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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money
Halloween budget

Not So Scary Halloween Spending!

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and it seems that many other people enjoy it too. According to the National Retail Federation, seven in 10 Americans plan to celebrate Halloween. The average person will spend $79.82; how much will you spend?

Sometimes we end up spending more than we expect because we forget all the different categories or things we spend money on to celebrate Halloween. Forty percent or more of Halloween spenders will spend money on:

  • Candy (average amount spent by buyers, $24.25)1
  • Decorations (on average, $32.35)
  • Greeting cards (on average, $10.72)
  • Costumes (on average, $43.60)

But wait, there's more! Many of us also spend money on pumpkins and visits to haunted houses or other fall festivals. Creating a spending plan (a budget) can help us manage our holiday spending, whether it's for Halloween or another holiday.

Often parents ask me for ideas of how to teach their children about managing money. Planning a holiday budget together is a great activity: the spending occurs over a relatively short amount of time and many of the expenses are flexible and allow for choices to be made.

First, list all the types of things you might spend money on. If you want a quick start to this, download the free Halloween Family Spending Plan at the University of Illinois Extension Unit #13's website.

Next, estimate how much you'll spend for each spending category.

Total all your estimated expenses. Are you comfortable with the total? If not, now is good time to consider alternatives BEFORE you start shopping.

As you spend money, track your expenses and compare them to your estimates. Did you spend more or less than planned? What does this tell you that may be helpful the next time you create a holiday budget?

Taking time to plan your holiday expenses can keep your Halloween fun and not too scary!

1 The average dollar amount is from those people who buy the Halloween item (such as candy). Not all Halloween spenders purchase all the different items; thus, the numbers do not add up to the overall average total.

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