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Does Halloween “scare” your pocket? Here are some money-saving tips for this year


Photo of kids in halloween costumes

The season has changed. Stores seem possessed by the Halloween spirit, with aisles full of decorations, costumes, and special candies conspiring to get you to spend money!

Resist the temptation.  You do not have to spend a lot of money to enjoy Halloween. Here are some terrific ideas that won’t “terrify” your pocket!

Set a maximum budget

Do the math and decide how much you can spend for Halloween. Then, figure out which items are worth spending on…Costumes? Candy? Décor? Set a budget.

If you have older kids and plan to buy or make a costume, let them know what the maximum budget is for the costume or the materials to make one. Let them know you expect to stick to it.

Halloween costume: Use your creativity

Halloween is an opportunity to be creative. Try to use old clothes or recycled materials to create something from scratch. You’d be surprised by what you can make out of paper, cardboard boxes, paper roll, duct tape, egg cartons, cans, plastic bottles, etc.

Need ideas? Go online and look up “costumes from recycled materials”, “handcrafted costumes”, or “costumes made from boxes”… There are a lot of fun ideas out there!

Another option: Swap costumes with friends or family.

If you want to buy a costume, try to shop early since prices go up as October 31st draws near. You can also buy small accessories online, at dollar stores, or places like Walmart or Goodwill. Or plan ahead and buy next year’s costume when it goes on sale on November 1!

Look for fun events and activities that are free (or nearly free!)

Spending time with friends and family is what’s important.

  • Check to see if there are free events in local libraries, parks, children’s museums, schools, or community centers. They often organize craft workshops, jack-o-lantern contests, special exhibits or parades.
  • Some neighborhoods go all-out in decorating their homes. Find one near you and walk around enjoying the décor.
  • Visit a pumpkin patch to pick out a pumpkin for carving. If your kids are too young to carve, go online to find other ideas for decorating pumpkins.
  • Take advantage of the “Early Bird” price in movie theaters to watch a horror movie.
  • Enjoy learning about other traditions, like Día de los Muertos. See if there are related events or exhibits near home.

Have fun at home!

There are countless Halloween activities you can do at home (great if the weather is bad!). Some ideas:

  • Scary movie marathon! Check the TV guide for special TV shows or horror films. Popcorn, blankets and low lights will add to the spookiness. Here are some movies to watch for each age group.
  • Have fun painting faces, playing hide-and-seek with the lights off, handcrafting Halloween decorations, or dancing to the rhythm of Halloween songs… and so many other options.
  • Use that pumpkin: Practice your carving skills, roast the seeds on the skillet for a little Fall snack, and cook delicious pumpkin recipes.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a great Halloween!


The information in this site, including any third-party content and opinions, is for educational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal, tax, or financial advice or to indicate the availability or suitability of any Oportun product or service to your unique circumstances. Contact your independent financial advisor for advice on your personal situation.

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