Financial Literacy for Everyone

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October is a month of pumpkins, costumes, candy and ghosts. It’s also a time when parents of all ages open their wallets to spend. Halloween purchases can really add up, as this is one of the most popular holidays in the U.S.

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Don’t let the first holiday of the fall season break your budget. Read on to discover ways to reduce those tricky costs.

1. Trick-or-Treating
For the trick-or-treating items you’ll only use for a couple of hours, consider budget-friendly alternatives. Rather than purchasing overpriced candy baskets from the store, use a pillowcase or shopping bag to haul in those treats. Not only will it save money, it’s a chance to be creative and decorate an accessory to match your child’s costume.

2. Halloween Entertaining
Whether you’re hosting a big party or going to someone else’s event, keep these tips in mind to make a big impression without spending big bucks.

  • Plan ahead. Make sure you have all the costume materials, decorations and candy you’ll need on Halloween to avoid last-minute splurges.
  • Make a budget and stick to it. Avoid the temptation to overspend by setting a realistic budget using our Entertainment Planner calculator.
  • Reuse decorations. If you keep decorations in good condition, they can be stored away and reused for years to come.
  • Get crafty. Make decorating a fun group activity by getting your children or friends involved in making decorations. Construction paper, pens and a little imagination can go a long way.
  • Get together. To help offset some of your holiday costs, host a party with friends and family and share the expenses.
  • Shop clearance sales for next year. Buy new items the week after Halloween to get savings on costumes and decorations for next year.

3. Cost-Conscious Costumes
Whether you're outfitting yourself or helping to dress up your children, you don't have to break the bank to have a ghoulishly good costume for Halloween. Here are a few time-tested tricks for saving money on costumes.

  • Skip the store. Seasonal Halloween stores can be tempting, but purchases can really add up. Instead of visiting a specialty shop for your entire costume, get your outfit elsewhere first and hit seasonal stores for accessories.
  • Be thrifty. Cruise the thrift stores to look for the costumes you are creating. Whether it's for a princess, a superhero or a zombie, you can often find what you need at a consignment store for a much lower price.
  • Swap with friends. Children don't typically wear the same costume year after year. Consider joining up with neighbors who have daughters or sons the same age as yours and swap costumes from previous years.
  • Jump online. If you are set on the idea of buying a complete costume, check out online Halloween stores or other discount sites. Children's clothing swap websites also offer options for cost-conscious costumes.

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