Halloween planning guide: Dont let Halloween overspending come back to haunt you

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

While many big national holidays are celebrated during the winter months, fall kicks off the start of the holiday shopping season. Take a visit to any local retailer and you may already see Christmas merchandise out on display. First up is a holiday that is celebrated with masks, tricks, and treats. It’s Halloween time! Halloween can come with a hefty price tag with the cost of elaborate parties, spooky decorations, and mouth-watering candy. Halloween isn’t just for kids anymore. According to Kiplinger.com – an online magazine for personal finance and business forecasting - Halloween has become one of the biggest party nights of the year for adults.

While the total amount spent on Halloween has fallen from last year, it is still considered one of the most costly holidays. The National Retail Federation expects consumers to spend $4.75 billion on Halloween this year.

You don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy Halloween. The financial experts at Money Management International (MMI) offer the following tips to make sure your budget stays intact this holiday season.

Get creative with costumes. Halloween costumes generally consume the biggest part of Halloween budgets. The average Halloween costume costs $30. You can save a lot of money by making your own costume or by shopping in your own closet. Borrow accessories and hair pieces from your friends and family members. Your old banquet dress can instantly transform into a princess costume.

Set a budget. If you’re planning a party or partaking in local Halloween events such as haunted houses, set aside cash in advance. Consider shopping with a list when purchasing party supplies and Halloween goodies, then commit to sticking to it. This is not a time to rack up credit card bills when Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner.

Buy candy in bulk. You want to make sure you’re ready for all those pint-size monsters coming to your door. You can find great deals and specials at your local dollar store.

Skip the fancy party stores. It’s easy to get carried away with all the elaborated Halloween decorations for your house and yard. You can skip the expensive décor and make your own decorations. You can create ghosts to hang in the window with string, glue, and waxed paper. For more inexpensive decorating tips, check-out, www.familyfun.com.

Finally, celebrating Halloween on a budget doesn’t have to take the fun out of the holiday.  The trick is to use a little creativity and a few alternatives. You can still have a festive Halloween without spending a lot of money.