Five Ways to Stick to Your Budget This Halloween
Boston, MA – October 16, 2012
Between costumes, decorations, and party expenses, Halloween can stretch a tight budget to the breaking point – but it doesn’t have to. Here, American Consumer Credit Counseling shares five easy tips to help consumers save money on Halloween essentials.
“It’s amazing how quickly a single night can turn into a money pit,” said Steve Trumble, CEO of Newton-based American Consumer Credit Counseling. “If you’re not careful, the costumes alone can set you back hundreds of dollars. But there’s no reason for Halloween to be a budget killer, as long as you keep some simple strategies in mind to save money.”
Make it yourself
Sure, store-bought costumes and decorations are fancier, but it’s a lot cheaper to put together your own. Be creative: The Internet is awash with do-it-yourself costume ideas. With just a handful of supplies and a bit of effort, you can make virtually any costume, and the materials cost virtually nothing compared with those elaborate, store-bought ones. Making your own decorations is even easier, and your kids will have a blast making their own scarecrows, cobwebs, and skeletons.
Even if you’re buying your costumes instead of making them, it’s important to get a head start. The closer it gets to Halloween, the higher the prices will climb and the less time you’ll have to search for the right deals, so waiting until the last minute to do your shopping is the costliest mistake you can make. It’s best to shop months in advance, so talk to your kids early in the year about what they’d like to be for Halloween. Same goes for decorations! The best deals for next year’s holidays can be found in the days following this year’s holiday – it’s never too early to start planning!
Reuse and recycle
Hang on to Halloween decorations from year to year (which means you should store them safely), and don’t let a Halloween costume that’s been worn just once go to waste. If you’re a parent, see if any family members have any costumes from previous years that your kids might like, or talk with other parents in the neighborhood and see if they want to trade.
Don’t lose your head
If you’re throwing a Halloween party, you probably have all kinds of ideas for how turn your living room into a virtual haunted house. But there’s no need to go overboard. Most people go to Halloween parties to enjoy themselves with their friends and family, not necessarily to be scared witless. So limit the special effects to ones you can accomplish without spending too much: darkness, haunted house music – easily available online or on iTunes – and some low-cost decorations. Your party can be just as fun without the fog machine or the fake bats.
Budget, budget, budget!
As with all holidays, set a spending limit for the family and stick to it. There’s no need to go into credit card debt to finance your kids’ Halloween costumes. If you plan early enough, are creative with your costumes, and shop around for deals, limiting your spending shouldn’t be an issue. And the night will be a lot more fun without the looming specter of credit card debt the next day.
Use ACCC’s Fall budgeting worksheet to help you plan for Halloween and all of the holidays coming up. Click here to download it.
ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization, that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:
- For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
- For bankruptcy counseling. call 866-826-6924
- For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
- For more information on financial education workshops in New England, call 800-769-3571 x1980
- Or visit us online at ConsumerCredit.com
About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial health through education, counseling, and debt management. ACCC provides individuals with practical solutions for solving financial problems and recognizes that consumers’ financial difficulties are often not the result of poor spending habits, but more frequently from extenuating circumstances beyond their control. As one of the nation’s leading providers of financial education and credit counseling services, ACCC works with consumers to help them with the best plan of action to reduce their debt and regain financial stability. ACCC is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and holds an A+ rating. It is also a member of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. For more information or to access free financial education resources log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit TalkingCentsBlog.com.