by Celeste Lohrenz
With the end of October just around the corner, it’s time to start preparing for the spookiest time of the year—Halloween! In the coming weeks there’s a lot to do—carve pumpkins, decorate the house, plan costumes, parties and trick-or-treating routes for the kids. But in the midst of all the holiday excitement, all the added expenses of the holidays can go unnoticed. In order to make sure you don’t get a fright when you look at your bank statement come November, take a look at these helpful hints for a cost-effective Halloween.
Cut down on energy-consuming decorations. Every neighborhood has one—the family that goes all out creating a nightmarish scene on the front lawn with decorations and lights. If that happens to sound like your home, consider making a few adjustments to your décor this year. Ditching the inflatable witches and ghosts will help keep your energy costs low. If you must, be sure to unplug them during the daytime to conserve electricity. Also consider swapping out old string lights with energy-efficient LED bulbs.
Coordinate trick-or-treating with several families. Toting your kids around town to go trick-or-treating is a Halloween tradition. By planning with your family, friends or neighbors, you can pool resources to keep your costs lower. Carpooling will help save gas and keep the streets safer. Sharing supplies like flashlights and refreshments will also make sure nobody has to spend extra cash on items that are readily available.
Participate in candy buyback programs. There’s nothing quite like the look on your children’s faces after they empty their pillowcases after a long night of trick-or-treating and see a heaping pile of candy sitting in front of them. But trying to eat it all can cause quite a bellyache. You can help offset some of your holiday expenses by looking for candy buyback programs near you. Many doctors, dentists and charitable organizations will pay you to turn in your candy so you can make some extra cash, promote a healthy lifestyle while helping others at the same time.
Make your own costumes. Trying on Halloween costumes at the store can be a blast, but it can also get expensive quickly. Don’t ditch the store altogher—it is part of the fun, after all—but go in with a different mission. Get an up-close look at the costumes that you enjoy the most and figure out how you can make them yourself with items you already own. You can even find many garments to help you piece together a costume at Good Will or other consignment shops. You’ll only be wearing your costume a few times at the most, so don’t lose sight of your financial investment in your costume.
Keep the chill out of your house. Whether you’re hosting a costume party or passing out candy to the neighborhood kids, the odds are good that you’ll be opening your front door a lot on Halloween. And while it’s not quite winter yet, that doesn’t mean you want the brisk fall air blustering through your home. You’ll have to crank up your thermostat to compensate, which means you can expect a nightmarish energy bill next month. Direct foot traffic to your garage, mudrooms or seasonal porches in order to avoid opening doors that lead directly into the heart of your home.
For more tips on managing your finances, stop by a Milford Bank branch location or check out our Learning Center here.