As October creeps along, and the trees change from vibrant green to macabre orange, some Canadians may be tossing and turning as they struggle to sleep at night. Why? Howling wolves? Blood-curdling screams?
Worse – unless they have included Halloween in their spending plans, they may be haunted by the spirits of expensive Halloweens past.
For Halloween 2011, when many children donned Angry Birds costumes, Canadian families were planning to spend an average of $300 on costumes and candy. The trend continued in 2012 with some adult poll respondents saying they might spend up to $300 on one costume alone, forget kids and candy. In 2013, a Scotiabank poll revealed that only 15 per cent of Canadians save in advance for Halloween expenses.
“It can blindside you” says Jeff Schwartz, executive director for Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada. “People are still dealing with credit card bills from<ahref=”https://www.consolidatedcredit.ca/press/article/1653/”> summer vacation, and figuring out budgets for the Holiday season, and boom – here’s Halloween.”
Schwartz points out that Halloween is such a unique and exciting time of the year, that many people stray from their household budgets in order to ensure their Halloween is a screaming success.
“Everybody wants to have the most impressive costume, the spookiest lawn decorations, and the best trick-or-treat candy,” says Schwartz. “But we all know how expensive it is to keep up with the Joneses.”
With just over half (54 per cent) of Canadians planning to partake in ghoulish Halloween activities, Consolidated Credit has put together a ghastly list of tips to help make Halloween 2014 less financially horrific than years past:
Costumes back from the dead – Go through your old box of costumes and see what is reusable. You might be able to re-purpose an old vampire cape into a Batman cape, and you can always mangle costumes into a “zombie” version.
Swap with friends and family – Get together with other families and trade your old costumes. Rooting through grandma’s costume box might unearth some truly unique items and set you or your child apart from the crowd.
Get crafty – Halloween is a perfect time to let your child’s imagination run wild. Conjure up the artistic spirit by buying materials from a craft store and spend an afternoon making costumes with your kids. Glitter and glue can go a long way.
Careful candy shopping – Look for bulk deals on candy for your trick-or-treaters, and make sure you have a solid estimate on just how much you need. Over-buying will leave you with extra candy and ruin two things – your budget and your diet.
Get a jump on 2015 – November 1st might be the perfect time to start thinking about next Halloween. Many stores have huge discounts; they need to clear space for the onslaught of Holiday gifts and decor. Stock up on items for next year and save a ton.