How to Handle Halloween on a Tight Budget
With Halloween creeping nearer every day, your kids are getting excited about the big day. But if things are tight, it can be hard to share their enthusiasm. Between candy, decorations, costumes, and special outings, the spooky holiday is expensive.
If you aren’t sure how you’ll be able to celebrate on a tight budget, here are some easy dos and don’ts to celebrating Halloween with your family.
DO start saving for Halloween early
Most families wait until October to bring out their Halloween decorations and horror DVD collection. But to wait this long before you prep your budget may be a major misstep for your finances.
When your budget is tight, you need more than a couple of weeks to set aside enough cash to cover costumes, decorations, and candy. Last year, the nation spent $9 billion on these items!
The earlier you tweak your budget and start saving for these expenses, the easier you’ll be able to accommodate these prices.
DON’T put everything on credit
When you can’t afford something, it’s natural to reach for your personal line of credit. After all, it’s hard saying no to your kids, but in this case, you should. Adding Halloween purchases to your account means there’s less of your limit available in case of an emergency.
A personal line of credit is meant to be your safety net when disaster strikes. It’s for when your car breaks down unexpectedly or you have to take your child to the walk-in clinic — not when you want to buy more decorations or better costumes.
Wait until a true unexpected emergency arrives. Then find out how to survive a financial emergency by using a personal line of credit carefully.
DO try homemade options
One kid wants to be Black Panther, the other wants to be Elsa. Everyone wants pumpkins, skeletons, and other spooky decorations.
The only problem? Buying these popular costumes and ornaments add to your bill — especially when they’re brand new from department stores.
You can save a lot by shopping from reuse centers, charity clothing shops, and consignment stores. These stores may have a Halloween section of discounted costumes and accessories, but make sure to look beyond these racks for inspiration.
DON’T leave things to the last second
When you’re not looking forward to something — like, say a big, scary bill — it’s easy to put it off. Procrastination is natural, but it’s not useful. It can put a hex on your budget, cursing you to spend more than you already have.
By getting a jump on your Halloween and late-fall expenses, you may be able to find deals that shave some money off your bill. Ibotta, a cashback app, reveals trick-or-treat candy is cheapest four days before Halloween. Wait until the night before, however, and you’ll likely pay twice as much.
DO remember to have fun
Keeping your focus on your budget makes it hard to enjoy the holiday for what it is: an opportunity to be with your family. Try not to get too bogged down by your finances in the lead up to the big day.
You probably already think about your finances all year long. Give yourself permission to have fun and take a break this Halloween.