. Budgeting

    10 Ways to Save Money at the Farmers' Market

    Strategic shopping can help your budget as well as your health.
  5. Savings

    6 Ways to Save Money on Back-to-School Stuff

    Those school-supply lists just keep getting longer each year. Here's how to shop smart.
  6. Savings

    How Volatile Exchange Rates Affect Your Vacation

    Those ever-changing fluctuations can make a difference in anything from your hotel room to an ATM transaction.
  7. Credit & Loans

    Can Corporate Credit Cards Affect Your Credit?

    Corporate cards have a hidden downside. If the company fails to pay its bills, you could be liable for the amount and end up with a damaged credit rating.
  8. Home & Auto

    4 Areas to Consider Roofing Material Types

    Roofing your home is very important, that’s why you should choose a roof specifically designed to handle your area’s climate.
  9. Investing News

    What Is The New Credit Card Chip Good For?

    Under current U.S. credit card requirements, credit card issuers are required to issue chip cards as of October 1, 2015. Instead of swiping your card as you do now, you will slide the card into ...
  10. Credit & Loans

    5 Ways to Maximize Your Credit Card Points

    How to get the most bang for your rewards buck.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Cost Accounting

    A type of accounting process that aims to capture a company's ...
  2. Internal Rate Of Return - IRR

    A metric used in capital budgeting measuring the profitability ...
  3. Transferable Points Programs

    With transferable points programs, customers earn points by using ...
  4. Luhn Algorithm

    An algorithm used to validate a credit card number.
  5. Roll Rate

    The percentage of credit card users who become increasingly delinquent ...
  6. Truncation

    The requirement mandated by the FTC for merchants to shorten ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. How does a bank determine what my discretionary income is when making a loan decision?

    Discretionary income is the money left over from your gross income each month after taking out taxes and paying for necessities. ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How does the trust maker transfer funds into a revocable trust?

    Once a revocable trust is created, a trust maker transfers funds or property into the trust by including them in a list with ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is the range of deductibles offered with various health insurance plans?

    A wide range of possible deductibles are available with health insurance plans, starting as low as a few hundred dollars ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How do I know how much of my income should be discretionary?

    While there is no hard rule for how much of a person's income should be discretionary, Inc. magazine points out that it would ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What proportion of my income should I put into my demand deposit account?

    Generally speaking, aim to keep between two months and six months worth of your fixed expenses in your demand deposit accounts. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the difference between "closed end credit" and a "line of credit?"

    Depending on the need, an individual or business may take out a form of credit that is either open- or closed-ended. While ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!