It’s time to start thinking about Halloween costs. As with many other holidays, Halloween can incredibly fun, but also really expensive. Costumes are only worn for a few hours, and your child will grow out of it by next year (plus, they’ll want to wear a new one next year, too).
Not to mention the cost of candy, Halloween parties at home or school, pumpkins and other decorations. Add those to your list of expenses.
These items may not be a part of the typical household budget, but Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada has some tricks so your kids can enjoy their treats!
“Most Canadians tend to overspend on holidays of any kind. These habits aren’t just limited to Christmas. It’s important to remember to include these one-off items in your family’s budget so you’re not caught off guard when the time comes to pay for these purchases,” said Jeffrey Schwartz, the Executive Director for Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.
“Families don’t always realize how quickly these expenses can add up, but researching fun alternatives to buying new items can go a long way, and will only add to the success of your family’s finances.”
- Don’t wait for Halloween night to find the perfect costumes and accessories. That’s when the selection of costumes become sparse. Also, you’ll be more likely to pay big bucks at a costume store. Instead, visit a second-hand clothing store for Halloween costumes, accessories, and more. They’re great places for cheap accessories to enhance your child’s and even adult costumes.
- Rummage through your closet with your children for Halloween costume ideas. Your kids will get a kick out of dressing in your vintage clothes to be a pop culture icon, Disco Diva, Hippie, or Rock Star. If you have a sewing machine, creating a Halloween costume can be a fun way to interact with your children and teach them a new skill. You may even let them practice by making pet costumes, if they’re old enough to handle the machinery with supervision.
- Start an annual Halloween costume swap at your child’s school or with your friends and neighbours. It’s cost effective and environmentally friendly. It’s truly a win-win scenario.
- Try offering one or two pieces per trick-or-treater, rather than handfuls. They will all get plenty of Halloween candy, and you’ll cut costs.
- Watch for sales – treat size portions are available throughout the year and are advertised in your local grocery store flyers.
- Only open a few packages at a time – you can return any unopened candy after Halloween. Keep track of the number of packages you used for next year’s Halloween shopping.
- Make your own decorations. Save and reuse your Halloween decorations each year.
- Prepare homemade snacks or host a potluck meal with a big bowl of chili for the main dish.
- Plan some fun games to save on store-bought entertainment. Bobbing for Apples and Pass the Pumpkin (where guests pass a small pumpkin from chin to chin without dropping it) are both loads of fun. And, instead of offering loot bags, prepare an inexpensive Halloween craft for each guest to create and take home with them.
Scary Halloween spending habits (infographic)