3 Scary Expenses You'll Face This Halloween

Creatures and creepy crawlies are certainly frightening, but perhaps the biggest scare waiting for you this Halloween is the bill. Last year, Americans spent $9 billion, and it’s projected we’ll spend even more this!

When you’re on a tight budget, the Halloween price tag isn’t always easy to stomach. Not when it kickstarts end-of-year spending with just 55 days before Christmas. (Now that’s a scary thought!) 

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Before you start thinking about the winter holidays, focus on the following expenses you’ll face on the 31st. If you’re brave enough to keep scrolling, you’ll find their easy, affordable alternatives. 

1. Costumes

Halloween is the perfect excuse to dress up as your favorite character or worst nightmare — whether that’s a princess, superhero, or sexy version of whatever you please. Year after year, Disney-owned franchises like Star Wars, the Avengers, and Frozen top the list for most popular costumes.

All together, costumes cost the nation about $3.2 billion. Generally, this comes out to roughly $45 per outfit, but some high-end options may cost as much as $100. For a family of four, this gets expensive.

Syphoning this cash from savings may seem like a temporary solution, but this leaves you vulnerable to unexpected expenses. If one comes before you can restock your savings, you may have to start looking for an online line of credit to help. This might lead you to ask spooky financial questions, like what credit score do you need to borrow when disaster strikes?

Save yourself the trouble by avoiding the usual costume pop-up stores. Consider cobbling together a DIY alternative from a reuse clothing center or charity shop. 

2. Candy

Choruses of trick-or-treat will fill the air once the sun starts to set on the 31st. You have an option of turning out the lights and pretending you aren’t there — risking having your house TP’d or egged — or you can shell out candy to appease the ravenous hordes. 

Candy isn’t getting any cheaper, which is why Americans spent a collective $2.9 billion on the sweet stuff last year. 

If you want to keep your costs low, consider buying candy in bulk and stick to off-brand versions of your favorite candy bars and caramels. 

Timing is also a potential money saver. According to Ibotta, candy is the cheapest four days before Halloween.

3. Decorations

Usually, you’d avoid houses covered in cobwebs. Yet what’s Halloween without fake spiderwebs, as well as motion-detection decorations and pumpkins sitting at your door?

Between skull-shaped candle holders and rubber bats, it’s easy to get carried away turning your home into a derelict haunted house. The transformation costs the nation $2.7 billion each year.

When it comes to decorating your place on a budget, remember that more is less. A few well-placed items will have a greater effect than covering your home from top to bottom in mismatched baubles. 

There’s also no need to purchase these items from expensive department stores. No one will be able to tell if you choose more affordable alternatives from the dollar store. If you have the time, learn how to make homemade decorations for even less. 

Bottom Line

When the witches are out, it’s all too easy to assume you have to shell out. But Halloween doesn’t have to suck your budget dry. There are ways to celebrate the spookiest holiday of the year without guaranteeing a fright the next time you check your bank account.

Remember these tips shared here today, and you’ll have a better chance at surviving the 31st with your finances intact and ready to face the expensive winter holidays.

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