Dave Ramsey says: Don’t let October fun haunt your finances
Oct 8, 2023, 5:00 AM
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Hands down, one of my favorite parts of Halloween is the costumes. From seeing adorable babies dressed as koalas, to entire families decked out as the Addams Family, it’s just so much fun. But like any other month, if you go into October without a plan your financial decisions could haunt you for months to come.
With that in mind, here are a few tips for saving big money during the Halloween season, and maybe setting yourself up to spend less next year, too.
Don’t forget, just like kids grow out of clothes, they also grow out of Halloween costumes. Check with your friends and neighbors to see if they’ll let you borrow a costume this year. You don’t need to drop big money for a brand-new outfit when there’s one you can borrow right next door.
Or, instead of buying a $40 Ninja Turtles costume for each of your four boys, or sewing DIY versions from scratch, turn hunting for costumes into a family game. Head to the consignment shop or thrift store with your family and give each of your kids an envelope with $5 or $10 inside. Split up into teams to pick out a costume or find materials to make a custom creation. When time’s up and purchases are made, head home and have the kids dig into their closets for the rest of their costumes!
It’s no secret that candy is pricey stuff. Still, living in a neighborhood that gets carloads of kids every year doesn’t mean you have to buy barrels of candy. If you know you’ll be visited by 50 to 100 princesses and superheroes, skip the fancy chocolate bars, and grab a bulk bag of assorted candy. Be on the lookout for coupons and any two-for-one deals.
One more tip when it comes to candy. Keep track of how many trick-or-treaters visit your house, so you can plan for next year. There’s no need to overbuy and get stuck eating all the leftovers. Unless that’s what you’re hoping for…
Halloween is a big deal for some people. And a single pumpkin on the front porch just won’t cut it, especially if you’re easily inspired by fall décor on Instagram and Pinterest. But if you’re not careful, buying Halloween décor year after year can really take a bite out of your budget.
If you need to stretch a dollar, hit up your local dollar store for decorations. And if you really love going all out for Halloween, start saving and reusing your decorations.
Pumpkins are fun, but it’s way too easy to overspend on them. So, give yourself a pumpkin budget. Let the kids each pick one, or cap yourself at $20. That way, you can keep the spending in check.
And remember, going to the pumpkin patch is a blast, but it’s not the best place to buy them if you’re on a budget. Instead, buy pumpkins from the grocery store, and look for two-for-one deals.
Other Fall Activities
There are plenty of Halloween and harvest festivals this time of year. And they’re usually free! Plus, there are many other budget-friendly activities for the family.
Spend a day walking around a farm or enjoying a hayride. Take a drive out of town to look at the leaves changing colors. Go apple picking. With a little thought and planning, you can have a memorable Halloween on a bite-size budget.
And you’ll have more fun knowing you’re not wrecking your money goals in the process!