Party Planning, Costumes and Decorations, Oh My! Halloween Budget Tips

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), Halloween spending in 2017 is expected to reach a record level, with $9.1 billion being spent on consumers’ Halloween budget for candy, costumes and other celebrations.

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The NRF predicts that 179 million Americans will make purchases for Halloween in 2017, up from 171 million in 2016, with an average household Halloween budget of $86.13, and men expect to have a bigger per person Halloween budget ($96 per person) than women ($77 per person) for Halloween festivities.

The ways people celebrate Halloween tend to change as they get older. The NRF survey found that younger people ages 18-24 are more likely to dress in costumes or attend and host parties, while those ages 25+ are more likely to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters. But Halloween is an increasingly popular holiday and a big business: 72% of Americans in the NRF survey said that they plan to celebrate Halloween this year. So, no matter how you plan to celebrate, here are four ways to make your Halloween budget go further:

1. Go thrift store shopping for costume pieces.

The NRF survey found that costumes account for the largest portion of Halloween spending, at approximately $3.4 billion spent. If you want to save money on your Halloween budget, you could start by finding a cheap costume. You can often save money on costumes by thinking creatively and designing or sewing your own costume at home, if you’re the crafty type. Or you can piece together a one-of-a-kind costume by purchasing old clothes at a thrift shop.

2. Buy candy in bulk.

You can often find big savings on Halloween candy if you buy it in bulk. The bigger the bags, the lower the prices per piece! Consider making a Halloween candy-shopping run to a discount warehouse retailer; if you don’t have a membership, offer to split the cost of your Halloween candy with a friend who belongs to one.

3. Make your own decorations.

The NRF survey found that 49.2% of Americans plan to decorate for Halloween. Again, just like your costume shopping, you can often cut down on spending by doing your own cheap decorations. Use construction paper to make pumpkins or witch designs. Make a spooky Halloween room with “spider webs” made of cotton balls, pulled and stretched into long strings, and Halloween luminarias made from milk jugs. Reader’s Digest has some great ideas for inexpensive and easy Halloween decorations you can make at home.

4. Host a Halloween party with friends to save money.

Hosting a Halloween party is lots of fun, but it’s also a lot of work and can be expensive. So, if you want to avoid busting your Halloween budget, organize a joint party with friends! Perhaps one of your friends can host the party, another can provide the decorations and another can bring refreshments. Instead of spending money on Halloween appetizers or dinner for all your guests, make the party a potluck. By dividing up the labor and splitting the costs, you can all enjoy a fun evening while staying within your budget.

Halloween is a spooky and special holiday that millions of Americans celebrate, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. With cheap costumes, crafty decorations and a spirit of teamwork with your friends, you can enjoy Halloween and still save plenty of money for the next round of holidays.

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