How to Celebrate Halloween Without Going Broke
Halloween, originally a Catholic holiday based on ancient traditions, has become the second-largest commercial holiday in the United States. Between costumes, decorations, and candy, US citizens spend approximately $7 billion dollars a year. With the U.S. economy the way it is this year, it is more vital than ever to curb one’s Halloween spending. The good news is that with a little bit of advanced planning, you can easily celebrate Halloween on a budget without disappointing your kids.
There are two things you can do to fit Halloween into your budget: save for it and/or generate extra cash using simple ideas.
In these difficult economic times, saving is an essential part of your budget plan. As far as Halloween goes, you can make saving fun for the whole family and teach your kids a valuable lesson about how to hold onto money. Start in January of the same year and put a small percentage of your paycheck into savings every month. Even if all you can afford to save is $20/month, you will have saved over $100 toward your goal by the time Halloween rolls around.
Now involve your kids in your savings plan. Get a plastic pumpkin; the type with a handle that many children use on Halloween to collect candy will do. Explain to your kids that this is a “pumpkin bank” that will help everyone put money into the budget for Halloween. Every time you have spare change from a purchase, deposit it into the pumpkin bank. Encourage your children to do so as well. Once a month, take the change to the bank and put it into your savings account.
Of course, if your budget doesn’t allow you to save more than a few dollars a month, you may not have enough saved to cover Halloween costs. This is why it is also important to plan some extra cash generating activities into your Halloween budget plan.
One simple way to generate extra cash is to have a garage sale. If you’ve ever had to move, especially with small children, you’ve probably packed up several boxes of books, toys, or CD’s that you no longer need. These items probably are sitting in your garage or basement gathering dust. So why not sell them? This is an easy source of Halloween money and in addition, you might use the space for a haunted house or Halloween party.
Another quick way to make money is recycle cans and bottles throughout the year. Factor into your budget the 5 cents you get on each can deposit; this is money that can go into your pumpkin bank! A family of four should have plenty of cans and bottles to recycle; your friends and neighbors may also appreciate you taking their cans to the recycling machine at the supermarket.
Halloween can be a costly holiday, especially with kids. But if you are willing to save and can come up with some creative ideas to make money, there is no reason Halloween cannot fit into your budget for the year without sacrificing your kids’ fun.