Halloween is the scariest of all the holidays, but the freaks and shrieks heard on this spooky night of horrific ensembles and candy collection aren't just from kids getting a fright over a creepy trick-or-treater, they are from parents and party-goers who look at the price tags on some of the most wanted Halloween costumes. (For more ways to stay on your Halloween budget, read How To Escape Halloween Budget Killers.)

TUTORIAL: Budgeting Basics

Costumes as Collectibles
As many super fans already know, it can be ridiculously expensive to dress up like your favorite comic book character. From conventions to parties to movie release events, some people spend a lot of time beyond Halloween walking around in character. For them, the investment in a realistic costume is a worthy expense. Just ask anyone who bought the DC Comics Collector's Edition Superman and Batman costumes for $999.99. At such a high price point, obviously the costume has to have something more than just a polyester suit. These collector's costumes have highly detailed muscles, and include boots, capes and hairpieces or, in the case of Batman, his bat mask and headpiece. Women can get in on the comic book character game with a $400 Batgirl costume. For all that dough they get a corset, leotards, boot tops, gloves, mask and cape.

Super Fan
If comic book heroes aren't your thing but movies are, there are plenty of costume choices that can wipe out a significant portion of your savings. You can be a Spartan with the $1,200 costume designed based on the movie "300." You also have the option of being almost any character from "Star Wars" from a $500 Chewbacca to a $1,200 Storm Trooper. You can also stretch your powers of feminine persuasion in the $220 Scarlett O'Hara dress, but the matching shoes to help you dance the night away with all your competitive beaus? Those will set you back another $43. (To help you create a memorable Halloween, check out Top 4 Affordable Halloween Decor Ideas.)

Now for Something … Different
Not every expensive costume has to turn you into a famous fictional character. Some can turn you into an insect, snowman or historical figure. A $200, 16-legged caterpillar suit could be a great way to show your irreverent side, while a $250 snowman suit can make you Frosty incarnate.

Life as a real serving wench might have been low-income and unfancy, but to dress as a serving wench now requires a generous budget with an extra $260. You can bring a matching pirate date for $180. You'll each get a nifty hat but while you're stuck in the corset, he'll be sporting a simple eye patch.

Wait, Isn't This a Holiday for Kids?
Kids aren't left out of the expensive Halloween costume loop. For a mere $80 you can dress your child up as Tony the Tiger. For a spookier option, you can choose the Ghost Lady or Ghost Gent for $100 or $120, respectively. In general, possibly because of their limited use, children's costumes are less expensive than adult costumes. For example, an adult costume for Optimus Prime runs about $300, while kids can dress like the leader of the Autobots for just $50. Of course, you always have the option of spending the majority of your kid's costume budget on accessories they won't outgrow, like a $40 Captain America shield.

The Bottom Line
In 2006, the average American spent $59.06 on Halloween, an amount that included costuming purchases as well as candy, cards and decorations. Buying the super-expensive costumes highlighted above could skew that average for this year, but if that expense means you get a costume built for life, it could mean you're just making a big, upfront investment on a quality disguise that will last you through many Halloweens, conventions and costume parties to come. (To help you save for Halloween, read 6 Simple Ways To Save This Halloween.)

Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    How Tech Can Help with 3 Behavioral Finance Biases

    Even if you’re a finance or statistics expert, you’re not immune to common decision-making mistakes that can negatively impact your finances.
  2. Savings

    These 10 Habits Will Help You Reach Financial Freedom

    Learn 10 key habits for achieving financial freedom, including smart budgeting, staying abreast of new tax deductions and the importance of proper maintenance.
  3. Budgeting

    How Much Will it Cost to Become President In 2016?

    The 2016 race to the White House will largely be determined by who can spend the most money. Here is a look at how much it will cost to win the presidency.
  4. Budgeting

    Six Most Popular Hobbies You Can Do For Free

    Does your budget not allow you to have expensive hobbies? Here are six great ideas for occupying your free time without spending money.
  5. Home & Auto

    This Is How You Could Live in the Philippines on $1,000 a Month

    Consider what your life might be like in the Philippines on a $1,000 budget, and determine whether this Southeast Asian country is for you.
  6. Home & Auto

    This Is How You Could Live in Thailand on $1,000 a Month

    Discover what kind of life you can lead on $1,000 per month in Thailand, one of the top expatriate and tourist destinations in Southeast Asia.
  7. Personal Finance

    5 Reasons Inmates Should Be Taught Financial Literacy

    Learn five reasons why financial literacy is a great way to prevent inmates from relapsing into a life of crime after release from prison.
  8. Home & Auto

    How Much Money Do You Need to Live in Mexico City?

    Learn how much it costs for four types of expatriates to live in Mexico City, including students, job hunters, professionals and retirees.
  9. Home & Auto

    This Is How You Could Live in Malaysia on $1,000 a Month

    Learn more about how far a $1,000 monthly budget stretches in Malaysia, a beautiful and inviting tropical paradise in the heart of Southeast Asia.
  10. Home & Auto

    This Is How You Could Live in China on $1,000 a Month

    Learn how you can live comfortably on a $1,000 monthly budget in China, a country known around the world for its growing economic power.
  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. 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 >>
  3. 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 >>
  4. 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 >>
  5. How do I use the rule of 72 to estimate compounding periods?

    The rule of 72 is best used to estimate compounding periods that are factors of two (2, 4, 12, 200 and so on). This is because ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How much risk is associated with subprime mortgages?

    A large amount of risk is associated with subprime mortgages. Since the mortgages are specifically for people who do not ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center