By Celeste Lohrenz
It’s not uncommon to stress when it comes to holiday spending. We’ve all been there, with a list of presents in one hand and a suddenly shrinking wallet in the other. But it usually takes an entire season of spending until we reach our tipping point racing around for a hot-ticket item on Christmas Eve.
This year, however, consumers may start feeling the pinch a little earlier this season, as the National Retail Federation reports that Halloween spending is expected to hit a record—$9.1 billion—this year.
But that doesn’t mean you have to get spooked into record-setting spending yourself. In fact, there are plenty of ways that you can make sure to keep your costs down without sacrificing the spirit of Halloween.
Let’s break down some of the figures from the National Retail Federation’s report to show how you may be able to save a few dollars yourself.
Costumes: The NRF reports that costumes are the highest priced item on the Halloween shopping list. The average man will spend $96 on a costume, while women will spend $77. Costume shops will often have prepackaged costumes ready to go, but they will come at a premium. But if you have a knack for arts and crafts, you may be able to build your own costume by shopping at discount retailers, thrift stores or pawn shops instead.
Candy: 95 percent of consumers who responded to the NRF study planned to purchase candy for Halloween, either to pass out to children or for a Halloween party. If you wait until the last minute, you may be stuck paying higher prices. If you act early, though, you may be able to shop around for the best bulk purchase.
Decorations: Thinking of putting a scare into trick-or-treaters with an elaborate decorative lawnscape this Halloween? Just remember that in some cases, you’re not just paying for the decorations. Decorations that use electricity—especially the inflatable ones for your yard—will end up costing you an additional sum beyond what you pay at checkout. You just won’t see it until your November utility bill arrives. Be careful with your decorations. Look for solar options when possible, and if you do need to plug something in, be sure to unplug it at the end of each night. Even if you turn the power off, anything that is still plugged in will use electricity.
Be sure to check back with us frequently this holiday season, as we’ll be offering advice to help you navigate your way right into the New Year. You can also learn more about managing your finances at our Online Learning Center here.