Keep Halloween from becoming a budget nightmare

This is the time of year that I typically offer consumers some tips about how to enjoy a budget-conscious Halloween. Would you believe that Halloween spending for 2007 was expected reach $5 billion, second only to Christmas? Generally, my Halloween budgeting tips encourage people to get creative, but not too creative. One tip worth repeating is to recycle costumes of Halloween’s past. For example, if your child still likes last year’s Spiderman costume, let him go as the superhero again this year. Or, ask another parent if their child would be willing to trade costumes for one night.

With the more "official" tip out of the way, I would like to add a few money saving tips that probably won’t make it into our published weekly column:

-Don’t give out full-size chocolate bars. They are expensive and the kids get too much candy already.

-Don’t buy a fancy trick-or-treat bag. Who doesn’t have an extra bag around the house?

-Don’t make treats to hand out on Halloween night. Parents won’t let their kids eat them anyway, so don’t waste your time and money.

-Don’t buy a costume for your dog. Last year, 7.4 million people planned to dress up their pets. I promise that your dog won’t be sad if you skip a year.

For some amazing Halloween statistics, check out Kiplinger’s slide show titled Halloween by the Numbers.

BTW, safety is one area where you don’t want to skimp. At a minimum, children should wear clothing with reflective markings or tape and carry a flashlight.

Tagged in Halloween

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.

  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating Better Business Bureau
    MMI is proud to have achieved an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a nonprofit organization focused on promoting and improving marketplace trust. The BBB investigates charges of fraud against both consumers and businesses, sets standards for truthfulness in advertising, and evaluates the trustworthiness of businesses and charities, providing a score from A+ (highest) to F (lowest).
  • Financial Counseling Association of America Financial Counseling Association of America
    MMI is a proud member of the Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA), a national association representing financial counseling companies that provide consumer credit counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling, bankruptcy counseling, debt management, and various financial education services.
  • Trustpilot Trustpilot
    MMI is rated as “Excellent” (4.9/5) by reviewers on Trustpilot, a global, online consumer review platform dedicated to openness and transparency. Since 2007, Trustpilot has received over 116 million customer reviews for nearly 500,000 different websites and businesses. See what others are saying about the work we do.
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development - Equal Housing Opportunity Department of Housing and Urban Development
    MMI is certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide consumer housing counseling. The mission of HUD is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD provides support services directly and through approved, local agencies like MMI.
  • Council on Accreditation Council On Accreditation
    MMI is proudly accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. COA’s thorough, peer-reviewed accreditation process is designed to ensure that organizations like MMI are providing the highest standard of service and support for clients and employees alike.
  • National Foundation for Credit Counseling National Foundation for Credit Counseling
    MMI is a longstanding member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), the nation’s largest nonprofit financial counseling organization. Founded in 1951, the NFCC’s mission is to promote financially responsible behavior and help member organizations like MMI deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.